Image for Canada plum

Canada plum

Scientific name

Prunus nigra


Canada Plum is a small tree or large shrub that grows to about 6-10 m in height. Canada Plum may also be referred to as Red Plum, Black Plum, Wild Plum, or Horse Plum. The bark is reddish-brown to black when young and greyish-brown and peeling with age. The branches contain several spines that are about 5 cm long. The leaves are deciduous, alternate, dull green in colour, broadly oval shaped, and are double toothed along the margins. Canada Plum flowers are showy, appear in clusters of 2-4, white to pale pink with 5 petals, and bloom in late April to early June before the leaves emerge. The fruit is an edible red or yellow plum that is 2.5-3 cm long and ripens between August and September. The plums can be eaten fresh or used in jams and jellies, but caution should be taken, as all parts of the tree except the skin and flesh are toxic. Several species of mammals and birds feed on the plums and the flowers attract bumblebees.

Planting conditions

Canada Plum grows best in normal to moist soils with an alkaline pH. It is adaptable to a variety of soil types, including sand, loam, and clay. Canada Plum does best in full sun or part shade conditions. Canada Plum can naturally be found growing in moist woodlands, pastures, thickets, and along stream banks and fence lines.


  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Normal
    • Moist
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
  • pH:
    • Basic
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Eco Zone:
    • 5a
  • Plant type:
    • Tree
  • Height:
    • 6-10 m
  • Spread:
    • 3-6 m