Owen T plum, the largest of three new plums from
ARS. Click the image for more information about it.
story to find out more.
Trio of New Plums for Spring and
Summer By Marcia
April 9, 2004
Three kinds of plump, tasty plums from Agricultural Research
Service tree fruit breeders in California will make fans of this
spring-through-fall stonefruit come back for more. The plums are the fruit of
more than a decade of plant breeding and testing by ARS geneticist David W.
Ramming and colleagues in the Postharvest Quality and Genetics
Research Unit, part of the agency's San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences
Center at Parlier, Calif.
Named Black Splendor, Owen T and John W, each of the new plum
varieties ripens in a different season, giving shoppers more choices of this
The juicy, beet-red flesh of Black Splendor plum makes this big
fruit an especially colorful addition to fresh fruit salads. It ripens in early
June, and is both bigger and earlier than the well-known Santa Rosa plum.
Owen T has blue-black skin with some touches of purple, and
sweet, light-yellow flesh. It is ready to harvest in late June through early
July. Ramming named this plum after Owen Tanner, who was a technician with the
California tree fruit breeding team for more than 30 years.
Ramming named the latest-ripening of the three plums, John W,
for the late
Weinberger, who was a tree fruit and grape breeder with the ARS research
center at its former location in Fresno, and was selected for the ARS
scientific Hall of Fame.
John W plums have purple skin dusted with light-tan specks, and
luscious orange flesh. This fruit ripens in late August through early
Since first offering these plums to nursery operators,
researchers and others in 2001 and 2002, Ramming has filled requests for more
than 1,200 cuttings and more than 50,000 buds, so the plums may begin showing
up in supermarkets this year.
about the research in the April issue of Agricultural Research
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.