Wild Plum (Prunus americana)
Wild plums are a great source of food for a survivor. They can be found in many habitats, and trees or shrubs often produce hefty amounts of fruit. The plums can be dried and stored, or eaten raw. The Omaha Indians also would use a lotion made from the bark and roots of wild plum on abrasions to help healing.
Of Note to Pre-Apocalyptic Plum-Growers:
Large shrub or small tree with thorny branches and a broad crown, blooming in mid spring. Usually forms thickets. Alternate, oval leaves with dark green upper side and pale under side. Small white flowers occur singly or in clusters. Fruits are spherical, about 1 inch in diameter, and reddish-purple.
Common in oak woodlands and savannas and lower elevation grassland prairies, as well as riverbanks and along roadsides. Can tolerate shade. Coarse to medium, but not fine soils. Requires well-drained soil. Winter hardy but intolerant to flood or fire. Ornamental/decorative and fruit-producing.
Easy to plant from seed or transplant, but not from cuttings. If propagating from cuttings, material should be taken from healthy, moderately vigorous stock plants and grown in full sunlight.