Kaga Plum

This one is new to me, a few dozen fruit produced by some 2nd leaf grafts on topworked p americana. Small size, similar to Toka, meaty dark flesh, clingstone.
Not so good for out of hand eating unless dead ripe- acidic and astringent, almost like a plum version of aronia. But surely a good one for preserves or wine. Also supposedly a good pollinator for other hybrid varieties.
I made a batch of jam with them mixed with wild bluebs, came out quite nice and richly flavored.


Hello, those are not Kaga’s, Kaga’s have yellow flesh, red skin and are very aromatic. The skin is tart, but the flesh is sweet. Those look more like some of the wild prairie plums out of Canada (Compass?) with dark purple flesh and green purple skin.


Eric, I appreciate your input as a northern plum grower. I also had some doubts about this variety being true to type as I had read some catalog descripotions that match yours.


Fedco seems to agree with mine however-

I got my scionwood from at the Mofga scion swap, and figure it must be Fedco in origin.
I am happy with its unique qualities, early productivity.

I would like to try your type too as it sounds quite similar to Toka, a favorite of mine!
I hope you are having a good season, Jesse.

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The fruit looks similar to my old stalwart hardy cherry-plum Sapalta (tart skin but really good flesh when ripe). Makes great sauce, wine, jam. I have a Kaga tree from Fedco that is 6 yrs old but no fruit and it’s just hanging in there without much enthusiasm. Could be it doesn’t like the unruly neighbors (a Gracious and a tri-plum of Underwood/LaCrescent/Gracious). Interesting that Fedco says the flesh is purple-black. An old article I have from an early publication of the Seed Savers Exchange about Hanson’s plums says Kaga was a sister to and similar to Hanska “…beautiful color, which is bright red with heavy blue bloom, firm yellow flesh, good quality and rich fragrance…”.I suppose a Kaga back then isn’t the same as a Kaga now? Whatever the color it looks like yours is doing great. I’m going to go talk to my tree and show it your photo.

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I have a Kaga from Grandpa’s Orchard. They’re description says it is “purple-black and about an inch in diameter. The flesh is meaty. A dense, bush like tree.”

Mine is a dense, bush like tree, and about 1 inch diameter, but I’m pretty sure the fruit was red with yellow flesh. I, also, was wondering if it is really a kaga. Mine does match the descriptions of being very similar to Toka. I was disappointed the frost hit my blooms this year because it was very tasty last year.

While I’m thinking of it, I’ve been trying to find a Compass and/or Sapalta cherry plum for awhile. The only sites that seem to have them are in Canada. Does anyone know where you can order these in the US?

I can provide you with scion from my ‘Kaga’ if you want, it seems very similar to Sapalta.
I’d be happy with your Kaga’s scion in exchange…

Sounds good. Are you thinking next spring?


Hanska–The fruit is medium size and bright red. The flesh is reddish, firm, and semi-freestone.

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Feb-March 2017?

I came across something weird. Page 14 of this publication lists Kaga as an apricot-plum hybrid. I wonder if the author confused it with “Shiro Kaga”, which has no connection with shiro plums or kaga plums. It is a prunus mume but is commonly referred to as a plum or apricot.

I love the way this industry recycles names and implies incorrect relationships for relatability.

The Kaga I have tastes almost identical to Toka but they ripen at different times and have different growth habits. Hanska is another one that is probably very similar to these two but mine hasn’t fruited yet. As best as I can tell from internet searches, they are all crosses of Prunus Americana and Prunus Simonii. Prunus Simonii is often called the Chinese Apricot-Plum but it doesn’t sound like it tastes much like the apricots we are used to.


As grown here, Hanska is a much larger fruit than Toka, and taste very different.

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Good to hear that Hanska is larger. Hopefully this will be the year it fruits for me.

Can you describe Hanska’s taste?

Luther Burbank extensively used P. simonii in his plum breeding, so many popular Asian plums have some P. simonii in their ancestry.


Can you @ztom talk more about differences between Toka and Kaga? Hopefully I will get some fruit from my new Kaga plum grafts in 2019. Interesting to know the genetic back round of these, thanks for the info!
My mis-IDed Kaga, likely a chum of some sort, has continued to be productive. Really favored by the birds as well…

The Kaga I have is very vigorous and has a “bush like” growth habit, though it still has a tree form. Lots of upright branches almost in a tangled mess. The fruit was about the same size and color as Toka but about a week or so later. It has the same distinctive flavor as Toka, but maybe a little milder. Mine were damaged by PC last year but still managed to be somewhat edible. It has started to set lots of fruit for me, but because it is so dense I have a hard time keeping the PC out.

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I wonder which one of these has a stem that pulls out of the fruit instead of breaking flush at the surface? I’ve had issues with fruit flies going down into the the stem holes on Toka and Superior plums.