History of Plum Trees & Their Hybrids

  • The evidence of ancient plums in antiquity is scarce. Luther Burbank, America's most famous and respected pomologist, has the best evidence. Burbank reported in his 12 volumes botanical literary classic Small Fruits Volume IV page 136, that the European plum Prunus maria, and its ancestor fruits, were found in the Caucasus Mountains in the Caspian Sea. Burbank presented evidence that prune (dry plum) was a staple food among the Tartars of Mongols, Turks and Huns. Many websites believe that Prunus Domestica, an European plum, was not discovered in Pompeii after the eruption in 79AD. meaning of plumming

    Prince Nursery, Flushing, New York was the first to mention plum history in America. It was founded in 1737. In 1771, it published an advertisement for "33 types of plums". These plum trees were no doubt European plums, Prunus domestica. After the year 1755, Henry Laurens, who was a guest and friend of Wililam Bartram, introduced olives, limes, ginger, everbearing strawberry, red raspberry, and blue grapes into the United States. From France, he introduced plums (pears), plums (white Chasselas) and apples. They bore well. Henry Laurens lived in Charleston, South Carolina and served as a President of the Continental Congress. William Bartram described two species of American plums in his famous book, Travels, in his 1792 trip to Georgia, where he identified the Chicasaw plum, Prunus chicasaw, and in Alabama, he found a wild plum, Prunus indica.

    Luther Burbank is the only person to have contributed more to hybridizing and improving plum trees of different varieties than anyone else. His work on the plum group of stone fruits stands apart from any other person for his unequaled contribution to improving various fruits that are grown and enjoyed today. Burbank stated in 1885 that his import of 12 plum seedlings to America was the "most important" importation of fruit bearers into America. meaning of plumming