The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

mirabelle plums

strathclyde, United Kingdom

Does anyone know anything about mirabelle plums - small yellow plums the size of cherry tomatoes. My little boy loves them. Can we grow them in uk? Have only seen them in italy.



Well we've got plenty of them in Hungary growing semi-wild. Didn't know the name until you wrote this. I can see no reason why they shouldn't grow in UK. After all they are a plum.

18 Aug, 2008


If I were you, I'd google for UK fruit tree suppliers. That will tell you if they are considered suitable for the UK - and also, of course, where you can get one!.

18 Aug, 2008


I have tried googling but cant find any so far.

18 Aug, 2008


Hope this helps

The mirabelle plum, also known as the mirabelle prune (Prunus domestica var. syriaca), is the edible drupaceous fruit of the mirabelle prune tree, a cultivar of the plum tree of the genus Prunus. It is believed that the plum was cultivated from a wild fruit grown in Asia Minor.
The mirabelle plum is identified by its small, oval shape, smooth-textured flesh, and especially by its dark yellow colour which becomes flecked in appearance. They are known for being sweet and full of flavour. The fruit is primarily used in jams and pies, and its juice is commonly fermented for wine or distilled into plum brandy. Ninety percent of mirabelle plums grown commercially are made into either jam (70%) or eau-de-vie (20%). The plums are also excellent when eaten fresh.
The mirabelle reaches maturity and is harvested from July to mid-September (Northern Hemisphere). The traditional method of shaking the trees is now mechanized, but the principle remains the same: The ripe fruits are shaken loose and collected in a net.
The mirabelle is a specialty of the French region of Lorraine, which has an ideal climate and soil composition for the cultivation of this fruit. This region produces 15,000 tons of mirabelle prunes annually, which constitutes 80% of global commercial production.
There are two main cultivars grown for fruit production, derived from cherry plums grown in Nancy and Metz. The Metz type is smaller, less hard, and less sweet, and has no small red spots on the skin. It is very good for jam, while the Nancy type is better as fresh fruit as it is sweeter.
Since 1996 the mirabelle de Lorraine has been recognized and promoted by the EU as a high-quality regional product, with a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). This label guarantees a minimum fruit size (22mm) and sugar content, and can only be used in a specific geographical zone of production.

best weishes

18 Aug, 2008


wow kev thanks a million.

18 Aug, 2008


Your very welcome Hedgehog.

18 Aug, 2008


Hi Hedgehogg - well, after some research, i've found your plums. The variety is 'Prunus insititia Mirabelle de Nancy' and if you go to the RHS plantfinder - via their website which is, then go to the 'plantfinder' and type in Prunus institia mirabelle you will get a list of suppliers. You may be lucky and find one in your area, if not, there are some which do mail order. Good luck! Please let us know if you find one, won't you!

18 Aug, 2008


Thanks everyone you have been so kind i have found them on a mail order nursery and im going to order a mirabelle de nancy and a victoria plum. I didnt realise we call them cherry plums in uk. Whether they will produce fruit in my cold wet scottish garden remains to be seen but its worth a go.

18 Aug, 2008


Hooray! Success! Of course it's worth a try, Hedgehogg. Glad to be of help.

18 Aug, 2008


It's your lucky day hedgehogg. I have goggled because I found one at Bridgmere garden centre (now unfortunately owned by wyevale) near nantwich yesterday. I was reliably informed by the staff that it grows and fruits in the UK ALTHOUGH the person i spoke to hasn't had any this year due to an April frost which affected the flowers.

29 Sep, 2008


Does anyone know anything about mirabelle plums - small yellow plums the size of cherry tomatoes. My little boy loves them. Can we grow them in uk? Have only seen them in italy.

29 Sep, 2008


Hi there, hope I am not too late to add in my tuppence worth...
I am Scottish but live in France which is the no. 1 producer of mirabelles in the world. My Hubby loves them and we have access to a tree and have just planted one oursleves and here is what I know:

1. French legend has it that 2 different varieties of mirabelle planted beside each other will give more fruit than alone although they are what the French call 'autofertile' i.e. they do not need a pollenator.
2. You are not supposed to pick them but rather shake (gently) the tree and catch them in a net (an old bed sheet on the ground will do, or if the tree is on the lawn then that's fine too).
3. The flowers (like all plums) are very sensitive to frost so you better hope you dont get too many late frosts.
4. They love sun and hate wind so put them in a sheltered south facing spot.
5. If you do get fruit it will all happen over a very short time (2-3 weeks) and you will get a LOT. Eat what you can fresh, make some into tarts (open with pastry and just some sugar glaze) and turn the rest into the most delicious jam you have ever tasted (promise). For the jam you dont need a lot of sugar, half the weight of your stoned fruit (i.e. 500g sugar to 1 kilo stoned fruit).

