Prunus domestica - L.
European Plum
Other English Common Names: Damson Plum, Garden Plum
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Prunus domestica L. (TSN 24774)
French Common Names: prunier domestique
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.161266
Element Code: PDROS1C0B0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Rose Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Rosales Rosaceae Prunus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Prunus domestica
Taxonomic Comments: FNA (vol. 9, 2014) does not recognize distinct varieties in Prunus domestica.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (01Apr2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Kansas (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), Texas (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Washington (SNA)
Canada Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Quebec (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CTexotic, DEexotic, IDexotic, KSexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NYexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, TXexotic, UTexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic
Canada NSexotic, ONexotic, QCexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Unknown
Rounded I-Rank: Unknown
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Prunus domestica, the European plum, is a widely cultivated tree in the United States for its fruit. It has escaped from cultivation in much of the northeast south to Virginia, a few states in the midwest, and the west in Texas, Utah, Idaho, California, Oregon and Washington. It does not appear to be an invasive species in most of its range in the United States, except in Oregon in the Southern Willamette Valley where it occasionally can become a dominant species in natural areas. It is dispersed by birds who eat its fruit and this species also easily suckers from its roots, which makes it able to persist.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Unknown
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Low
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Unknown
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Unknown
I-Rank Review Date: 18Mar2004
Evaluator: Oliver, L.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: The origin of this species is not clear. It is believed to be a hybrid of Prunus cerasifera and P. spinosa (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). The probable origin of this species is believed to be Eurasia (GRIN).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Prunus domestica is known from outside cultivation in the northeast south to Virginia, but also from Louisiana, Texas, Kansas, Utah, California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Prunus domestica is reported by the Oregon Native Plant Society to occasionally become a dominant in native plant communities in Oregon (NPS-OR 2002). No other information about this species invading natural areas was found for other parts of its range.

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Unknown

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Medium/Low significance
Comments: The Native Plant Society of Oregon reports that this species is rated 'medium' in the Southern Willamette Valley, which means that if significantly modifies natural habitats (NPS-OR 2002).

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Medium/Low significance
Comments: This species is a tree, so it has the potential to affect more than one vegetative layer. The Native Plant Society of Oregon reports this species as occasionally becoming dominant sometimes (NPS-OR 2002) and in those cases it would affect the community structure by perhaps shading out shrubs, saplings and forbs.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Prunus domestica is reported to occasionally become a dominant in native species habitats in Oregon, however, it is not known to produce monospecific stands (NPS-OR 2002). In other parts of its range, it is not a dominant and rarely escapes from cultivation as in Utah (Welsh et al. 1993), occasionally escapes in the northeast (Gleason and Cronquist 1991), and is scattered in Michigan (Voss 1985).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Unknown

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Unknown

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Low

6. Current Range Size in Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: This species is known from the northeast south to Virginia, and also from a few states in the midwest, Texas, Utah, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Insignificant
Comments: Prunus domestica only appears to be impacting biodiversity in a very small portion of its range, and specifically in the Southern Willamette Valley, Oregon (NPS-OE 2002).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Moderate significance
Comments: Known from more than 14 ecoregions (TNC 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Voss 1985 reports that this species occurs in a number of disturbed habitats in Michigan, but also it occurs along shores and clearings which could be native species areas. Also, this species is known to be invasive in the Southern Willamette Valley in Oregon, however, it is not clear which specific habitats it has invaded there (NPS-OR 2002).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Unknown

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Unknown

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: This species is widely cultivated for its fruit, and already occurs outside of cultivation in about one third of the United States (Kartesz 1999). It is not clear how invasive this species is, but only two thirds of the US remain where this species could potentially invade (which is unlikely).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: This species is frequently dispersed by birds who eat the fruit (NPS-OR 2002). This species is also widely cultivated in the United States (Welsh et al. 1993), so its spread is undoubtedly aided by humans.

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Unknown

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: This species is known mainly in the United States from disturbed areas such as roadsides, fencerows, and clearings (Voss 1985, Gleason and Cronquist 1991), however, it has invades natural areas in at least one state, Oregon (NPS-OR 2002).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Unknown

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Low significance
Comments: Prunus domestica rootstocks sucker and flower easily (NPS-OR 2002).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Unknown

17. General Management Difficulty:Unknown

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Unknown

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Unknown

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Unknown
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2014b. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 9. Magnoliophyta: Picramniaceae to Rosaceae. Oxford University Press, New York. xxiv + 713 pp.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.

  • Native Plant Society of Oregon, Emerald Chapter. 2002. Invasive Gardening and Landscaping Plants of the Southern Willamette Valley. Online at http://www.emeraldnpso.org/inv_ornmtls.html. Accessed 2004, January, February, March.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. 2001. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.URL: http://www.ars-grin.gov/var/apache/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?6438. (Accessed 2004)

  • Voss, E.G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicotyledons. Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1212 pp.

  • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L.C. Higgins (eds.) 1993. A Utah flora. 2nd edition. Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah. 986 pp.

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