Q. I have an ornamental, purple leaf plum that’s producing fruit. My dog has been eating the fruit. Is it safe to eat?
|Purple leaf or flowering plum in a rock landscape|
A. The purple leaf plum used in landscaping was selected as a variant of a plum used in the orchard industry for many years. A similar plum that produces more fruit, Cherry Plum or Myrobalan plum, is grown for its tart fruit with a very high sugar content. Two varieties of this plum, Sprite and Delight, are personal favorites of mine. Another variant of this fruit tree is used as a rootstock for other plums. A very versatile plum!
|Cherry plum or Myrobolan plum fruit tree|
|Cherry plum fruit|
The purple leaf plums (there are several different types) were selected for their leaf color and low fruit production but ornamental beauty. However, occasionally they do produce a fair amount of edible fruit. This fruit is good for making jams and jellies, adding to pies and pastries and flavoring gelato and juices but tart when eating fresh.