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Ripe plums

Ripe plums

Family : Rose family (Rosaceae)
Subfamily : Spiraeoideae
Tribe : Stone fruit family (Amygdaleae)
Genre : Prunus
Type : Plum ( Prunus domestica )
Subspecies : Plum
Scientific name
Prunus domestica subsp. domestica

The real plum ( Prunus domestica subsp. Domestica ) is a subspecies of the plum ( Prunus domestica ). It is grown as a fruit tree in Europe, West Asia, North America, and North and South Africa .

In Austria the name Zwetschke is written, regionally in Germany called Zwetsche or Quetsche .


Five-fold flowers with radial symmetry

Vegetative characteristics

The plum tree reaches heights of up to 6 meters, rarely up to 10 meters. Annual branches are more or less bare. Older branches are covered in most varieties with up to about 5 centimeters long, strong thorns. The simple foliage leaves are notched to serrated, mostly bare on the upper and lower sides and only rarely scattered with hair; they are not very well developed at the time of flowering.

Generative characteristics

The hermaphroditic flowers are 1.5 to 2 centimeters in diameter and are radially symmetrical and five-fold with a double flower envelope . The five sepals are elongated and hairy scattered on both sides. The five greenish-white to yellowish-green petals are elongated.

Pollen from Prunus domestica subsp. domestica , enlarged 400 times

The stone fruit is at maturity blue to blue-black, frosted, 4 to 8 centimeters long, elongated egg-shaped and tapers towards the two ends thereof significantly. The stone core is egg to crescent-shaped, flattened, pointed at both ends and almost piercing. It is 0.47 to 0.58 times as thick as it is long. Its surface is bumpy and reticulate. On the belly side, it is particularly strongly drawn towards the end of the handle. The dorsal furrow is narrow and has oblique ridges. The flesh is moderately juicy, firm and easily detaches from the core and retains its shape when the oven is hot.

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 6x = 48, with a basic chromosome number of x = 8. It is therefore a hexaploid species.


In addition to being eaten fresh, plums are also used to make plum jam ( Powidl ), cakes ( plum cake ), ice cream , dried fruit (prunes; plum crampus is traditionally made from this, with other fruits and nuts and iron wire ), vinegar plums or fruit brandy ( plum liquor ).

In the Tyrolean Oberland , the plum has been cultivated for centuries at altitudes around 1000 meters ( legend has it that the first Reiser were brought there by Petrus Canisius in the 16th century ). The Stanzer Zwetschke is registered in the register of traditional foods of the Austrian Ministry of Life and is the leading product for the region in the gourmet region Austria .

In contrast to other plums, the stone easily detaches from the pulp of ripe plums, especially if you roll them across the stone with medium pressure, as with similar fruit. Unlike other plums, it is not acid-boiling.

The wood of the plum tree has a density of 0.75 to 0.85 g / cm³ and is popular with carpenters for high-quality furniture because of its reddish-brown color and hardness .


Selection from over a hundred plum varieties grown in Central Europe :

  • Bühler Frühzwetschge , an early variety that used to be widely used
  • Čačaks Beste , a sharka-tolerant variety bred in Yugoslavia in the 1960s, which has found widespread use
  • Ersinger , a large-fruited variety
  • Elena
  • Fellenberg , widespread in Switzerland
  • House plum , an old and widespread high-yielding variety with a good aroma, but small fruits that also thrive at high altitudes
  • Italian plum , a heat-loving, aromatic table fruit
  • Jojo , a scharka- resistant plum variety
  • Kirkes plum , a particularly large-fruited and aromatic variety
  • Lützelsachser , a large-fruited variety
  • Ortenauer , is grown in wine-growing areas, also called Borssumer in northern Germany, asthis variety was first discoveredin Borssum by chance
  • Swabian stallion , a large-fruited and sweet variety with a rather dark red color
  • Stanley , with individually hanging fruits
  • Topper , new plum variety, also suitable for the home garden
  • Room


  • The blue queen - from Bühler and other plums. Documentary, Germany 2011, 30 min Written and directed. Nicola Haenchen, Production: SWR , Row: COOKING (s ), broadcast: August 19, 2011, movie information of ARD .
  • Garden of Eden - Blue Queen from Baden: the Bühler plum. Documentary film, Germany, 2016, 26:14 min., Script and director: Emanuela Casentini, production: doc.station , arte , ZDF , series: Garden of Eden , first broadcast: June 17, 2017 on arte, summary of the ARD.

Web links

Wiktionary: Zwetschge  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Zwetschge  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Hildemar Scholz, Ilse Scholz: Prunus. In: Hildemar Scholz (Hrsg.): Illustrated flora of Central Europe. Founded by Gustav Hegi . 2nd, completely revised and enlarged edition. Volume IV Part 2B: Spermatophyta: Angiospermae: Dicotyledones 2 (3) (Rosaceae, 2nd part) , Blackwell, Berlin / Vienna et al. 1995, ISBN 3-8263-2533-8 .
  2. Stiftung Warentest: Readers' question: plum or plum? In: test , 2010, No. 9 (accessed February 1, 2013).
  3. ^ Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora for Germany and neighboring areas . 8th edition. Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-8001-3131-5 . Page 573.
  4. Stanzer Zwetschke . Entry no. 54 in the register of traditional foods of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism .
  5. Fruit tree nursery, wholesaler, not a retailer, article not found on April 29th.
  6. How the "Blue Queen" fights for survival. In: , June 16, 2017. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  7. Manfred Fischer: Color Atlas of Fruit Types . Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-8001-5547-8 .