Plum (tree)

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Plum tree by Baiitsu
MFA# 2007.105


Silk dyed with plum tree flowers

Any of several deciduous fruit trees, such as Prunus avium and Prunus domestica, that bear small, sweet, reddish purple fruit with a smooth skin. Plum trees have been cultivated for their fruit for over 2000 years. The dark brownish-red wood from plum trees has been used for small decorative articles, inlays and furniture. Plum wood is hard and strong with a straight grain and fine, uniform texture. The trees also exude a water-soluble gum. Plum tree flowers have been used as a dye.

See also ([Uemera Dye Archive (Hakubaika and Ume)] )

Synonyms and Related Terms

Prunus avium; Prunus domestica; cerisier des oiseaux (Fr.);cerezo (Esp.); cerejeira (Port.); ciliegio (It.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Medium height (5-6 m).
  • Flowers in early spring
  • Density = 35-49 ppcf


Plum gum.tif

Resources and Citations

  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • F. H. Titmuss, Commercial Timbers of the World, The Technical Press Ltd., London, 1965 Comment: 35-45 ppcf
  • R.Gale, P.Gasson, N.Hepper, G.Killen, "Wood" , Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p. 334-371., 2000
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: density=41-49 ppcf (0.66-0.78 g/cm3)