Plum


Plum
/plum/, n.
a city in SW Pennsylvania. 25,390.

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Any of various trees in the genus Prunus of the rose family, and their edible fruits.

In the U.S. and Europe, plums are the most extensively distributed of the stone (drupe) fruits, most varied in native and cultivated kinds, and most adapted to a wide range of soils and climatic conditions. The fruits show a wide range of size, flavour, colour, and texture. They are widely eaten fresh, cooked, or baked in pastries. In full bloom, plum trees are covered with densely packed, showy flower clusters. The smooth-skinned fruit has a fleshy, juicy exterior and a hard interior stone or pit. Plum varieties that can be or have been dried without resulting in fermentation are called prunes.

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fruit
      fruit of the genus Prunus of the rose family (Rosaceae). Like the peach and cherry, it is a stone, or drupe, fruit. Trees of some plum species reach a height from 6 to 10 metres (20 to 33 feet), while others are much smaller; some species are small shrubs with drooping branches. The flower buds on most varieties are borne on short spurs or along the terminal shoots of the main branches. Each bud may contain from one to five flowers, two or three being most common; where the buds are close together, they give an appearance of densely packed, showy flower clusters when the trees are in full bloom. The individual flower is made up of a receptacle forming a hollow cup bearing sepals, petals, and stamens on the outer rim, surrounding a single pistil attached at the bottom of the cup. After fertilization the receptacle and attachments fall off, and the style withers and drops off, leaving the enlarged basal portion of the pistil, the ovary, which develops into the fruit.

      As the fruit grows, the outer part of the ovary ripens into a fleshy, juicy exterior, making up the edible part of the fruit, and a hard interior, called the stone, or pit. The seed is enclosed within the stone. The fruits show a wide range of size, flavour, colour, and texture.

      The common European plum (Prunus domestica) probably originated in the region around the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea. According to the earliest writings in which the plum is mentioned, the species is at least 2,000 years old. Another Old World plum species, probably of European or Asiatic origin, is the Damson plum (Prunus institia). Ancient writings connect early cultivation of these plums with the region around Damascus. It is not known when European plums were introduced into North America, but pits were probably brought over by the first colonists.

      In the United States and Europe the plum has long been recognized as one of the most delicious fruits. It is widely eaten fresh as a dessert fruit, cooked as compote or jam, or baked in a variety of pastries. Among the stone fruits, the plum ranks next to the peach in commercial production. Many varieties cultivated in the United States have been introduced from elsewhere; when these are added to the native varieties, they give plums the largest number of kinds and species among the stone fruits. Different varieties are adapted to a wide range of soils and climatic conditions. Plums respond to good soil-management practices. As trees come into bearing, they do not require much pruning and in the home fruit garden can be grown satisfactorily if diseases and pests are controlled.

      Plums are the most extensively distributed of the stone fruits. The fruit is grown over a wide region in Europe, from Italy on the south to Norway and Sweden on the north. Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, and Germany also are important producers of plums in Europe. A popular distilled liquor known as šljivovica is made from plums and constitutes an important article of commerce. Turkey and China are leading countries in plum production in Asia.

      Plum varieties that can be or have been dried without resulting in fermentation are called prunes (prune). Such plums have firm flesh and contain a sufficiently high level of sugar, qualities that favour their being preserved by drying, which is done in dehydrators or in the sun. Dried prunes keep far longer than do fresh plums.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Plum — Plum, n. [AS. pl[=u]me, fr. L. prunum; akin to Gr. ?, ?. Cf. {Prune} a dried plum.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Bot.) The edible drupaceous fruit of the {Prunus domestica}, and of several other species of {Prunus}; also, the tree itself, usually called… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • plum — pudding ou plum pouding [ plumpudiŋ ] n. m. • 1745 ; angl. plum pudding (1711), de plum « raisin sec » et pudding ♦ Pudding. Des plum puddings, des plum poudings. Abrév. fam. PLUM . Des plums. plum …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Plum — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Agnes Plum (1869–1951), deutsche Politikerin (SPD, KPD) Alois Plum (* 1935), deutscher Künstler Christina Plum (1605/1606–16. Januar 1630), bekanntes Opfer der Kölner Hexenverfolgung Michael Plum (* 1960) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • plum — plum̃ interj. 1. sunkiam trankiam žingsniui nusakyti: Plum plum eina plumpėdamas žmogus su klumpiais J. Aš einu, lydžiu plum̃ plum̃ plum̃ Jrb. 2. Jrb dusliam sudavimui nusakyti. 3. žr. plumpt 2: Atgal [į vandenį] plum̃ ta žuvis LKT77(Štk) …   Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language

  • Plum TV — is a lifestyle television channel launched in 2002 by Nantucket Nectars founder Tom Scott, along with producer Cary Woods and TV exec Chris Glowacki. The programming is locally produced largely in affluent vacation communities, marketed towards… …   Wikipedia

  • PLUM — PLUM, the Prunus domestica, of which there are many different varieties. In modern Hebrew, the name shezif is applied to the plum, but erroneously, since the ancient name shezaf is the jujube . A species of plum, Prunus ursina, grows wild in the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • plum — ► NOUN 1) an oval fleshy fruit which is purple, reddish, or yellow when ripe, containing a flattish pointed stone. 2) a reddish purple colour. 3) (before another noun ) informal highly desirable: a plum job. ● have a plum in one s mouth Cf. ↑have …   English terms dictionary

  • Plum — Plum, PA U.S. borough in Pennsylvania Population (2000): 26940 Housing Units (2000): 10624 Land area (2000): 28.628230 sq. miles (74.146772 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.385414 sq. miles (0.998217 sq. km) Total area (2000): 29.013644 sq. miles (75 …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Plum, PA — U.S. borough in Pennsylvania Population (2000): 26940 Housing Units (2000): 10624 Land area (2000): 28.628230 sq. miles (74.146772 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.385414 sq. miles (0.998217 sq. km) Total area (2000): 29.013644 sq. miles (75.144989… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • plum — (n.) O.E. plume, early Germanic borrowing (Cf. M.Du. prume, O.H.G. phruma, Ger. Pflaume) from V.L. *pruna, from L. prunum plum, from Gk. prounon, later form of proumnon, from an Asiatic language. Change of pr to pl is unique to Germanic. Meaning… …   Etymology dictionary


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