Different Types of Plums

nick musica
Published Sep 29, 2020. Read time: 4 mins

If we may be so bold, let us here at FruitStand assure you that we know a whole lot about fruit.

So don’t worry: We can present to you this page on different types of plums with plenty of aplomb.

Plum Good

As it turns out, there aren’t just different types of plums, but different types of plumbs, so while we’re on the topic, let’s first make the all-important distinction: Different types of plums are delicious to eat. Different types of plumbs will take all those pipes under your sink in different directions.

But just like the concept of plumbing, the idea of plumming is one of the earliest notions of civilized man.

In fact, many scholars argue that the plum was the first-ever domesticated fruit, since there are several major cultivars not found at all in the wild, but found in abundance sprouting up near places where early humans settled down.

We can’t really blame our ancestors, though. Plums are not only delicious, but make for a beautiful flowering tree – and who doesn’t dream of a yard full of edible decorations?

Since plums have been around for so long, we’ve had plenty of time to tinker with their DNA, coming up with a number of major plum varieties today, including:

Japanese Plums

Despite their name, these cultivars were actually first developed in a different Asian nation: China. Still, Japanese plums are distinctive for their delicious juicy bite and particular shape, often ending up much rounder than their plummy cousins.

Japanese plums also tend to bloom earlier than other plum varieties, making these different types of plums some of the first on the farmer’s market circuit:

Satsuma Plums

Small, red and round, these little pleasures deliver a firm and sour bite of flesh wrapped within a sweet-tasting skin.

And their stones are equally confused about which direction to go in, with their “semi-clingstone” designation meaning they’re somewhat easy to pare from the flesh, but not as easy as other varieties.

Elephant Heart Plums

Large, dark red, and, yes, heart-shaped, these types of plums are so juicy some fans swear biting into one should require a straw.

Luckily, all that juice is distinctively delicious, with these elephants really turning out to be giant sweet hearts.

Santa Rosa Plums

Another classic, these plums are widely recognizable thanks to their red-and-yellow flecked skin and cute little heart shape.

But under all that fanfare is a true inner beauty, with a plump, rose-colored flesh revealing one of the juiciest, sweetest bites – think, cherry fruit punch – in all of plumdome.

Black Plums

By far the most popular type of plum out there, black plums represent the lion’s share of the plum produce market. You may recognize them from their deep, dark color pallet and their smaller, rounder shapes.

And, although these varietals are technically a type of Japanese plum, there’s so much diversity in the black plum realm, they deserve a little recognition all their own.

Black Amber Plums

Black Amber plums give it all away up front: The fruits are named for their distinctive color pallets, calling out the hues of their tart tasting skin and juicy flesh, respectively.

True to black plum form, these types of plums are typically on the rounder side, and – catchy name aside – their skin can also take on a much bluer or more purple tone.

Black Ruby Plums

Unlike the Black Amber, Black Rubys are a bit more confusing, since their skin is usually a deep purple/black and their sweet, juicy flesh is bright yellow.

Still, they’re one of the world’s most popular types of plums, since their pit easily comes loose – whereas other plum stones make you fight to separate them from their beloved flesh.

Friar Plums

Large, sweet, firm and juicy, these popular plums seem to really have reaped all the blessings.

As such, Friar Plums are one of the best types of plums to eat raw – just remember to wash off their slightly waxy, deep purple skin first.

European Plums

The love of plums is not specific to any one worldly region.

Right around the same time plums were being cultivated in Asia, a group of early fans were hard at work getting plum trees to grow in the Caucasian Mountains, just off the Caspian Sea.

These varietals have come to be known as European plums (or, sometimes, “fresh prunes”), known for their strange oblong shapes and wide variety of skin colors, flesh colors and tastes.

Some of the most popular types of these plums include:

Moyer Plums

Known for their oddly oblong shape – even within the European plum world – Moyer Plums are one of the most popular types of plums out there, sporting a classic plummy color combination of pretty purple skin and deep yellow flesh.

But it’s more than their looks that get them noticed. Moyer plums are so sugary, they sometimes go by the alias Sugar Plums. And, as one of the last types of plums to ripen in the season, these sweet treats are worth the wait.

Damsons Plums

Small and round, these types of plums may be the original sour patch kids, with a firm, yellow-green flesh that carries one of the most astringent tastes in the plum world, despite this varietal’s higher-than-normal sugar content.

Still, Damsons plums are known to be a great addition in the kitchen for those who like to add a bit of tartness to a sweet or savory dish.

Mirabelle Plums

If the beautiful name wasn’t enough of a giveaway, these unique types of plums originate from France.

Mirabelle plums truly stand out from the crowd, thanks to their small, round stature and almost orange skin. But their syrupy bite of sweet, firm flesh is especially prized in their native land for adding into jams, jellies and even brandies.

But no matter your color, shape or global region of choice, you’re bound to have a plum good time with these fruits.


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