22 Different Types of Plums

Different Types of Plums
Photo by Shahab Vejdanian

You’ve come to the correct place if you’re considering adding a plum tree to your garden but aren’t sure which variety to plant.

There are numerous different types of plums to choose from. The names of our favorite plum tree varieties are included in this post.

Your mental image of plum is usually one of a purple, oval-shaped fruit that is somewhat larger than a golf ball.

In actuality, plums come in various hues, forms, and sweetness. Plum trees produce excellent fruit and bring beauty to any landscape with their lush leaves and bright spring blossoms.

Read on on our post about the different types of plums!

1. Black Amber

The Black Amber is the first on our list of different types of plums. It is an upright dwarf tree that works well in garden spaces or patio containers.

This kind will work nicely if you have a small yard or do not want a tree to take over your environment completely.

This small plum usually grows to a height of 1.5 to 2 meters and a spread of only 0.5 meters. It is possible for them to grow a little bit more significantly if you decide to plant them outside of pots.

Black Amber plums thrived in arid, mild zones and were first grown in California in the later 20th century. With this one, Victoria and Santa Rosa plums cross-pollinate well.

These different types of plums can produce abundant crops after displaying pink-flushed white blooms in the early spring and fruiting in the middle of the season.

2. Black Beauty

Black beauty is also on our list of different types of plums.  This small tree’s normal height and spread are 1.5 to 2 meters and just half a meter, respectively. 

It is possible for them to grow a little bit more significantly if you decide to plant them outside of pots. These are some of the varieties that are more well-liked in North America. 

The Friar and Santa Rosa plum trees are potential pollinators that complement this type well. Temperate to cooler dry areas is ideal for growing Black Beauty plums.

3. Early Golden

This Japanese cultivar originated in Canada, thrived in climate zone 5, and may cross-pollinate with most other Japanese types.

It grows quickly. As a result, thinning is necessary to keep it from falling dormant every other year from over-fruiting.

Early Golden plums have a mature spread of 12 feet and an astounding height of 15 feet. They do best in direct sunlight and away from strong winds.

4. Elephant Heart

Despite their intimidating name, Elephant Heart’s different types of plums are semi-dwarf type, giving them a great option for planting in constrained spaces.

They don’t become much taller than 10 to 12 feet and grow in a vertical, compact shape. 

Climate zones 5 through 9 are ideal for elephant heart plum growth. This type thrives best in cool to mild areas with low humidity and loamy soil.

They are one of the few self-pollinating plums, and they work effectively to pollinate other Japanese plum trees.

5. Friar

One of the cultivars of plum that is most frequently grown worldwide is The Friar. It also pollinates with many other cultivars, including Black Amber and Santa Rosa. 

This Japanese plum cultivar, which was first cultivated in the United States, thrives in a wide range of moderate climates but prefers a more arid setting in a 4b climate zone.

The tree bears fruit in the first few days of August and has an erect, vertical shape. 

When fully grown, the Friar will stand at the height of 15 feet and spread out to a similarly astounding 15 feet.

However, because of its low canopy, which hangs about four feet, it is a great option for locations with power lines.

6. Methley

Methley plum trees have early spring blooms and early summer fruit production. It has a typical fanned growth pattern and can deliver substantial fruit production. 

It is another self-fruiting tree. However, cross-pollination will benefit it more. Methley plums grow best in arid to semi-arid regions that are moderate to warm. 

Challenges can arise from colder temperatures because they can be vulnerable to frost damage.

However, this tree will only need minor pruning and grow between 15 and 20 inches per year, making it a fantastic, low-maintenance option.

7. Ruby Queen

For bigger backyards, the Ruby Queens plum tree is next on our list of different types of plums. This Japanese species offers humid and somewhat warmer temperatures and is ideal for climate zones 5 to 8. 

However, they will flourish in mild areas with few instances of frost. The tree comes in full-size and dwarf types, growing erect while slightly fanning out. 

The dwarf tree is just half as huge, measuring only 10 feet tall and wide, compared to the larger Ruby Queen alternative, which may grow to a height of up to 20 feet.

Your Ruby Queen should be planted in an area where it will receive direct sunlight for at least six hours each day. In the spring, the Ruby Queen produces pollinated white blooms.

8. Santa Rosa

The Santa Rosa plum tree is yet another extremely popular cultivar. It is an upright-growing tree with stunning pink flowers in the spring and early- to mid-summer fruits.

One of the largest species, the tree grows in the classic upright plum tree form and can grow to a height of 25 feet.

