Botanical Name : Prunus domestica
Common names : Bullace, Plum, Wild Plum, Egg Plum, Round Plum, Black Bullace. The name is commonly thought to derive from the French word "beloce" meaning slow.
Physical appearance : Typically a large shrub or small tree, growing up to 8 metres in height. It has small, green leaves which are lightly toothed and have a lighter underside. The plum generally produces white blossom which is sweet smelling. The fruits on the wild varieties are always smaller and sour, when compared to cultivated varieties.
Best places to find : Fairly common throughout British woodlands and hedgerows.
Edible parts : The fruit is edible directly from the tree. Some varieties may need to be sweetened or cooked as they may be unpalatable due to their sourness. There are many cross over varieties, between cultivated and wild plums. There are now many cultivated varieties which can come in many colours and shapes. The "wild" varieties are often a little tart to taste and are usually very dark purple.
Time of year : November to January. Particularly, the fruit of wild cultivars can stay on the tree for a long time.
(Above - the dark fruit of the Bullace).
Recipe : Plum crumble - Made in exactly the same way as any other crumble. If you are using a sour or wild variety, sugar can be added or try using bananas and honey for sweetness. Add some flaked almonds to the crumble for extra crunch and texture.
Alternative recipe : Dried fruit and plum compot drink. Try using dried apricots (which add sweetness and body) to raw plums. Add honey for sweetness, to taste. Add 1 small cinnamon stick. Cover with water and boil for an hour. This makes a great Christmas/ seasonal drink. Very warming and restorative, as well as absolutely delicious!
NB! - Please be sure you know what you are picking, many plants look similar to each other and may be poisonous. If you are unsure, please seek professional instruction!
The Bushgear Team
By Christian Ferrer - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38469502
By YAMAMAYA - Photo taken by YAMAMAYA, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3919550