A small tree to 25 feet tall and a short trunk 8" to 10" in diameter, with a short, irregular crown of dull green foliage.
In East and Central Texas, on moist slopes, creek bottoms, fencerows, and canyons, usually as a solitary tree. Also planted widely in Texas as a landscape tree.
Simple, alternate, 2" to 4" long and 1.5" to 3" wide, oval, often cupped at the edges, abruptly pointed at the tip and rounded at the base, and finely toothed (sometimes double-toothed) along the margin. The upper surface is smooth, thickened, and textured, yellow-green; lower surface lighter, hairy along the veins; leaves turn yellow or sometimes red in the fall.
Numerous clusters of white, five-petaled flowers, 0.75" in diameter, appear in March before the leaves.
A plum (actually a drupe) that ripens in late summer, 1.25" in diameter, dark purple-red with a bluish "bloom", with a smooth stone 0.75" long under the juicy flesh.
Dark gray to nearly black, smooth when young with horizontal lenticels, developing broad plates with curled edges when older.
Fruits are used to make jams and jellies. Widely available as a drought-hardy landscape tree in commercial nurseries.
Flatwoods plum (Prunus umbellata) has smaller fruits and is found along sandy riverbottoms in East Texas.
Mexican plum is usually the first tree to flower in March, marking the end of winter in Texas.