By Clair J. Lammers
This year I had good success with growing and ripening four (4) varieties of cherry plums in the interior of Alaska. The following is a brief description of each:
Hiawatha: Fruits are, l” long and almost 1” in diameter and are dark red the flesh is purple- red. Ripened in Fairbanks by September 6, 1991.
Manor: Low-growing bush-type, fruit red with purple flesh, good for eating out-of-hand. Fruit size is approximately l½ “ long and in diameter. Ripened in Fairbanks by September 5, 1991.
Opata: Fruit is green with red-purplish overlay, medium tender, yellow-green flesh, juicy, sweet flavor, and good dessert quality. Fruit size is 1 2/3” by 1 ¼* in diameter. Ripened in Fairbanks by September 5, 1991.
Sapa: Fruit is dark red with deep red flesh, juicy and sweet good for eating out-of-hand and for preserves. Fruit size is by 1 ¼” by 1” in diameter and ripened in Fairbanks by September 7, 1991.
My own personal taste test of the four (4) varieties (on a scale of 1 to 10. with 10 being best) are: Opata, 10: Manor, 9: Hiawatha, 6; and Sapa. 3.
The following varieties of cherry plums are being replaced in the spring, as their fruit did not ripen during our short summer. This was the second year they produced fruit but did not get ripe. They are Compass Oka Red Diamond and Sapalta.