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Any of various trees in the genus Prunus of the rose family, and their edible fruits. In the U.S. and Europe, plums are the most extensively distributed of the stone (drupe) fruits, most varied in native and cultivated kinds, and most adapted to a wide range of soils and climatic conditions. The fruits show a wide range of size, flavour, colour, and texture. They are widely eaten fresh, cooked, or baked in pastries. In full bloom, plum trees are covered with densely packed, showy flower clusters. The smooth-skinned fruit has a fleshy, juicy exterior and a hard interior stone or pit. Plum varieties that can be or have been dried without resulting in fermentation are called prunes.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on plum, visit Britannica.com.