Like many other, wider choices, Santa Rosas requires routine pruning to maintain a robust production.

Although you can trim this tree to keep it more manageable, it will still give you an outstanding spreading tree canopy.

Santa Rosas’s different plums thrive in various environments and are frost, disease, and insect resistant.

The fact that they self-pollinate and may be grown alone makes Santa Rosa plum different types of plums one of the most well-liked varieties available.

9. Shiro

One of the most unusual kinds on the list, the Shiro, or “white” plum tree, first appeared in North America in the late 1890s. They can grow up to 20 feet tall and wide in a vertical pattern that is fanning out.

Shiro plum different types of plums begin to bloom in early March and bear fruit in the middle of the summer.

This tree enjoys full sunlight and does well in climatic zones 5 through 9. Together with Santa Rosa and Ozark Premier plums, they cross-pollinate nicely.

The well-known Green Gage plum, included on this list, was crossed with the Golden Drop plum tree, cultivated in England in 1800 by gardener Jarvis Coe. This tree will reach a height of 7 to 13 feet and have a wide canopy.

10. Coe’s Golden Drop

The Coe’s Golden Drop tree, which is English in origin, does well in temperate climes in zones 5 through 9, flourishing especially well in slightly cooler conditions.

It is a delight for the end-of-season because it normally fruits around mid to late September.

This tree does not produce fruit on its own, and it can cross-pollinate with plum trees of the Green Gage, President, and Angelina varieties.

11. Damson

They are straight, a v-shaped tree that produces a good yield in the middle to later part of the season.

Due to its hardiness and simple maintenance requirements, the Damson plum is one of the more well-liked different types of plums.

They thrive best in temperate regions of climate zones 5 to 7 and require little trimming. These cold-resistant variants can endure arid conditions as well.

Since the Damson is self-fruiting, unlike other European kinds, it can be grown alone if space is concerned or used as a garden focal point.

12. French Prune

The French Prune plum, which was first grown in California in the 1850s, is descended from a stock variety from Europe. It is a more compact spread canopy tree, maturing to a height of 10 to 12 feet.

Early spring brings flowers to this self-pollinating plant, and early to midsummer brings fruit. However, growth and fruit output will substantially improve when planted with other types.

Although it prefers less humid air, this species is acceptable for a wide range of temperate zones from 4 to 9 and requires little care and maintenance.

13. Green Gage

Green Gage plums, next on our list of different types of plums, are worthwhile if you’re willing to put in a little more time and work.

They are best cultivated in conjunction with other European species, such as damson, as they are poor self-pollinators.

Many believe it was first cultivated in Europe in the 17th century utilizing Iranian-native Damson plums.

The Green Gage plum reaches a height of approximately 12 feet. The mid to late-summer harvest window is relatively small.

The Green Gage plum tree only bears fruit twice a year, so instead of the usual 3 to 4 years, you should wait 7 to 10 years before you see the first crop because they require calcareous soil, a lot of sunshine,  and shelter from wind and rain.

14. Italian

The Italian plum tree has a spread-out canopy that grows between 8 and 12 feet tall and a height of 10 to 15 feet.

Alternatively, you can trim this tree to create a more manageable but healthy miniature plum tree.

Italian different types of plums are self-fruiting if you only wish to plant one and can be produced in a wide range of areas from agricultural zones 4 to 9.

This tree shouldn’t be planted near where water can collect, such as the base of a slope. To avoid sitting in water that has stagnated, they ought to have adequate drainage.

It is an everbearing tree that typically produces fruit in mid to late summer, and the plums will continue to ripen until the early fall.

Alternatively, trim this tree to create a more manageable but healthy miniature plum tree.

Italian plums are self-fruiting if you only wish to plant one and can be produced in a wide range of areas from agricultural zones 4 to 9.

This tree shouldn’t be planted near where water can collect, such as the base of a slope. To avoid sitting in water that has stagnated, they ought to have adequate drainage.

It is an everbearing tree that typically produces fruit in mid to late summer, and the plums will continue to ripen until the early fall.

15. Mirabelle

Mirabelle is next on our list of different types of plums. French agriculture produced the Mirabelle.

The Mirabelle actually calls the Lorraine region of France home, and bringing them into the United States is prohibited. 

There are Mirabelle varieties, though, that Americans can enjoy in their backyards. In most parts of Europe and North America, where the climate ranges from zones 5 to 8, mirabelle plums produce a robust production. 

This tree can grow over 12 feet tall and have a striking v-shaped canopy. The Mirabelle is a good option if you want something distinctive, lovely, and delicious.

