Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Wild-goose Plum - Prunus munsoniana   W. Wight & Hedrick
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Section 6 » Family Rosaceae
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AuthorW. Wight & Hedrick
DistributionThere are several specimens for NC (Forsyth, Henderson, Madison, Orange, Rowan, Scotland counties), but one collection record for Henderson County (in 1993) might well consist of a natural occurrence. This record, however, consists of a single small tree at edge of road to a communications tower and is best treated as Provenance Uncertain.

This is mostly a Midwestern species, found from OH and KS south to AL and central TX. As it is regularly occurring into eastern TN, single county records from western NC and northern GA may represent natural records just east of the main range. Nonetheless, it must be considered of Uncertain Provenance in NC, and the range map below reflects this.
AbundanceExtremely rare in NC, known from only a few collections, the most likely native record being from 1993. The NCNHP does not have this species in its database, as it has generally been considered as likely not native. However, as Weakley (2018) considers it "disjunct (introduced?)" in NC, this website prefers to include the species and provide a species account, giving it a W4 Watch List status (in brackets) -- perhaps not native, but of uncertain provenance (and a recommended state rank of SE?).
HabitatThis is a species of a variety of open or semi-open habitats, typically in rich and/or moist ground. It can be found along stream banks, pond margins, and a variety of old fields and meadows.
PhenologyThe species blooms in April and May, and fruits from July to August.
IdentificationThis is a small deciduous tree, growing normally to 20-30 feet tall; it often forms thickets. It has medium-sized elliptical leaves, growing to 2.5-4 inches long, but they are narrower (about 2.5-3 times as long as wide) than most of those of other plums of small tree stature, such as P. americana. They are slightly serrated on the margins, like nearly all plums. The typical white plum flowers occur in clusters of just 2-4 flowers along the branchlets. The fruits are round and red, with diameters averaging 4/5-inch. Obviously, few biologists are familiar with the species, at least in NC, but the narrowly elliptical leaves and a somewhat moist soil habitat (in the mountains) might lead him or her to check out any large shrub or small tree for this species.
Taxonomic CommentsSome authorities consider this as P. rivularis.

Other Common Name(s)Munson Plum, Munson's Plum, Creek Plum, Hog Plum (used for other species)
State Rank[SE?]
Global RankG5
State Status[W4]
US Status
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