Favorite Euro Plums


I wonder why northeastern growers seen to never talk about the Cornell series that includes Victory and Seneca. I had a couple of dead ripe Victory plums today that were the best I’ve had of any plums this season- and I’ve been eating some great plums.

The quality has something to do with the fact that they were from a fairly recently transplanted nursery tree, recovered for a year and then produced the plums this one. Lower vigor often produces superior fruit. To me, once a prune plum gets towards the mid-20’s brix and has a good texture that’s about as good as it gets- and these plums were impressively big, juicy with perfect texture.

You’d think more growers would try varieties specifically bred to do well in our region.


My first Reine Claude de Bavay. This one cracked and dropped. The rest (about 10) will follow.

Left to right: Coe’s Golden Drop, Reine Claude de Bavay and Castleton.


Here is the Mirabelle Violette . The fruits are very small this year at the edge of the lack of water. But at least you have the color. aha.


Middle plum looks identical to what Cummins sells as green gage. Mine are good and bad this year. Can’t tell until I take a bite. Not a great plum in its location of somewhat limited sun.


It is supposed to be Bavay and it is yellow, not green.
Here they are on its branch (grafted).


Yeah, those are yellower than mine. I should get a stick and try that one. I’m tired of mine.


I got mine from @mrsg47.

I have Green Gage but it is so unproductive I remove the biggest branch and left a small one on. I don’t have patience to wait years.

So far, my first Bavay was good but not great yet.


By the way, my Elephant Heart plum was almost completely dead so I harvested every one a month ago. Because I have so many other plums to test and taste they have sat in my fridge all that time. I ate one today that was delicious and still with perfect texture- some crispness to it.

I bet Zaiger used it to breed all their red-fleshed pluots. It is as good as or better than any of them IMO.

This coming winter I cut down my Flavor Grenade (I dont’ like its Citation rootstock so won’t graft it over). It was good its first year but the fruit still on the tree this one are ripe but extremely bland. The haven’t gotten up the sugar. Same deal with my Laroda plum. Worthless here. Maybe with dawn to dusk sun they could get up a couple more points in brix but I can’t provide that.


My Two Elelphant hearts are still in the fridge. Out of sight, out of mind :smile:

I picked a few Euro plums today. I go by what the tags say (quite a few mislabeled I’ve found out).

Top row from left to right:
Coe’s Golden Drop. Big disappointment this year. 50% of them dropped prematurely with no reason. The ones that looked ripe were not sweet and rather dry. Could not squeeze juice out. No brix reading.

Vision- very large and great tasting. Sweet with a bit of tang. Brix 21.

Bottom row:
Middleburg (could be Imperial Espineuse - rather bland, firmer flesh and not juicy enough to get brix.

Unknown (French Improved?). Very sweet, soft texture. Excellent. Brix 26.

Castleton - I let mine become very ripe and soft. Brix 24. The ones that I picked when firmer were not as sweet.

@scottfsmith - could you please let me know whether or not my Middleburg is correct and the unknown is French Improved?

Several Middleburg have not ripened yet.

The Unknown are small to medium, reddish color. Ripening time started a few days ago. Excellent taste.


The one on the left could be a not-ripe Middleburg. They are more like the color of the plum on the right when they are ripe. I still have some hanging, it is a very late plum.

Middleburg was great for a few years but then it got bad aphids and the tree really slowed down its growth and the fruit had only been OK since then. So not sure how reliable it is. None of the Euro plums has been completely consistent for me, French this year was fine but not great. Coe’s and Bavay’s were my only knockout ones this year. I had a great load on my Reine Mirabelles but the woodchuck really liked that one, he took every single plum.

Hey I have one left on the counter, here is a picture with some other random fruits:

I ate it just now, the brix on it was 23.


Thank you. It’s good to see the color of ripe Middleburg.

Do you think the middle plums on the second row could be French Improved? Whatever they are they are great.


Oops I thought I answered that but guess not. Yes they look like French. It is a bit more squat than other varieties. It can be a very nice plum when well-ripened.


Mine are not squat !!! They are quite oval. This is the first year of this “French prune” graft fruiting. My real French Improved graft (from you) did not set fruit this year so I have nothing to compare.

It could be that I made two grafts and forgot to tag this one.


I don’t mean they are not oval, I mean they are more squat (a bit more like a pear) than your standard oval plum like Middleburg, Fellenberg, etc.

When your graft from me fruits you will hopefully know for sure!


Hey I just harvested a couple late-hanging Middleburgs:

These were the ones that were ripening the slowest and usually that means they were not getting as good a nutrient flow and are usually less sweet. Well, these were excellent! It makes me think I have been picking them too early many years. They should almost fall off in your hand when grabbed.


I was thinking about Middleburg last night. Some are still on a tree. I don’t think they do well in my colder climate. Some that fell (for whatever reason), were not ripe.

These pics were taken a moment ago.
These are on Coe’s Golden Drop.

These are on Castleton. They seem to lag behind, judging from the color.

These were dropped this morning.

Flesh was semi-soft but not juicy (I could not get juice from them to measure brix). Of these four, the one on the upper right was the best, more juice and more sweetness, given me a hint of how excellent Middleburg could be. The rest were bland.

This is my 2 nd year of fruiting Middleburg. Both years, I have had the same result - not fully ripened plums with subpar taste and texture. It needs more heat than my climate could provide. (my E plums trees get 10-12 hours of sun). It is unfortunate.


I found the same to be true with all pluots… then they are super sweet and most flavorful…


My best Euro plums this year are plums with no tag but t believe they are French Improved. Picked the last 3 today. Their brix was consistently at 29. Very sweet, soft and very pleasing, not mushy at all.

They have ripened for the past 3 weeks. Everyone I gave them to really loved them… it was my signature plum that I gave my customers for their first taste of Euro plum.


I’d love to try that one as well. I think you should try Empress so maybe we can swap. Empress seems to be Eric’s fave of prune plums he grows in his commercial orchard.


Sure. You will love this one. They are small but excellent.