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Prunus mume - (Siebold.)Siebold.&Zucc.
                 
Common Name Japanese Apricot, Japanese Flowering, Apricot
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 6-8
Known Hazards Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Habitats Thickets in W. China, 300 - 2500 metres[184]. Forested slopes, beside streams, slopes along trails, sparse forests, mountains at elevations of 1700 - 3100 metres[266].
Range E. Asia - Chine, Korea.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary
Bloom Color: Pink, White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded, Vase.

Prunus mume Japanese Apricot, Japanese Flowering, Apricot


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Prunus_mume_SZ11.png
Prunus mume Japanese Apricot, Japanese Flowering, Apricot
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:KENPEI
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Prunus mume is a deciduous Tree growing to 9 m (29ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms
Armeniaca mume.

Habitats
Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Fruit;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 46, 61, 183]. Hard and sour even when fully ripe, it is scarcely edible[2, 11]. It is, however, widely used in the Orient where it is usually pickled and then used as a condiment and a vegetable[2, 11]. This is the umboshi plum that can be found in oriental stores. It is preserved in salt and used as a relish in rice dishes etc[183]. The fruit contains about 0.9% protein, 18.9% carbohydrate, 0.6% ash, no fat. The fruit is about 3cm in diameter and contains one large seed[200]. The flowers are used as a flavouring in tea[2, 183]. Seed - raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter - see the notes above on toxicity. Young budlings[183]. No more details are given.
Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Fruit (Dry weight)
  • 388 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 9.7g; Fat: 13.4g; Carbohydrate: 67.9g; Fibre: 10.4g; Ash: 9g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 82mg; Phosphorus: 269mg; Iron: 13.4mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 60mg; Potassium: 2328mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 149mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.37mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.37mg; Niacin: 3.73mg; B6: 0mg; C: 75mg;
  • Reference: [ 218]
  • Notes:
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antibacterial;  Antipyretic;  Antispasmodic;  Astringent;  Carminative;  Cholagogue;  Febrifuge;  Pectoral;  
Sialagogue;  Vermifuge.

The unripe fruit is antibacterial, antipyretic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, pectoral, sialagogue and vermifuge[116, 147, 174, 176, 178, 238]. The fruit has a broad-spectrum antibacterial activity[279]. Cooling and refreshing, it is mixed with other herbs and used internally in the treatment of bronchitis, chronic coughs, chronic diarrhoea and roundworms[174, 238, 279]. The fruit is also used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery, to stop bleeding and to ease coughs[254]. Externally, it is applied to fungal skin infections, corns and warts[238]. The half-ripe smoked fruit is considered to be antispasmodic, carminative and febrifuge[218]. Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being[238].
Other Uses
Dye.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves[168]. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit[168].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Specimen. Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, growing well on limestone[11, 200]. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present[1]. Requires a sunny position and a sheltered site[11]. This species is hardy to about -15°c[184], it succeeds when grown against a sunny wall in Britain or in a sheltered woodland[184]. Much cultivated in China and Japan for its edible fruit, there are many named varieties[11, 184]. White-flowered forms possess a sweet perfume, but red-flowered forms have no scent[245]. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged[238]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. Special Features:Not North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy.
Propagation
Seed - requires 2 - 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[200]. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[200]. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate[113]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame[11, 200]. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame[200]. Layering in spring.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
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Expert comment
 
Administrator .
Jan 8 2011 12:00AM
Tom, that is never called "plum wine" in Japan. It is called "umeshu".
Author
(Siebold.)Siebold.&Zucc.
Botanical References
11200266
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Daver Mon Jul 9 2007
I would love to find some selected varieties of these for umeboshi (particularly brown rot resistant varieties or large fruited ones). If anyone knows of a good source, please point me to it!
Elizabeth H.
michele kellerhals Thu Dec 6 2007
Does anyone have information about consumption of the fruit of Prunus Mume fruit in UK or Europe ? Thank you. Michele
Elizabeth H.
tom Thu Nov 13 2008
The Variety Nanko Ume is the best variety for umeboshi.
Elizabeth H.
Tom Fri May 15 2009
Soak Prunus Mume fruit in spirits such as vodka or brandy for 6 months for a delicious alcoholic beverage called plum wine in Japan.
Elizabeth H.
marchand Fri Aug 28 2009
recherche vinaigre de prunus mume
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Subject : Prunus mume  

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