In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants formed from the ovary after flowering. Fruits are the means. Edible fruits, in particular, have propagated with the movements of humans and animals in a symbiotic relationship as a means for seed dispersal and nutrition. Accordingly, fruits account for a substantial fraction of the world's agricultural output, some have acquired extensive cultural and symbolic meanings. In common language usage, "fruit" means the fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet or sour, edible in the raw state, such as apples, grapes, lemons and strawberries. On the other hand, in botanical usage, "fruit" includes many structures that are not called "fruits", such as bean pods, corn kernels and wheat grains; the section of a fungus that produces spores is called a fruiting body. Many common terms for seeds and fruit do not correspond to the botanical classifications. In culinary terminology, a fruit is any sweet-tasting plant part a botanical fruit.
However, in botany, a fruit is the ripened ovary or carpel that contains seeds, a nut is a type of fruit and not a seed, a seed is a ripened ovule. Examples of culinary "vegetables" and nuts that are botanically fruit include corn, eggplant, sweet pepper, tomato. In addition, some spices, such as allspice and chili pepper, are fruits. In contrast, rhubarb is referred to as a fruit, because it is used to make sweet desserts such as pies, though only the petiole of the rhubarb plant is edible, edible gymnosperm seeds are given fruit names, e.g. ginkgo nuts and pine nuts. Botanically, a cereal grain, such as corn, rice, or wheat, is a kind of fruit, termed a caryopsis. However, the fruit wall is thin and is fused to the seed coat, so all of the edible grain is a seed; the outer edible layer, is the pericarp, formed from the ovary and surrounding the seeds, although in some species other tissues contribute to or form the edible portion. The pericarp may be described in three layers from outer to inner, the epicarp and endocarp.
Fruit that bears a prominent pointed terminal projection is said to be beaked. A fruit results from maturation of one or more flowers, the gynoecium of the flower forms all or part of the fruit. Inside the ovary/ovaries are one or more ovules where the megagametophyte contains the egg cell. After double fertilization, these ovules will become seeds; the ovules are fertilized in a process that starts with pollination, which involves the movement of pollen from the stamens to the stigma of flowers. After pollination, a tube grows from the pollen through the stigma into the ovary to the ovule and two sperm are transferred from the pollen to the megagametophyte. Within the megagametophyte one of the two sperm unites with the egg, forming a zygote, the second sperm enters the central cell forming the endosperm mother cell, which completes the double fertilization process; the zygote will give rise to the embryo of the seed, the endosperm mother cell will give rise to endosperm, a nutritive tissue used by the embryo.
As the ovules develop into seeds, the ovary begins to ripen and the ovary wall, the pericarp, may become fleshy, or form a hard outer covering. In some multiseeded fruits, the extent to which the flesh develops is proportional to the number of fertilized ovules; the pericarp is differentiated into two or three distinct layers called the exocarp and endocarp. In some fruits simple fruits derived from an inferior ovary, other parts of the flower, fuse with the ovary and ripen with it. In other cases, the sepals, petals and/or stamens and style of the flower fall off; when such other floral parts are a significant part of the fruit, it is called an accessory fruit. Since other parts of the flower may contribute to the structure of the fruit, it is important to study flower structure to understand how a particular fruit forms. There are three general modes of fruit development: Apocarpous fruits develop from a single flower having one or more separate carpels, they are the simplest fruits. Syncarpous fruits develop from a single gynoecium having two or more carpels fused together.
Multiple fruits form from many different flowers. Plant scientists have grouped fruits into three main groups, simple fruits, aggregate fruits, composite or multiple fruits; the groupings are not evolutionarily relevant, since many diverse plant taxa may be in the same group, but reflect how the flower organs are arranged and how the fruits develop. Simple fruits can be either dry or fleshy, result from the ripening of a simple or compound ovary in a flower with only one pistil. Dry fruits may be either dehiscent, or indehiscent. Types of dry, simple fruits, examples of each, include: achene – most seen in aggregate fruits capsule – caryopsis – cypsela – an achene-like fruit derived from the individual florets in a capitulum. Fibrous drupe – follicle – is formed from a single carpel, opens by one suture
Insects or Insecta are hexapod invertebrates and the largest group within the arthropod phylum. Definitions and circumscriptions vary; as used here, the term Insecta is synonymous with Ectognatha. Insects have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body, three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae. Insects are the most diverse group of animals; the total number of extant species is estimated at between ten million. Insects may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species reside in the oceans, which are dominated by another arthropod group, crustaceans. Nearly all insects hatch from eggs. Insect growth is constrained by the inelastic exoskeleton and development involves a series of molts; the immature stages differ from the adults in structure and habitat, can include a passive pupal stage in those groups that undergo four-stage metamorphosis. Insects that undergo three-stage metamorphosis lack a pupal stage and adults develop through a series of nymphal stages.
