ITALIAN PLUM
(Prunus cocomilia)

 

 

A tree of

Italian plum

 

Family: Rosaceae

Synonyms: Prunus pseudoarmeniaca

Other names: Cocumilio, Naples plum

Italian plum is found mostly in the mountains of northern Italy and that is why it is commonly known as Italian plum.

            Some taxonomists hold the view that this species is closely related to Prunus cerasifera.

Italian plum fruits

 

Description

A decidious shrub or small tree growing upto 5m.

 

A flower of Italian plum

 

Flowers are hermaphrodite.

Fruits round, yellow, 2 cm in diameter, edible.

Seed large.

Utilization:

The fruit has a bitter or sour flavour.  It is eaten raw and also cooked.  The kernel in the seed is also edible.  However, some of the seedlings might bear bitter kernels not fit for eating.

 

A shoot of Italian plum

 

            A green dye can be obtained from the leaves and a dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit.  

Cultivation:

Italian plum is a very hardy fruit.  The plant can grow from all type of soils ranging from light to heavy which should, however, be well drained.  Same is true about the soil reaction.  and requires well-drained soil.  It can grow in lands with semi-shade  as well as in open areas.  There should be adequate moisture in the soil.

            This fruit can be propagated by seed which requires cold stratification for 2-3 months.  The germination can still be slow.  Softwood cuttings taken in spring to early summer also root freely.  Layering, also done in spring also works.

 

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