Indian Plum

Indian Plum, Vancouver Island, BC
Indian Plum, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

The Indian plum is a shrub that can grow up to 5 m tall. The stems are clumped, and the bark is purplish to brown. The Leaves are oblong shaped with a short leaf stalk,  the blades are up to 12 cm long, pale green and smooth above, paler, and often sparsely hairy below. If you crush a leaf, it will smell like cucumber. It smells very nice.

The flowers droop loosely and are up to 10 cm long, they are in clusters that form at the ends of short auxiliary branches. The flowers are mostly uni-sexual. The male and female flowers are on separate plants. The flowers appear very early in the year, just as the leaves are developing.

When the fruits develop, they are like small plums with a large stone, about 1 cm long, bluish-black with a whitish bloom, up to 5 per female flower are produced with each containing one stone.
They grow in a variety of soil and weather conditions, you can find them on the south coast islands and corresponding south coast. Although the fruit is edible, it has a bitter taste, best to dry them and eat like large raisins.

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