Prunus maritima beach plum Rosaceae PRMA; Q, j, tl; K, m, pl; R, bm, cg, ch, gw, hs;

Prunus maritima.Copyright David G.

Prunus maritima. Copyright David G. Smith.

Prunus maritima is a shrub to 2.5 m tall, sprawling, angular, much-branched, bark black, rough. 

Leaves alternate, 4-7 cm long, ca half as wide as long, upper surface dull, puckered (rugose), lower surface hairy, margin toothed. 

Prunus maritima (beach plum).Zihao Wang.NYC.6/2016

Prunus maritima (beach plum), flower. Zihao Wang.NYC.6/2016

Flowers white, about 1 cm wide, petals to 0.6 cm long, widest above middle, narrowed to base (cuneate) sepals 0.25 cm long, finely hairy, expanded floral base (hypanthium) hairy, (typical Rosaceae/Prunus flower). 

Prunus maritima (beach plum), in fruit. Gary Lincoff. NYC. 8/2017

Prunus maritima (beach plum), in fruit. Gary Lincoff. NYC. 8/2017

Fruit fleshy, purple-black, surface waxy-whitish (glaucous), about 1.5 cm long. 1-seeded. Seed load 11%, pulp nutrients: water 83%, lipid < 1%, CHO 55% (White 1989). Edible. 

Wetland status: UPL. 

Frequency in NYC: Occasional. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Open, dry sandy areas in undisturbed areas along the shore, back dunes. Salt tolerant.