Beach Plum, also known as “Stone Fruit,” has been a recognized resource on Plum Island and surrounding bays and beaches. Beach plum is a very hardy shrub that utilizes salty dune areas and strives through harsh winters, but also grows more inland.
It blooms in mid-May to June and is ready for harvest in August to early September.
Shinnecock Elders tell stories of “collecting the beach plums and making jam for their households and sale to towns’ folk.” They talk of how “it once grew all along thew aters edges and now with the amount of contruction they just don’t see them as much.”
Plum Island was once occupied by native from both the North and South Fork of Long Island, along with Pequot tribal groups from New England for the purpose of harvesting beach plums.1
According to Shinnecock oral history, Beach Plum can be found along Shinnecock Bay and on the edges of the Shinnecock Reservation.1
Beach Plum is also found on Plum Island, its surrounding bays, and beach areas.
The plant is indigenous to the North East, as far north as Maine.
- Natural Resources Identified by Shinnecock Elders – Plants and Wildlife 2014
About the Knowledgebase
The Knowledge Base is always a work in progress! Please feel free to contribute suggestions, edits and ask for more information at my contact menu.