The Elephant Heart Plum Tree (Prunus salicina 'Elephant Heart') produces large, heart-shaped plums with sweet, juicy richly flavored blood-red flesh. It's firm and juicy and excellent for fresh eating, canning and freezing!
A Japanese Plum variety, the Elephant Heart ripens when most plums are long gone, with a prolific harvest in September. You can extend your plum harvest longer by planting this tree among your earlier fruiting varieties!
Originating in the early 1900s by Luther Burbank, this is sometimes known as the Burbank Elephant Heart Plum tree or the Blood Plum due to its coloration.
Smothered in glorious white blossoms in the spring, your tree will be humming with pollinators! These fragrant flowers are an early spring delight! The dark-green foliage emerges soon after and cloaks the tree in vibrant greenery until fall. Providing wonderful shade and backdrop for the juicy red gems in autumn, plus some fall color!
Elephant Heart does require a pollinator to produce that novel fruit, so pair it up with another Plum for cross-pollination, such as Beauty or Santa Rosa.
Japanese Plum trees are fantastic dual-purpose ornamental beauties! Spring blossoms, lush foliage and juicy red gems, even the winter branching structure is ornate!
Create a spectacular specimen tree in your front landscaping or soften the edges of a garage or shed with a lovely tree that also provides a juicy bounty. Add to side yards or in hedgerows for privacy and screening neither you or your neighbors will mind seeing.
Growing to a hefty size if allowed, Elephant Heart Plum casts cooling shade for your patio and seating areas as well as over garden beds, just be sure you’ll still be able to reach your harvest!
Prune smaller as needed for easy to reach snacks and to incorporate into any sized yard or home orchard. You can easily control the size as you like, or try your hand at Espalier for a truly unique conversation piece!
Plums are delightful for eating 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 and make for delicious healthy snacks.
Elephant Heart Plum prefers drier, more arid climates, but also suitable for USDA growing zones 5 through 9 as well. Situate in an area that is protected from frost pockets and with good air circulation, and a site that favors the morning sun.
Plant in full sun for the most vigorous growth and best fruit. Provide at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.
Japanese Plums can grow in many soil types but do best in fertile, well-drained soil. Periodic deep watering in the summer months is advised, even though the trees are fairly drought tolerant. A generous layer of mulch helps retain soil moisture as well as insulate the root system from heat and chill.
For best results, fertilize your tree regularly with Dr. Earth Fruit Tree Fertilizer or a good organic, slow-release fertilizer. Add Nature Hills Root Booster while planting for a life-long symbiotic relationship with the tiny feeder roots.
Provide ample water for your young tree while it becomes established, not allowing it to dry out between waterings. Then reduce your watering to moderate, yet consistent moisture during the heat of summer and when fruiting.
Heavy pruning is necessary at all ages to control size (if desired) and to remove damaged, dead or diseased branching. Prune also to keep an open canopy, so that both sunlight and airflow reach the interior. Head over to read more on Plum Tree Care in our Garden Blog for more Fruit Tree Planting, Fruit Tree Pruning and Plum Tree Care tips and tricks can be found!
You’ll adore this unique fruit tree and its fascinating fruit! But only if you order yours today at NatureHills.com before they’re gone!
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.
|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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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.
|Brand||Nature Hills' Choice|
|Botanical Name||Prunus salicina 'Elephant Heart'|
|Mature Height||15 - 25 feet|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun|
|Soil Type||Widely Adaptable|
|Harvest Time||Late Season|
|Fruiting Time||3 to 5 years|
|When To Prune||Late Winter|