The higher level relationship of the insects is unclear. Fossilized insects of enormous size have been found from the Paleozoic Era, including giant dragonflies with wingspans of 55 to 70 cm; the most diverse insect groups appear to have coevolved with flowering plants. Adult insects move about by walking, flying, or sometimes swimming; as it allows for rapid yet stable movement, many insects adopt a tripedal gait in which they walk with their legs touching the ground in alternating triangles, composed of the front & rear on one side with the middle on the other side. Insects are the only invertebrates to have evolved flight, all flying insects derive from one common ancestor. Many insects spend at least part of their lives under water, with larval adaptations that include gills, some adult insects are aquatic and have adaptations for swimming; some species, such as water striders, are capable of walking on the surface of water. Insects are solitary, but some, such as certain bees and termites, are social and live in large, well-organized colonies.
Some insects, such as earwigs, show maternal care, guarding their eggs and young. Insects can communicate with each other in a variety of ways. Male moths can sense the pheromones of female moths over great distances. Other species communicate with sounds: crickets stridulate, or rub their wings together, to attract a mate and repel other males. Lampyrid beetles communicate with light. Humans regard certain insects as pests, attempt to control them using insecticides, a host of other techniques; some insects damage crops by feeding on sap, fruits, or wood. Some species are parasitic, may vector diseases; some insects perform complex ecological roles. Insect pollinators are essential to the life cycle of many flowering plant species on which most organisms, including humans, are at least dependent. Many insects are considered ecologically beneficial as predators and a few provide direct economic benefit. Silkworms produce silk and honey bees produce honey and both have been domesticated by humans.
Insects are consumed as food in 80% of the world's nations, by people in 3000 ethnic groups. Human activities have effects on insect biodiversity; the word "insect" comes from the Latin word insectum, meaning "with a notched or divided body", or "cut into", from the neuter singular perfect passive participle of insectare, "to cut into, to cut up", from in- "into" and secare "to cut". A calque of Greek ἔντομον, "cut into sections", Pliny the Elder introduced the Latin designation as a loan-translation of the Greek word ἔντομος or "insect", Aristotle's term for this class of life in reference to their "notched" bodies. "Insect" first appears documented in English in 1601 in Holland's translation of Pliny. Translations of Aristotle's term form the usual word for "insect" in Welsh, Serbo-Croatian, etc; the precise definition of the taxon Insecta and the equivalent English name "insect" varies. In the broadest circumscription, Insecta sensu lato consists of all hexapods. Traditionally, insects defined in this way were divided into "Apterygota" —the wingless insects—and Pterygota—the winged insects.
However, modern phylogenetic studies have shown that "Apterygota" is not monophyletic, so does not form a good taxon. A narrower circumscription restricts insects to those hexapods with external mouthparts, comprises only the last three groups in the table. In this sense, Insecta sensu stricto is equivalent to Ectognatha. In the narrowest circumscription, insects are restricted to hexapods that are either winged or descended from winged ancestors. Insecta sensu strictissimo is equivalent to Pterygota. For the purposes of this article, the middle definition is used; the evolutionary relationship of insects to other animal groups remains unclear. Although traditionally grouped with millipedes and centiped
A shrub or bush is a small- to medium-sized woody plant. Unlike herbaceous plants, shrubs have persistent woody, they are distinguished from trees by their multiple stems and shorter height, are under 6 m tall. Plants of many species may grow either depending on their growing conditions. Small, low shrubs less than 2 m tall, such as lavender and most small garden varieties of rose, are termed "subshrubs". An area of cultivated shrubs in a park or a garden is known as a shrubbery; when clipped as topiary, suitable species or varieties of shrubs develop dense foliage and many small leafy branches growing close together. Many shrubs respond well to renewal pruning, in which hard cutting back to a "stool" results in long new stems known as "canes". Other shrubs respond better to selective pruning to reveal their character. Shrubs in common garden practice are considered broad-leaved plants, though some smaller conifers such as mountain pine and common juniper are shrubby in structure. Species that grow into a shrubby habit may be either evergreen.
In botany and ecology, a shrub is more used to describe the particular physical structural or plant life-form of woody plants which are less than 8 metres high and have many stems arising at or near the base. For example, a descriptive system adopted in Australia is based on structural characteristics based on life-form, plus the height and amount of foliage cover of the tallest layer or dominant species. For shrubs 2–8 metres high the following structural forms are categorized: dense foliage cover — closed-shrub mid-dense foliage cover — open-shrub sparse foliage cover — tall shrubland sparse foliage cover — tall open shrublandFor shrubs less than 2 metres high the following structural forms are categorized: dense foliage cover — closed-heath or closed low shrubland— mid-dense foliage cover — open-heath or mid-dense low shrubland— sparse foliage cover — low shrubland sparse foliage cover — low open shrubland Those marked with * can develop into tree form
Rosaceae, the rose family, is a medium-sized family of flowering plants, including 4,828 known species in 91 genera. The name is derived from the type genus Rosa. Among the most species-rich genera are Alchemilla, Crataegus, Cotoneaster and Prunus with about 200 species. However, all of these numbers should be seen as estimates – much taxonomic work remains; the family Rosaceae includes herbs and trees. Most species are deciduous, they are most diverse in the Northern Hemisphere. Several economically important products come from the Rosaceae, including many edible fruits and ornamental trees and shrubs; the Rosaceae have a cosmopolitan distribution, but are concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere in regions that are not desert or tropical rainforest. The family was traditionally divided into six subfamilies: Rosoideae, Maloideae, Amygdaloideae and Chrysobalanoideae, most of these were treated as families by various authors. More Chrysobalanoideae was placed in Malpighiales in molecular analyses and Neuradoideae has been assigned to Malvales.
