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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Plum
Prunus cultivar (mature fruits with natural wax bloom)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Maloideae or Spiraeoideae [1]
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Prunus
Species

See text.

Plums (without pit) Prunus spp.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 192 kJ (46 kcal)
Carbohydrates 11.4 g
Sugars 9.9 g
Dietary fibre 1.4 g
Fat 0.28 g
Protein 0.70 g
Vitamin A 345 IU
Vitamin C 9.5 mg (16%)
Phosphorus 16 mg (2%)
Potassium 157 mg (3%)
1 fruit (2-1/8" dia) 66 g
1 cup, sliced 165 g
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database
Plums, dried (prunes), uncooked
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,006 kJ (240 kcal)
Carbohydrates 63.88 g
Sugars 38.13 g
Dietary fibre 7.1 g
Fat 0.38 g
Protein 2.18 g
Vitamin A 781 IU
Vitamin C 0.6 mg (1%)
Phosphorus 69 mg (10%)
Potassium 732 mg (16%)
1 prune, pitted 9.5 g
1 cup, pitted 174 g
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

A plum or gage is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera (peaches, cherries, bird cherries, etc) in the shoots having a terminal bud and the side buds solitary (not clustered), the flowers being grouped 1-5 together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one side, and a smooth stone.

Mature plum fruits may have a dusty-white coating that that gives them a glaucous appearance and is easily rubbed off. This is an epicuticular wax coating and is known as "wax bloom".

Contents

Species

The subgenus is divided into three sections:

  • Sect. Prunus (Old World plums). Leaves in bud rolled inwards; flowers 1-3 together; fruit smooth, often wax-bloomed.
  • Sect. Prunocerasus (New World plums). Leaves in bud folded inwards; flowers 3-5 together; fruit smooth, often wax-bloomed.
  • Sect. Armeniaca (Apricots). Leaves in bud rolled inwards; flowers very short-stalked; fruit velvety. Treated as a distinct subgenus by some authors.

Cultivation and uses

Plum and sloe output in 2005
Plums

Plum fruit tastes sweet and/or tart; the skin may be particularly tart. It is juicy and can be eaten fresh or used in jam-making or other recipes. Plum juice can be fermented into plum wine; when distilled, this produces a brandy known in Eastern Europe as Slivovitz, Rakia, Ţuică or Palinka. Dried plums are also known simply as prunes, as if 'prune' signified merely a dried plum - however, prunes are a distinct type of plum, and may have predated the fruits that we know more commonly as plums.[citation needed] Prunes are also sweet and juicy and contain several antioxidants. Plums and prunes are known for their laxative effect. This effect has been attributed to various compounds present in the fruits, such as dietary fiber, sorbitol,[2] and isatin.[3] Prunes and prune juice are often used to help regulate the functioning of the digestive system.

As with many other members of the rose family, plum seeds contain cyanogenetic glycosides, including amygdalin.[4] These substances are capable of decomposing into a sugar molecule and hydrogen cyanide gas. While plum seeds are not the most toxic within the rose family, that dubious honor going to the bitter almond, large doses of these chemicals from any source are hazardous to human health.

Dried prune marketers in the United States have, in recent years, begun marketing their product as "dried plums." This is due to "prune" having negative connotations connected with elderly people suffering from constipation.[5]

Dried, salted plums are used as a snack, sometimes known as salaito or salao. Various flavors of dried plum are available at Chinese grocers and specialty stores worldwide. They tend to be much drier than the standard prune. Cream, Ginsing, Spicy, and Salty are among the common varieties. Licorice is generally used to intensify the flavor of these plums and is used to make salty plum drinks and toppings for Shaved Ice or baobing.

Pickled plums are another type of preserve available in Asia and international specialty stores. The Japanese variety, called umeboshi, is often used for rice balls, called "Onigiri" or "Omusubi." The ume, from which umeboshi are made, is however more closely related to the apricot than to the plum.

Prune kernel oil is made from the fleshy inner part of the pit of the plum.

Plums come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Some are much firmer-fleshed than others and some have yellow, white, green or red flesh, with equally varying skin color.

Blossoming plum, by Chinese artist Wang Mian (1287-1359).

Plum cultivars in use today include:

  • Damson, or Damask Plum
  • Greengage (Firm, green flesh and skin even when ripe.)
  • Mirabelle (Dark yellow, predominantly grown in northeast France.)
  • Satsuma plum (Firm red flesh with a red skin.)
  • Yellowgage, or Golden plum (Similar to Greengage, but yellow.)

