American plum is a thicket-forming shrub or small tree with short trunk, many spreading branches, black scaly bark and a broad crown. Fragrant, white flowers in showy, flat-topped clusters emerge before the leaves in spring, and are a pollinator magnet. The plums that follow ripen to a shiny, bright red in August or September. Fall foliage ranges from electric red to pale yellow. The plums are consumed by many kinds of birds. Prunus is second only to oaks in the number of lepidoptera species it supports at over 400! Wonderful for erosion control, and can be planted in full sun to full shade. Prefers moist soil, though drought tolerant once established.