Carol DeCapua photo
The Beach Plum (Prunus maritima) is native to the East Coast and thrives in sand dunes, helping with erosion. The strong taproot and spreading roots help to stabilize the area, especially during coastal storms. It tolerates salt and cold winters.
Flowers appear in May and June, and its tiny fruit ripens in late August to September. The bittersweet fruit can be picked and eaten, but it's mostly used to make jam.
In our area, though, the migrating birds often enjoy the fruit before it is picked.
Beach Plum trees are invaluable to our coastal habitat, and are wonderful pollinators for cross pollination.