When it flowers in the early spring, a plum tree will be covered in blossom, and in a good year approximately 50% of the flowers will be pollinated and become plums. Flowering starts after 80 growing degree days.

If the weather is too dry the plums will not develop past a certain stage, but will fall from the tree while still tiny green buds, and if it is unseasonably wet or if the plums are not harvested as soon as they are ripe, the fruit may develop a fungal condition called brown rot. Brown rot is not toxic, and very small affected areas can be cut out of the fruit, but unless the rot is caught immediately the fruit will no longer be edible. Plum is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera including November Moth, Willow Beauty and Short-cloaked Moth.

The Serbian plum (Serbian: шљива / šljiva) is the third most produced in the world and the alcoholic drink slivovitz (Plum brandy) (Serbian: шљивовица / šljivovica) is the national drink of Serbia. The plum production averages 424,300 tons per year; FAO 1991–2001.[citation needed]

A large number of plums are also grown in Hungary where they are called szilva and are used to make lekvar (a plum paste jam), palinka (a slivovitz-type liquor), plum dumplings, and other foods. The region of Szabolcs-Szatmár, in the northeastern part of the country near the borders with Ukraine and Romania, is a major producer of plums.

The mei blossom (Prunus mume), along with the peony, are considered traditional floral emblems of China. On June 21, 1964, the Executive Yuan of the Republic of China officially designated the mei blossom to be its national flower, with the triple grouping of stamens (one long and two short) representing the Three Principles of the People and the five petals symbolizing the five branches of the ROC government.[6] The designation repeats a previous statement by the ROC government in 1929.[7]

The mei blossom is also the floral symbol of the ancient Chinese city Nanjing, which served as the former capital (and remained designated as the official capital) of the Republic of China.

The plum is commonly used in China, Yunnan area, to produce a local plum wine with a smooth, sweet, fruity taste and approximately 12% alcohol by volume.[citation needed]

Etymology

The fruit Prunus armeniaca gained its name from the beliefs of Pliny the Elder, a Roman historian and scientist of the 1st century, who maintained that the apricot was a kind of a plum, and had originally come from Armenia.[8] Armenian sources support their claims by referring to a 6,000-year-old apricot pit found in an archaeological site near Yerevan.[8] Other historians point that Mesopotamia as a clue to the Latin name. Apricots were cultivated in Mesopotamia, and it was known as armanu in the Akkadian language.

See also

References

  1. ^ Potter, D.; Eriksson, T.; Evans, R.C.; Oh, S.H.; Smedmark, J.E.E.; Morgan, D.R.; Kerr, M.; Robertson, K.R.; Arsenault, M.P.; Dickinson, T.A.; Campbell, C.S. (2007). Phylogeny and classification of Rosaceae. Plant Systematics and Evolution. 266(1–2): 5–43.
  2. ^ M. Roach, The power of prunes (1999)
  3. ^ FoodTV article on plums
  4. ^ Poisons of the Rose family
  5. ^ Jason Zasky. "Turning Over a New Leaf Change from 'Prune' to 'Dried Plum' Proving Fruitful". http://www.failuremag.com/arch_business_dried_plums.html. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  6. ^ National Flag, Anthem and Flower
  7. ^ China Daily, National Flower, Tree, Bird to Be Chosen
  8. ^ a b Armenian Food: Fact, Fiction & Folklore By Irina Petrosian, David Underwood

External links

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
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From BibleWiki


This fruit and the plum ( (missing hebrew text) ; Prunus domestica) are mentioned only in late times: the former in the Mishnah (Kil. i. 4; Ma'as. i. 2); the latter not until the Gemara (Löw, "Aramäische Pflanzennamen," No. 105).

This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.
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Simple English

Plum
File:Plum on
Plums
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Prunoideae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Prunus

A plum is a sweet fruit. Its scientific name is Prunus. (scientific names are uncommon so you should not use prunus in normal English). When dried, it is called a prune. The color "plum" takes its name from the fruit. Plum colored plums are called purple plums and are a deep purple color; other plums are reddish purple (these two varieties are shown in the picture at right). Some other plums can be yellow, red, green or even white. The fruit has a groove running down one side, and a smooth stone (seed). The flesh of the fruit is brownish and is very juicy. The skin can be eaten. It can also be used to make jam and the juice can be used to make wine. It is closely related to the apricot.

Other pages

Other websites

Look up Prunus in Wikispecies, a directory of species
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Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:
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