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General characteristics:

Plum is a group of trees and shrubs of genus Prunus of the family rose. Some specimens may be of height up to 9 m. Plum has simple leaves, white flowers. Fruits are of various size, color and taste, but usually they are of oval shape, fleshy drupes with a smooth thin skin. The fruit bone is usually flattened, relatively smooth. There are many cultivars which come from different regions, as well as a huge number of varieties and hybrids, which are cultivated as a fruit (drupaceous) culture and ornamental plants, valued for early blooming white flowers and reddish autumn leaves.

The fruit length varies from 1 to 6,4 centimetres. The colour of the fruit may have different tincture such as red, blue, purple, yellow and green. They also differ regarding their density and degree of sweetness, acid and setting power of flesh. The nucleus may be grown to the flesh or free. Plum (Latin Prunus) is a sort of drupaceous plants includes such species as plum, cherry, peach, apricot, almond, and others. There are several hundred species of plum, distributed mainly in northern temperate regions of the globe. The flowers are usually white or pink, with five petals and five sepals. They may be solitary or in buds. Fruits are of all varieties of Prunus - drupe with a relatively large stone. Leaves are simple and usually lanceolate with serrated edges.

Garden plum  (P. domestica) originates probably from Asia, cultivated since prehistoric times. It was brought into the North America during the colonial era and nowadays it is widespread all over the United States. The fruits are dense, of different colors. At least a dozen of species used in horticulture are local for the North America. Black, or Canadian plum (P. nigra), with oblong orange-red fruits and American plum  (P. americana) with small, solid yellow with red spots fruits gave rise to winter-hardy varieties. There are other wild ancestors of cultural plums such as Chickasaw plum, Cherokee plum, Florida sand plum, sandhill plum, or sand plum (P. angustifolia) with small, like cherry, red, yellow, and yellow with red dots fruit; Creek plum (P. munsoniana) is a shrub with bright red or yellow fruit; wild goose plum (P. hortulana) with small fruits whose color varies from red to yellow; Klamath plum  (P. subcordata) with dark red fruits. The plum (P. salicina) originates from China and brought into the US from Japan. It has large, firm, yellow or light red fruit. The beach plum (P. maritima) is a branchy shrub which grows white flowers in spring and then has beautiful purple spherical fruits. It is cultivated as ornamental plant.

Chemical composition of plum:

These fruits contain 9.6 - 31% of solids, sugars - from 6.2 to 15.8%. Sugars content is represented by glucose, fructose, sucrose, sorbitol. The fruits of plums are rich in pectin substances - 0.4-1.8%. Organic acids content is 0.5-2.8%, it is represented mainly by malic, citric, tartaric and quinic acids. These fruits contain a large amount of vitaimins such P-active compounds, vitamin B, and carotene. In comparison with other fruits plums contain less of  vitamin C fruits (5,6-14,4 mg / 100 g). Carotene content of plum fruit is from 0.1 to 4.9 mg / 100. In addition, such chemical components as folic acid 0.1 mg / 100g Vitamin B2 (up to 500mg / kg), riboflavin (up to 460 mg / kg), thiamine (168 mg / kg), vitamin PP (66 mg / kg), vitamin E (380 mg / kg) are detected in plum fruit. Total mineral content in the flesh of the fruit of plum is 0.3-0.5%. Plums accumulate up to 370 mg / 100 g of potassium and sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, aluminum, cobalt, boron, zinc, nickel, chrome. Regarding iron content (2,7-20 mg / 100 g) plum fruit is second inferior to peaches, grapes and figs.

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