Japanese PlumsJapanese plums are the species most commonly found in supermarkets.
How to choose Japanese Plums
The plums most commonly found year-round in supermarkets are Japanese plums of the species Prunus salicina. Compared to European plums (Prunus domestica) they are usually larger and and more spherical, and have a longer shelf-life.
Japanese plum trees need a warm climate without spring frosts, and with hot summers to grow successfully - they are grown commercially in California, Chile, and southern Europe. They can be grown successfully in the sunnier drier parts of the UK.
Despite the name Japanese plums originated in China where they have been known for thousands of years. Their cultivation spread via Japan to California in the 19th century, where they quickly became an important commercial crop. Many of the most popular Japanese plum varieties were developed in California.