Hope it works out for you!

8 Mar, 2009


Hi There,

I live in Edinburgh and have just planted a 1year old Mirabelle de Nancy tree in our back garden in February. At first, little seemed to happen but now it seems to love its spot with lots of leaves developing and branches starting to grow. I think it's going to take another 4 years to fruit though. My garden is South Facing, and reasonably sheltered. I think unless you live in the highlands you should be fine, especially with the weather you sometimes get at the end of May/early June.

1 Jun, 2009


Well we live in the highland perthshire (850ft above sea level with extremely sandy/stoney soil) and got a Mirabelle de Nancy from blackmoor in nov 07. Since then - even with 2 hard winters - it has doubled in height and is around 11 feet high!. Still no blossom though as has only been in for 18months - but we are ever hopeful about next year or the year after :-)

12 Jun, 2009


I have today eaten Mirabelle plums. Grown on a tree in Dorset England. I didn't know they were edible until some french friends came to stay and exclaimed how lucky we were to have mirabelle plums. I always thought they were just ornamental! They have to be cooked as they are rather bitter but very nice. I want to find a recipe for using them for jam.

20 Jul, 2009


I have a mirabelle plum tree in Cornwall. This year I have collected about 10kgs so far, the insects and birds have collected anout that!! and there are still more to pick.

28 Jul, 2009


I live in Norwich, and have a hedge of trimmed mirabelle plums. Though the trimming of this hedge does reduce the crop, timing helps!
The hedge runs northeast, is sheltered by trees a few yards away on either side, and by a line of huge turkey oaks across the road to the NE. So, they only get a little morning sun, but don't seem to mind - which should bode well for Scotland!
good luck

5 Aug, 2009


today when walking my dog, i saw loads of cherry tomato sized yellow fruits on theground beneath a scrappy looking shrubby bush with beech leaf sized leaves. I was brave enough to try one and it was superbly sweet and plum like. I have been doing some research and have landed up onthis site. Are these mirabelle's? I'd love to harvest them and not just let them waste. I'm in herfordshire and this is the second tree I've found growing wild round here.

5 Aug, 2009


Yesterday I picked about 3lbs of plums which I believe are Mirabelle from a tree growing wild near Weston-super-Mare. The tree we were directed to was huge and absolutely loaded with fruit. We could only reach a small percentage of the plums and I've yet to decide what to do with them!

6 Aug, 2009


I brought some stones from these that I had eaten in France back to the UK. That was 17 years ago. This year my one successful tree has produced about 10lbs of plums. The tree flowers early and so far has been a victim of late frosts. But this year the fruit survived. Tree is now about 12 ft high and has had a tough time surviving being nibbled by cows. Warning mine has vicious spikes about 2" long a bit like some blackthorn bushes. Plums are delicious. Making jam today.

7 Aug, 2009


I have an established Mirabelle Plum/Prune tree in my Garden In Bawtry, South Yorks.
This year looks as though it will be a bumper harvest. I have already collected abt 20lbs of fruit which has now gone to a colleague for either jam or preserve making, having only been in the house 4 years it is the first crop we will have harvested, all other years it has gone to waist or the birds.I do not know the origins of the variety. My house is an ex Air Force house as such the tree will have beene there since the early 40's.
Hope that helps,

10 Aug, 2009


They grow wild in the hedges in this part of Suffolk, and at the moment are just full of fruit.
I've seen plants priced at an extortionate £45. You can buy them much cheaper - Botanica and Crown Nurseries in Suffolk sell them, but you might also find them in any nursery growing and selling hedging plants.

11 Aug, 2009


We live in the South East and we have four mirabelle (cherry) plum trees and several other types. The mirabelles always produce the most fruit. I am collecting like crazy and, so far, aside from eating fresh, have made numerous batches of plum ketchup, plum jam and plum and chilli sauce. Any other preserving recipes would be much appreciated. These are marvellous plums and I look forward to the harvest every year.

