Advertisement

loader

Talk

Advanced search

Our purple/copper beech has produced fruit - is it edible?

(12 Posts)
glasjam Sat 25-Jul-09 20:39:08

I'm no gardener but have just moved into a house with a beautiful dark purple-leafed tree in the front garden. It has produced gorgeous, shiny, red-purpley fruit the size of a small plum or an oversized cherry. Someone told me that it was a copper beech but I've googled that and that seems to produce a rather hairy looking nut rather than a fruit. So perhaps it's not a copper beech. I cannot be entirely sure but I thought I saw the tree in blossom in the spring (before I moved in). The fruit is pretty sparsely spread throughout the tree so it's not a cherry tree I don't think.

Anyone got any ideas?

Tangle Sat 25-Jul-09 23:42:34

From what you've said it sounds more like a cherry than a beech to me - you're right in that beech trees produce nuts in little hairy cases (I always figured they looked like pixie hats when they opened!) so if there are fruits its definitely not a beech.

Do the fruits have stones?

The number and size of cherries on a tree will depend on the variety, the health of the plant, its growing conditions and the weather throughout the last growing year - there also seems to be a pattern in that if last year had a bumper crop this year will be more sparse. Oh, and how many the birds have already eaten! I wouldn't rule out the cherry option based on the number of fruit.

Could you post a picture? Or alternatively, take a sample with leaves and a fruit to a good garden centre and they should be able to tell you

glasjam Sun 26-Jul-09 00:34:57

Thanks Tangle - I shall go out tommorrow and see if there is a stone inside and report back. I was puzzled and frustrated today and thought a mumsnet post would give me some answers quite quickly! I promise to report back once I get a definitive answer.

frisbyrat Sun 26-Jul-09 13:28:30

Sounds like a wild plum to me. Yummy fruit!
[disclaimer: check before you eat though].

glasjam Mon 27-Jul-09 13:39:42

Thanks Frisbyrat - it just seems a bit odd that there isn't a great deal of fruit, just a smattering of large-ish rather juicy looking fruit. I've collected a load up with a view to letting my 5 year old DS muck around with them in his den - mush them up and mix them with mud and other such delightful stuff - didn't want to be doing that until I confirmed there wasn't any likelihood of it being poisonous!

frisbyrat Tue 28-Jul-09 16:29:56

Hmm, wild plums tend to be quite prolific, and their fruit about the size of home-grown greengages. Maybe you should be a bit cautious...

GrungeBlobPrimpants Tue 28-Jul-09 16:41:41

Deffo not a beech -they produce nuts not fruit

Sounds like type of plum/cherry, or poss a type of crab apple. Google image 'prunus' and see if that brings up anything that looks like your tree? I certainly wouldn't attempt to eat the fruit - may not be poisonous but would certainly give you or your ds a griping tummy ache!

frisbyrat Tue 28-Jul-09 22:00:16

Is it a cherry plum? That comes in both green and purple-leaved varieties, and the fruit can be yellow or red, about 3cm across

Or crab apple 'Profusion'.

What shape are the leaves? That would be a big help in identifying. And the bark colour/texture. Can you remember seeing the blossom on it?

glasjam Wed 29-Jul-09 12:06:34

Right it could be a cherry plum. I think I remember seeing some blossom on it earlier in the year and was disappointed when someone told me that it was a copper beech because I thought that I must have hallucinated seeing the blossom - so maybe I wasn't!

I checked and the fruit has a definite, almond-shaped stone inside. The leaves of the tree are a very beautiful dark purplely brown - I have one in my hand now - how would I describe it? Well it's, again, almond-shaped, about 2 inches long with a central vein with lots of smaller veins coming off it to the sides (you can tell I'm not a horticulturalist, my terminology is completely up the spout!) the edges are serated slightly or zig-zaggy but not dramatically so - the underside is paler browny purple - it's smooth and has no hairs/bristles. The bark is greeny/brown and... I'm struggling now... ordinary-looking?!

I know I could just take the leaf and fruit and leaf to a garden centre but this is much more fun!

frisbyrat Wed 29-Jul-09 23:32:34

I say it's a plum. Eat it!

<sits back expectantly>

Lucky you, by the way... would love a nice plum tree.

Tangle Thu 30-Jul-09 22:39:03

It definitely sounds like its from the plum/cherry family (prunus, if you want to get technical), but that's quite wide ranging. I think most of the fruits are edible, but some are pretty sour (have you ever tried to eat a sloe?). If we've got the ID broadly right then eating it is unlikely to do you any harm - but if it were me I'd take it to the garden centre and make sure first

greenfanta Sun 09-Aug-09 23:49:25

frisbyrat, i think you may have given some bad advice...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now