14 Plum Tree Varieties

The plum tree comes in many cultivated varieties, bearing firm fruit inside a thin, tartly flavored skin. Here is how to recognize the 14 plum types most commonly grown around the world today.

Old World or European Plums

This group includes the Damson plum, the Bradshaw and the peach-plum, the most typical plums with their dark purple-red skin, and golden yellow interior. The Greengage has green-yellow outer skin and light yellow pulp inside. The Mirabelle is a small yellow plum, highly prized in Europe. Both varieties of the Italian Prune plum are deep purple, and grow into a large oblong shape. The Yakima plum of the Pacific Northwest has a large oval-shaped fruit with red skin and firm golden flesh.

Japanese Plums

The best-known Japanese plum tree is the Satsuma, with deep red-purple skin. It cross-pollinates well with other Japanese varieties such as Shiro and Santa Rosa. The Red Heart is a famous red plum tree. The plum is deep red in color inside and out. The Gold plum has clear golden-yellow flesh and skin, while the large Methley has reddish-purple fruit and is very juicy.

All of these plum varieties are sweet enough to eat raw, and make delicious jams and jellies.