Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Oklahoma plum

with 25 comments


The third new species to appear here in the past few weeks is the Oklahoma plum, Prunus gracilis. At least that’s what this is likely to be, based on comments by several knowledgeable people in Facebook’s Texas Flora group. After we drove past this densely flowering thicket along the main road in Buescher State Park in Bastrop County on March 5th, I pulled over as soon as I safely could and walked back to take pictures.




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Did you hear about the student at a Catholic high school in Canada who got suspended for opposing the school’s policy of allowing biological boys into girls’ bathrooms? When the student showed up at school anyhow, administrators had him arrested. Not your grandparents’ Catholic school, eh?

You can read more about it.


© 2023 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 15, 2023 at 4:25 AM

25 Responses

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  1. I’ve been seeing more and more white-flowering trees tucked into thickets and along roadsides. In at least one case, I decided I was seeing Mexican plum, but it’s hard for me to sort them out. This is a gorgeous example. Catching them at the right time seems to be important. The flowers don’t appear to linger, and it’s not long before the leaves begin to obscure them.


    March 15, 2023 at 7:03 AM

    • I think you’re right about the importance of catching these at the right time, which we fortunately did, as they seemed to have hit their flowering peak. If only we could be everywhere at once, right?

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 15, 2023 at 8:17 AM

  2. How lovely! To be honest when I read the title was Plum I had expected pink flowers!


    March 15, 2023 at 9:23 AM

    • For me it would be the reverse. All the native plum trees and shrubs here have white flowers. I had to go online to see pictures of pink ones.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 15, 2023 at 9:42 AM

  3. Two plum shots.

    Steve Gingold

    March 15, 2023 at 4:25 PM

  4. Yup, not plumb crazy but plum nice, pardner.

    Robert Parker

    March 15, 2023 at 4:50 PM

  5. This was another species that I failed to encounter while within its native range. I was not looking for it though. Chickasaw plum, Prunus angustifolius, is now available as a fruit tree. It sort of makes me wonder about the other North American species.


    March 15, 2023 at 11:18 PM

    • You can be the first kid on your block to collect the whole set.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2023 at 6:22 AM

      • Well, . . . no. I prefer cultivars of stone fruits that formerly inhabited the vast orchard of the Santa Clara Valley decades ago. American plum is naturalized only because it was an understock for some of them. I added a beach plum (from the Atlantic Coast) and might add Chickasaw plum, but must limit my selection. I would have grown Prunus gracilis only if I happened to encounter it, but will not go looking for it unless I determine it to be particularly desirable. . . . That is sort of what happened with beach plum. I should have known better. I still investigate other species.


        March 16, 2023 at 9:36 PM

  6. The plum blossoms are lovely! Buds on trees are finally swelling up here, though it was only 26 degrees this morning. It will be a while yet.

    Lavinia Ross

    March 16, 2023 at 4:55 PM

    • We’re already pushing past the time of plum blossoms here, so much further south are we down here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2023 at 5:21 PM

  7. The black branches really stand out in that image – puts up a bit of competition for those buxom blossoms.


    March 16, 2023 at 6:18 PM

    • Those dark branches contrast nicely with the blossoms and go a long way toward turning this into a black and white image.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2023 at 6:42 PM

  8. White blossom is starting to appear around here. A lot is blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), which will have fruits later that many people use to make sloe gin. (Just to be different, I’ve gathered them too, for a friend who used them to make a natural dye for yarn.)

    Ann Mackay

    March 16, 2023 at 6:36 PM

    • Not familiar with that species, I looked it up. As Wikipedia notes: “Prunus spinosa, called blackthorn or sloe, is a species of flowering plant in the rose family Rosaceae. The species is native to Europe, western Asia, and regionally in northwest Africa. It is locally naturalized in New Zealand, Tasmania, and the Pacific Northwest and New England regions of the United States.”

      I hope the spiny branches didn’t take their revenge on you for gathering fruit.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2023 at 6:47 PM

  9. It amazes me that such an abundance of beautiful flowers produces poor quality plums. Mind you, the same thing amazes me with the nectarine in my garden. It always has gorgeous blossom but the fruit yield is poor. The harvest this year was exactly one nectarine. It was delicious though!


    March 16, 2023 at 8:11 PM

    • You had a lot invested in that lone nectarine, which for your sake I’m happy proved delicious. Otherwise, what a disappointment the season would have been.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2023 at 10:16 PM

    • Ae is a new word for me, and almost as brief as the Canadian eh that I’ve been aware of for a long time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2023 at 10:29 PM

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