Prunus mume

  • Scientific Name: Prunus mume (Siebold) Siebold & Zucc.
  • Ref: Fl. Jap. 1:29, t. 11. 1836
  • Synonyms: Armeniaca mume Sieb.; Prunopsis mume (Siebold) André; Prunus makinoensis Lév.
  • English Common Name: Chinese Plum
  • Chinese Common Name: 梅 méi
  • Japanese Common Name: ウメ [梅] ume
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Genus: Prunus
  • Subgenus: P. subg. Prunus
  • Sectio: P. sect. Armeniaca
  • Distribution: Forested slopes, sparse forests, stream sides, slopes along trails, mountains, also commonly cultivated; 1700–3100 m. Native in W Sichuan and W Yunnan; cultivated throughout most of China particularly in areas S of the Chang Jiang [Japan, Korea, N Laos, N Vietnam].
  • Photo: 05/24/2019, Yuquan Campus, Zhejiang University
Trees, rarely shrubs, 4–10 m tall. Bark grayish to tinged with green, smooth. First year branchlets green, smooth, glabrous or densely incanous. Winter buds purplish brown, ovoid, 3–6 mm, glabrous, apex acute. Petiole 1–2 cm, densely incanous or pubescent when young, often with nectaries; leaf blade ovate, ovate-elliptic, elliptic, obovate, or obovate-oblanceolate, 4–8 × 2.5–5 cm, grayish green, both surfaces pubescent when young, gradually glabrescent or only abaxially pubescent in vein axils with age, base broadly cuneate to rounded, margin usually acutely serrulate, apex caudate. Flowers solitary or 2 in a fascicle, opening before leaves, 2–2.5 cm in diam., strongly fragrant. Pedicel 1–10 mm, glabrous. Hypanthium usually reddish brown but green to greenish purple for some cultivated varieties, broadly campanulate, 2.5–4 mm, outside glabrous or sometimes pubescent. Sepals ovate to suborbicular, 3–5 mm, apex obtuse. Petals white or pink, obovate, 0.9–1.4 × 0.8–1.2 cm. Stamens shorter to slightly longer than petals. Ovary densely pubescent. Style shorter to slightly longer than stamens. Drupe yellow to greenish white, subglobose, 2–3 cm in diam., pubescent; mesocarp sour, adnate to endocarp; endocarp ellipsoid to subglobose, slightly compressed on both sides, ventral suture somewhat obtuse, distinctly longitudinally furrowed on ventral and dorsal sides, surface pitted, base cuneate, obtuse, or rounded, apex obtuse and abruptly mucronulate. Fl. winter to spring, fr. May–Jun (or Jul–Aug in N China). (Flora of China)

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