16. Moyer / Sugar

The Moyer plum produces the fruit that gives the name to the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies. They have a mature height of 10 to 12 feet and are closely linked to the French prune and Italian plum.

These different types of plums thrive in Europe and the United States and are widely available in most markets.

Semi-dwarf varieties of Moyer trees react well to judicious pruning to keep them smaller and more compact for tighter settings.

Moyer plum trees are self-fruiting, like wide European varieties, but they perform best when they are cross-pollinated with another European cultivar.

However, you can anticipate lovely white blooms, followed by fruit yields in the middle of the season.

17. Myrobalan / Cherry

The Myrobalan plum tree’s lush purple foliage and stunning springtime white blossoms make it a popular ornamental.

The Myrobalan plum, one of the list’s bigger trees, may grow to a height of 25 feet with an open, spreading canopy.

Due to its tiny, sweet red fruit, which mimics the fruits on a fruiting cherry tree, the Myrobalan is known as the Cherry Plum tree.

In most regions, these trees fruit from late June to early July and bloom early in the spring. 

It self-pollinates and thrives in most climates in North America and Europe. This tree is a great option for décor, but it needs to be pollinated by a different kind.

18. Stanley

The Stanley plum tree may be the most widely grown in North America. It is a dependable fruiter that can be grown almost anywhere. It matures swiftly, taking only 1 to 3 years, and can reach heights of up to 30 feet.

Every spring, Stanley plum’s different types of plums will fill their upward-sweeping shape with a profusion of fragrant white blooms. For many expansive outdoor locations, this type makes a great ornamental tree.

Climate zones 5 through 8 are suitable for Stanley plums and can be grown there with minimum upkeep.

It is self-fruiting, yet different pollination varieties will produce more fruit. Its vigorous growth and generous yields are the reason for its popularity.

19. American Native

This shrub form of the plum tree is indigenous to North America. It is more frequently employed as a decorative or as a border plant.

It thrives in temperate to cool areas in North America and bears little, yellow to red fruit in the middle of the season.

The American Native plum is the perfect plant for a windbreak or border because it may grow to be about 8 feet tall by 8 feet broad. Nevertheless, if they are not given regular trimming or care, some trees will grow to a height of 15 feet.

Because of how many suckers these plums produce, regular pruning is required. American plum trees can pollinate themselves. They are great pollinators for the other plum types in your yard.

20. Underwood

This is the next on our list of different types of plums. Prunus ‘Underwood’  Even in zone 3, it is suitable for moderate to cooler climates.

It has a rather long early to midsummer ripening cycle and an open canopy that blooms in the early spring.

Its modest canopy is only four feet off the ground, making it simple to gather fruit or grow in confined spaces.

The Underwood plum tree is a fantastic attractive tree for your landscape, whether it is used alone or in conjunction with other pollinators to produce a lot of fruit.

However, it does not self-pollinate like all American hybrids. Cross-pollination with Japanese cultivars like Purple Heart trees will be necessary.

21. Lemon / Inca

This one made a list because of its distinctive history of cultivation. It was first developed in Israel from local varieties, and it received its name from the fruit’s lemon-like form and a tapering end.

The Lemon plum is also referred to as the Inca plum or the Chameleon plum because its color varies from green to yellow to speckled to orange or red when it is ripe.

This plum type grows well in temperature zones 6 to 10 in the United States and requires little upkeep as a fruit-bearing tree.

It requires other plum tree varieties that adhere to the same early-season pollination timetable because it is not self-pollinating.

22. Alderman

Lastly, An American-Japanese hybrid that thrives in cooler regions is the Alderman plum tree.

The Alderman tree has a magnificent ornamental canopy and is a vigorous grower, reaching heights of up to 15 feet. 

It bears fruit in the middle of the season and has early spring blooms of white blossoms like other plum types.

The Alderman is fantastic for those who want to begin harvesting as soon as possible because it often only needs one year of growth before producing fruit.

Although it can thrive in most North American climates, cooler regions are preferred. Unfortunately, the alderman variant does not self-pollinate.

It grows best when cross-pollinated with a Japanese common variety or a Superior.


The popularity of different types of plums extends beyond just their annual crop. As an ornamental tree for your landscape, numerous species are outstanding and give a breathtaking display.

There are many different different types of plums available, and when designing your yard, planting plum trees with different pollination periods may guarantee you enjoy vibrant blossoms all season long.

Whether you choose a Japanese, European, or American plum tree species, with correct planting and maintenance, you can have a beautiful tree that can provide a lot of delectable fruits to enjoy for a long time.

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