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Prunus mume: Chinese Plums and Japanese Apricots

Prunus mume also known as Japanese apricot, Korean plum, Chinese Plum and Mei. This small tree flowers in late February-March with one of the most beloved and depicted flowers in China. These lovely, often sweetly fragrant flowers range in colour from white to deep pink and bloom before the leaves arrive. They are followed by a yellow fruit highly prized for making plum wine, juice and pickles in Japan, Korea and China. In China it is called Mei or Meizi, in Korea – Maesil and in Japan – Ume.

Prunus mume trees are sprawling, dense, twiggy trees which depending on the cultivar can grow from 10 to 20 feet with a slightly smaller spread. They require sun to part shade and can be grown from zones 6 to 9. A slightly moist well draining humic soil will keep them generally happy. Prunus mume in the right spot can be a very long lived tree. According to Wikipedia; “Huangmei County in Hubei features a 1600 year old Mei tree from the Jin Dynasty which is still flowering.”

If you are lucky enough to be able to get your hands on one, and once you have fruit, you can make juice by putting the yellow plums in a container with equal parts sugar to plum but no water. From this you get a syrup which you can add to water to make a refreshing summer drink. The liqueur can be made by steeping the green plums in a clear liquor.

Art’s Nursery is proud to announce the arrival of a limited number of Prunus mume 'Nanko' for 2010

UPDATE: 2017 - This product is not currently available.
 

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