Elephant Heart Japanese Plum
Large Heart Shaped Plums
Elephant Heart, P. salicina 'Elephant Heart', produces large, heart-shaped plums with sweet, juicy richly flavored firm blood red flesh. It's juicy, blood-red flesh has a rich and distinctive flavor that is good for fresh eating, canning and freezing.
Elephant Heart ripens when most plums are long gone, in September, so you can spread your plum harvest throughout the year. It's a prolific bearer.
Plums can grow in many soil types, but do best in fertile, well-drained soil. Periodic deep watering in summer months is advised, even though the trees are fairly drought tolerant. Heavy pruning is necessary at all ages.
Plums are delightful eaten fresh, and can be stewed, used in jams and jellies, or made into compotes, puddings, pies, and cakes. Plums are a good source of Vitamin C.
- Blood Red Flesh
- Late Maturity
- Prolific Production of Large Fruit
Buying Options for Plants
Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.
Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!
Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.
- Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
- Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.
Nature Hills Container Size by Volume
|Young Plants to 18 Months|
|2"x2"x3"||Ranges from||.18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume|
|4.5" Container||Equal to||.65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume|
|Sprinter Pot||Equal to||.63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume|
|4" Container||Ranges from||.31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume|
|6" Container||Equal to||1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume|
|1 Quart||Equal to||1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume|
|5.5" Container||Equal to||1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x5"||Ranges from||.8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x6"||Ranges from||1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x9"||Ranges from||1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x10"||Ranges from||1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old|
|2 Quart||Equal to||2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume|
|#1 Container||Ranges from||2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume|
|5"x5"x12"||Equal to||3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 2 - 4 Years Old|
|#2 Container||Ranges from||1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume|
|#3 Container||Ranges from||2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 3 - 5 Years Old|
|#5 Container||Ranges from||2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume|
|#7 Container||Ranges from||5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume|
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Flavorful Elephant Heart Japanese Plum
Upon his death in 1926, Luther Burbank was credited with at least 113 named varieties of Plums. Though Elephant Heart was developed by Burbank and selected by him in 1920, it would not be released and named until 3 years after his death in 1929.
The Elephant Heart plum is most likely a hand pollinated cross of possibly Satsuma and some unknown
The Stark Brothers Nursery received most of Burbank's work after his death and were tasked with determining what had value and what could be let go. The Elephant Heart Plum already being a selection that Burbank had made, along with the fruit's obvious unique qualities, put it on the fast track for naming and release by the Stark Brothers in 1929.
Named for its heart-shaped fruit, large size and rich, deep red flesh color, the variety saw limited success in the commercial markets. This was most likely due to its delicate skin which bruises easily and short shelf life after harvest. The home garden market, concerned mostly with flavor, quickly became the primary market. Aside from a few Farmers Market Growers, the popularity continues in the home garden today.
Considered by many to be one of the finest eating, late season plums. The Elephant Heart remains somewhat tart until fully ripe and some prefer this quality. Picked fresh at the time of peak ripeness, the acid sugar balance is perfect, the fruit is juicy with a rich, complex, incomparable flavor.
One of the traits that keep the Elephant Heart a home garden favorite is the long hang time. The fruit eats well and hangs on the tree continuing to sweeten for well over a month. During this time the tartness of the fruit softens, finishing with almost a tropical-like quality; with the skin taking on a tart berry like flavor that only adds to the eating experience. All in all, this is one of Burbank's finest that he never named.
|Botanical Name||Prunus salicina 'Elephant Heart'|
|Mature Height||Standard: 15 - 25 feet|
|Mature Spread||18 to 24 inches|
|Soil Type||Widely Adaptable|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun|
|Foliage Color||Very Fragrant|
|Fruiting Time||3 to 5 years|