11 Aug, 2009



I have 1 red
..........1 yellow

red one been and gone lovely fruit ..
yellow later .... again lovely fruit .

Oswestry ...... N Shropshire .

18 Aug, 2009


Superb crop here in Southern Scotland this year.The trees are in a community woodland area which was planted 60 years ago...both red cherry plums and mirabelles.

20 Aug, 2009


hi, have had a mirabelle tree in our garden for 30 years in Middlesbrough North east England. Like everybody else have had a bumper crop this year so far collected 6 or 7 pounds still more to come. The tree is about 15 feet x 15 feet produces small golden cherry like fruit that are delicious. I really love this tree it produces stunning blossom very early on late February with a beautiful honey scent. The blackbirds and my bulldogs love the fruit but it fruits in such abundance there is plenty to go around. Bluetits seem to love the tree presumably feeding on insects but I have also think they use the tree after a shower to preen using water droplets from leaves.The tiring work is collecting and preserving the fruit you can shake the tree or collect off the ground.I stone and freeze in 1lb bags then we make jam or pie filling or compote to go with meat dishes. I have frozen raw before but find it can sometimes make the skin tough on defrosting. Trying a method this year reccomended by sister in law, microwave full blast for three minutes a pound at a time til ljust going soft, cool then freeze. Any more tips out there?

21 Aug, 2009


Hi, we live just 3 miles south of Perth in Bridge of Earn. The Mirabelle is native to Europe and were brought to the UK as a hedge as they have large prickly bits. We have a Mirabelle tree which is about 12 years old in our Garden which started off by being deposited there by a bird.... and yes, we have had as much as 6lbs off ours in the past, but due to a severe pruning last autumn, we had very little this year. The fruits can be the colour of a nectarine, and also yellow varieties.

Good luck with it, the fruit yield might not be huge, but it is fun to have something that most people just regard as a hedge!

22 Aug, 2009


Found this site after seeking the answer to my question i.e. 'what are the yellow fruit laden on trees and lying on the ground by wasteground?'
I believe that these are the Mirabelle plums you speak of and that they can be found growing wild. I have a tree on a railway siding metres from my flat. Have also seen them growing (and wasted) by the sides of roads and park boundaries, which might save you buying them.
Regards Firripsz

24 Aug, 2009


Hello, I love Mirabelles too - they grow wild all over Cambridge where I live. I'm currently trying to grow from a plum pip as I want one in the back of my garden for me and kids.

Mary Enna

24 Aug, 2009


Hello, I love Mirabelles too - they grow wild all over Cambridge where I live. I'm currently trying to grow from a plum pip as I want one in the back of my garden for me and kids.

Mary Enna

24 Aug, 2009


We have just discovered a plum tree growing wild in Quorn (Leics).I now know from your description that it is certainly a Mirabelle . A passing gardener, from the nearby allotments, said it is known locally as a Syston plum.
The plums are absolutely delicious! I can see why your son loves them - good luck with growing them!

6 Sep, 2009


We have just discovered a plum tree growing wild in Quorn (Leics.)From your description I now know that it is certainly a Mirabelle. A passing gardener, from the nearby allotments, said that it is known locally as a 'Syston plum'
The plums are absolutely delicious - every success in growing some!

6 Sep, 2009


Hello gardeners1 Came in to this site because I LOVE Mirabelles.Reliably sweet and juicy, which is what I want from a plum.I came across it in a clients' garden in Lewisham , London. Others have said they don't like frost?Probably! But mainly DAMP! as they are meditteranean. All prunus species( plums, apricots peaches, etc) are prone to Curly leaf disease and therefore benefit from an umbrella like see-through covering of some kind around February and flowering time which needsto come off during the day for polination. Phew!
Worth the effort/

BUT others have said it grows wild and the tree in the clients' garden was growing semi wild and , incidentally, suckered easily if you want new ready to fruit babies!

I suppose it's about RELIABLE fruiting in wet, cold weather and size of fruit in a successful horticultural setting.


