Grazing North Texas – Wild Plum

A spring crop of wild plum is a welcome site to both wildlife and people. But, you may have to fight thorns, ticks, mosquitos, and rattlesnakes to enjoy it. (Photo by Tony Dean)

By Tony Dean 

Wild plum is a small tree that forms dense thickets on prairies and roadsides from East Texas to the Rolling Plains. Plums are a member of the rose family, and there are at least 14 species and several varieties of this family in Texas. A number of these species are plums, with about 10 different plums identified across the state.

One of the most common species of plum in Texas goes by several common names, including wild plum, sand plum and Chickasaw plum. The term sand plum comes from the fact that it can grow in several soil types but is most at home on sandy sites.

Plum bushes are usually four to eight feet tall and can reach heights of 12 feet. They can spread by rhizomes or underground runners, and this causes them to be found mostly in thickets ranging from a few feet in diameter to over an acre, but they can cover many acres.
Most of us know this shrub from the small edible fruit that it produces each year.

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