My flowering plum is in AUTUMN??

As my other deciduous trees are just now starting to lose their leaves to go into dormancy, I was amazed to see some new white blossoms on my old plum tree.

I had actually thought it was dying, as it lost its leaves a couple of months ago…many years of drought followed by the heaviest rains in a hundred years, and I thought it was going to that great Tree heaven in the sky.

But no. It’s alive and blossoming.

What the hell??


It’s a carnivorous alien! Don’t go near it!


My GOD, why didn’t I think of that. Thanks for the heads-up runner pat.


If you want a more serious answer, trees sometimes flower out of season when they’ve been badly stressed so as to produce a last crop of seeds in case they die. It’s a last ditch attempt to reproduce and pass on genes.

And some bushes or plants are just re-bloomers; they throw a little last-minute bloom your way cause they just roll that way. We had an old shrub rose at our last house that bloomed like crazy all summer long, then had another small resurgence in late fall. I don’t think it was particularly stressed.

From the thread title, I thought this was going to be about sex.

Did it not usually bloom in the autumn? I remember plum blossoms in Japan being more of a late autumn kind of flower (autumn was the time of plum blossom viewing whereas spring was for cherry blossom.)

Weird weather like you described can fool plants. Back in October, in Indiana, I saw blooms on flowering crab apple trees. They’re supposed to bloom in May there. On the other hand, it had already frosted a few times and the weather had returned to the mid 80s F. Guess they thought they’d had a short winter and spring was there.

As california jobcase posted, out of season flowering is not that uncommon under certain weather conditions. I’ve seen it frequently with some Rhododendrons, Azaleas, even Forsythias.

I think Jenarophs answer is most likely, though. I’ve seen that happen many times, not just with the Flowering Plum in particular. That is a short lived tree in my area, generally lasting about fiften years before declining.

Autumn’s plum blossoms
New white flowers from nowhere
The end of the world