30 Jan, 2011


Here is some advice about the traditional use of Mirabelle plums in Georgia. They are called 'tkemali' in Georgian and savoury sause made from them is popular not just in Georgia, but in many Eastern European countries, especially in Russia where mainly Georgian cuisine is used. You can start to use them as soon as they turn in to the oval shape fruit even if they aren't ripe. You can use them ti dress the traditional summer lamb stew called ''chaqafuli'' or make a distinctive sauce dressed with all sort of herbs, this sauce will go well with all barbeque meat, especially with pork... Mirabelle plum is known as a natural blood thinner, fat burner, cholesterol controller and was used for centuries for its taste and benefits... if interested in the recipes, please let me know and I'll attach some of them.. Also, will be grateful if anyone can tell about the supplier, or at least the approximate location of this amazing fruit tree(s) in Berkshire area...

13 Jun, 2011


I have had a Mirabelle tree in my garden in north London for about 30 years now and it usually fruits very heavily indeed. Recently, however, I found out that there are others around (including one in the local park - discovered when I saw all its fruit lying on the ground). Apart from the deliciousness of the fruit, my tree had had hardly any problems with disease or with pests or birds. The fruit can also be frozen provided it is lightly cooked first. One year I used a surplus of the fruit t make a mirabelle version of sloe gin - even better than sloe gin in my opinion!

23 Jun, 2011


I inherited a Mirabelle when we moved in seven years ago. But until yesterday, had no idea what it was as it's never been anything but a nuisance. Ours drops it's fruit when small & green so they've always just gone straight on the compost & I've never got around to finding out what they were.

Whilst out walking yesterday I came across the same tree but the ground around it was littered with yellow fruit with a strong smell of plums. Shook one down & it tasted delicious. Picking up the windfall this morning I found a vaguely yellow one & split it & again got the plum smell.

So the question (eventually!) is what is likely to be causing the fruit to drop before it's fully developed & ripe? The tree is rather badly neglected & has quite a covering of ivy.

1 Aug, 2011


Well after posting I went out for another look. It's not so much covered in ivy but absolutely smothered (literally). I pulled the green leaves from the ivy around the trunk & I couldn't see ANY of the tree. In fact it looked more like a tree fern! I had a bit of a hack & some of the ivy stems are nearly an inch thick. So I suspect the fruit simply isn't getting enough sunlight to ripen.

I'll leave it until the birds have finished nesting & then attack it in the early autumn.

1 Aug, 2011


I have just brought some cuttings from Great Barrier Island off the coast of New Zealand. I am hoping they go well here but my site is quite windy. They sound like the kids will love them.

30 Sep, 2011


Hi there. UK is full of mirabell trees.The trees have red leaves and then have red fruit.there are green ones as well. look out for trees and fruit on them during summer.i have seen plenty mirabell trees in south england in the streets and forests.

18 Jul, 2012


How this thread delights me. My family in Alsace used make eu-de-vie, open tarts, preserve and bottle mirabelles and for many years I could not find them in the UK. They remind me of happy childhood holidays.

I am happy to see they have become so popular. I forget when, several years ago probably, but the RHS magazine had a feature on them, well, on identifying small plums. You may be able to Google it or find details on their site.

Just a little more trivia.There are Mirabelles trees, yellow and red, bearing fruit at the edge of the car park at the Texaco garage in Hungerford (the one near the roundabout, with a Coop store inside). The staff there were considerably underwhelmed when I mentioned the fruit was delicious. I took some home. I do not live nearby, hope someone saves them. Delicous.

I have a very small courtyard garden, somehow I have to find a way to grow them in Wales.

10 Aug, 2012


I have three varieties of marabella growing in my garden in cambs and one is the small yellow variation and has been here for the past 50 years so yes they grow here very well you are welcome to some stones if you like or come and pick them

18 Jul, 2015



There is a cherry plum in the graveyard at buscot [Wiltshire] that is really heavy cropping every year, in about late July. My family are all buried in the graveyard, so I would love to have one - but it seems likely to take a very long time if I grow it from a pip.
The ones I can find advertised by nurseries are late august or September harvesting so I think must be different.

Anyone any idea what this July ripening one is? [unless it is a standard one and the Thames Valley is just imparting its magic?] It is yellow and a tad opalescent, has a stone, the fruit hang down like a cherry, the branches are spikey like a hawthorn, and it is sweet and totally luscious.

many thanks

30 Nov, 2015

How do I say thanks?

Answer question

Related photos

  • Close Up Of Blossom
  • Ornamental Plum
  • Oranmental Plum Blossom
  • Pink Blossom Of A Ornamental Plum

Related blogs


Related questions

Not found an answer?