Prunus alleghaniensis var. davisii
|Alleghany plum, Davis' plum, sloe plum|
|(W. Wight) Sarg.|
The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
The Holden Arboretum
The conservation of Prunus alleghaniensis var. davisii is fully sponsored.
Lindsey Parsons contributed to this Plant Profile.
This variety is endemic to the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. It flowers rather early in April producing white flowers with stamen filaments that turn dark pink as the flower ages. Both birds and mammals feed on the small plum fruit and disperse the seeds in mid to late summer. The pink stamens and early flowering date make this variety easy to recognize in the field. Fire suppression has become a major problem for this variety, as it is extremely shade intolerant. In order to conserve this variety disturbance needs to be reintroduced into suitable habitats for this plum. This perennial has flowers with white petals. The stamen filaments turn dark pink over age. The fruit is 15mm in diameter when fresh. It is 10mm in diameter when hard with 5-8mm in diameter stones. Blooms in April. Can be described as a straggly, thorny shrub or small tree (under 3 meters tall). Has dead, thorny, black branches. This plant grows singly or in thick clusters (clones). The leaves are elliptic and 3-6 centimeters long. They are smooth, shiny, and finely toothed. This plant has excellent soil holding ability, and can control erosion and loose, Grayling sands. The seeds are dispersed in July and August by birds and mammals that eat the fruit. Grows to a full height of 3-4 feet tall.
Distribution & Occurrence
In west-central Lower Michigan it is found in old fields and remnant dry sand prairies. In the northern Lower Peninsula it is found in remnant openings in jack pine barrens. All habitat types have well-drained, acid Grayling sands. This species is also found along roadsides. (Higman and Penskar 1996)
Associates include black cherry, chokecherry, fire cherry, sedges, shadbush, blueberries, sweetfern, prairie willow, sand cherry, wintergreen, Canada mayflower, and Hills thistle. In the Pine Barrens this list also includes pale agoseris and rough fescue. (Higman and Penskar 1996)
|There are forty occurrences in Michigan, the majority of which are located in the northern Lower Peninsula in Oscoda and Crawford counties. Approximately fifteen sites are located in the Manistee to Newaygo country region. Three sites have been documented in Lenawee Co. (Higman and Penskar 1996)|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Road maintenance such as herbiciding and construction
Re-creation of suitable habitat using fire or mechanical means to remove overstory.
Continued reintroduction of this variety into historically occupied sites.
Location of additional site in Michigan via systematic surveys in dry sand prairies and pine barrens
Additional nursery propagation information is needed
Determine important disturbance factors that maintain the open areas required by this plum
(Higman and Penskar 1996)
Taxonomic study to solidify status as a separate variety (NatureServe Explorer 2002)
Cleveland, A.V. Using an Ecological Classification System to Detect Rare Plant Occurrence Patterns on the Huron-Manistee National Forest (Michigan). Masters Abstracts International. 36-01: 0099.
Taylor, S.M. 1990. The Alleghany plum of Michigan's jack pine plains. Mich. Acad. 22: 381-384.