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Common Name:

Mexican Plum

Scientific Name:

Prunus mexicana

Family Name:



Mexican Plum is a handsome native small deciduous tree with a rounded crown. Trees are valued most for their showy fragrant white spring flowers. The small yellow plums are edible. This species is a good substitute in Texas for Crabapples (Malus spp.) which have troubles with cotton root rot and inaddequate winter chilling. Plants tend to be serviceable, but rather bland when not in flower. Old trunks may develop an interesting exfoliation pattern.

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, large shrub, tree, small tree



Flower Color:

White, somtimes flushed pink, in showy clusters

Fruit Characteristics:

Small plums, yellow-red to yellow-purple with a waxy bloom; edible.


15 ft to 20 ft (25 ft)


20 ft to 25 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Texas native that can persist on minimal inputs. Fruit are an important wildlife food. Sometimes used as a rootstock for commercial Prunus clones of other species. Cotton root rot resistant, but needs well drained soils.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.