Flavor King inter-specific treesPrunus x salicina
Flavor King is a pluot® - an inter-species hybrid between a Japanese plum and an apricot. The plum side of the partnership is the more dominant one, and the general appearance and flesh are typical of a Japanese plum, as is the smooth skin.
The flavour is essentially that of an intense plum, but there is a sort of syrup-like smoothness that you don't normally find in a plum. The apricot seems to lend an almost gage-like flavour to the usual bland sweetness of Japanese plums, and there is also a hint of peardrop.
The stone is semi-clinging.
The blossom appears very early in the spring, and the flowers are a bit larger than the flowers of European plums.
Flavor King inter-specific trees for sale
All pot-grown trees are suitable for planting out in the garden, some are suitable for growing in containers.
PG12-year bush-trained 12L pot-grown tree VVA-1 rootstock £44.50
(2m-3m after 10 years)
PG22-year bush-trained 12L pot-grown tree St. Julien rootstock £43.50
(3m-4m after 10 years)
BR11-year bare-root tree St. Julien rootstock £23.95
(2m-3m after 10 years)
How to grow
Flavor King is only really suitable for growing in the south and east of the UK, because it flowers very early in the spring.
Flavor King is not self-fertile and needs to be pollinated either by another pluot or by a Japanese plum variety such as Methley or Santa Rosa, or by an early-flowering mirabelle such as Countess or Aprimira. It is possible that common early-flowering hedging species such as Myrobalan (Prunus cerasifera) or Sloe (Prunus spinosa) will also pollinate it, and possibly Jefferson gage, which is very early flowering.
It is a naturally precocious variety and, assuming there are pollinator trees nearby, is likely to start fruiting in its 2nd or 3rd summer.
Advice on fruit tree pollination.
Plumcots (which are 50% plum and 50% apricot) were first raised in California in the late 19th century by the famous horticulturalist Luther Burbank. However it became apparent that although they were easy to create through cross-pollination, the resulting trees were not particularly easy to grow. In the 1980s Floyd Zaiger of Zaiger Genetics started breeding plumcots and then further crossing them with plums, and these more plum-like trees were much easier to grow. He registered the word "pluot" to describe any inter-species plum/apricot hybrid which was more than 50% plum. Flavor King was one of the most successful of these new hybrids.
Despite the company name, Flavor King is not a genetically modified or "GMO" variety. Like all pluots it is basically a plum-apricot cross which is then further crossed with another plum.
The variety name is sometimes mis-spelt as Flavourking in the UK.
There is also some confusion about plumcots vs pluots. Since Zaiger Genetics had registered the word "pluot", other growers came up with other names for plum / apricot crosses. For this reason Flavor King is sometimes (and perhaps incorrectly) described as a plumcot.
Flavor King characteristics
- Picking seasonLate
- Fruit persistenceRipens over a period
- Food usesEating fresh
- Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
- Flowering group1
- Pollinating othersPoor
- VigourSlightly small
- Bearing regularityRegular
- Climate suitabilityWarm climates
- Summer average maximum temperaturesWarm (25-30C / 76-85F)Hot (>30C / 86F)Cold (< 20C / 67F)
- Country of originUnited States
- Period of origin1950 - 1999