Schulze-Menz, in Engler's Syllabus edited by Melchior recognized Rosoideae, Lyonothamnoideae, Spireoideae and Maloideae. They were diagnosed by the structure of the fruits. More recent work has identified. Hutchinson and Kalkman recognized only tribes. Takhtajan delimited 21 tribes in 10 subfamilies: Filipenduloideae, Ruboideae, Coleogynoideae, Amygdaloideae, Maloideae, Dichotomanthoideae. A more modern model comprises three subfamilies, one of which has remained the same. While the boundaries of the Rosaceae are not disputed, there is not general agreement as to how many genera it contains. Areas of divergent opinion include the treatment of Potentilla s.l. and Sorbus s.l.. Compounding the problem is that apomixis is common in several genera; this results in an uncertainty in the number of species contained in each of these genera, due to the difficulty of dividing apomictic complexes into species. For example, Cotoneaster contains between 70 and 300 species, Rosa around 100, Sorbus 100 to 200 species, Crataegus between 200 and 1,000, Alchemilla around 300 species, Potentilla 500, Rubus hundreds, or even thousands of species.
The phylogenetic relationships between the three subfamilies within Rosaceae are unresolved. There are three competing hypotheses: Amygdaloideae has been identified as the earliest branching subfamily by Chin et al. Li et al. Li et al. and Sun et al.. Most Zhang et al. recovered these relationships using whole plastid genomes: The sister relationship between Dryadoideae and Rosoideae is supported by the following shared morphological characters not found in Amygdaloideae: presence of stipules, separation of the hypanthium from the ovary, the fruits are achenes. Dryadoideae has been identified as the earliest branching subfamily by Potter. Most Xiang et al. recovered these relationships using nuclear transcriptomes: Rosoideae has been identified as the earliest branching subfamily by Morgan et al. Evans, Potter et al. Potter et al. Töpel et al. and Chen et al.. The following is taken from Potter et al.: The sister relationship between Amygdaloideae and Dryadoideae is supported by the following shared biochemical characters not found in Rosoideae: production of cyanogenic glycosides and production of sorbitol.
Rosaceae can be shrubs, or herbaceous plants. The herbs are perennials, but some annuals exist; the leaves are arranged spirally, but have an opposite arrangement in some species. They can be pinnately compound. Compound leaves appear in around 30 genera; the leaf margin is most serrate. Paired stipules are present, are a primitive feature within the family, independently lost in many groups of Amygdaloideae; the stipules are sometimes adnate to the petiole. Glands or extrafloral nectaries may be present on leaf petioles. Spines may be present on the rachis of compound leaves. Flowers of plants in the rose family are described as "showy", they are actinomorphic and always hermaphroditic. Rosaceae have five sepals, five petals, many spirally arranged stamens; the bases of the sepals and stamens are fused together to form a characteristic cup-like structure called a hypanthium. They can be arranged in spikes, or heads; the fruits occur in many varieties and were once considered the main characters for the definition of subfamilies amongst Rosaceae, giving rise to a fundamentally artificial subdivision.
They can be follicles, nuts, achenes and accessory fruits, like the pome of an apple, or the hip of a rose. Many fruits of the family are edible, but their seeds contain amygdalin, which can release cyanide during digestion if the seed is damaged. Identified clades include
Polyploidy is the state of a cell or organism having more than two paired sets of chromosomes. Most species whose cells have nuclei are diploid, meaning they have two sets of chromosomes—one set inherited from each parent. However, polyploidy is found in some organisms and is common in plants. In addition, polyploidy occurs in some tissues of animals that are otherwise diploid, such as human muscle tissues; this is known as endopolyploidy. Species whose cells do not have nuclei, that is, may be polyploid, as seen in the large bacterium Epulopiscium fishelsoni. Hence ploidy is defined with respect to a cell. Most eukaryotes produce haploid gametes by meiosis. A monoploid has only one set of chromosomes, the term is only applied to cells or organisms that are diploid. Males of bees and other Hymenoptera, for example, are monoploid. Unlike animals and multicellular algae have life cycles with two alternating multicellular generations; the gametophyte generation is haploid, produces gametes by mitosis, the sporophyte generation is diploid and produces spores by meiosis.
Polyploidy refers to a numerical change in a whole set of chromosomes. Organisms in which a particular chromosome, or chromosome segment, is under- or over-represented are said to be aneuploid. Aneuploidy refers to a numerical change in part of the chromosome set, whereas polyploidy refers to a numerical change in the whole set of chromosomes. Polyploidy may occur due to abnormal cell division, either during mitosis, or during metaphase I in meiosis. In addition, it can be induced in plants and cell cultures by some chemicals: the best known is colchicine, which can result in chromosome doubling, though its use may have other less obvious consequences as well. Oryzalin will double the existing chromosome content. Polyploidy occurs in differentiated human tissues in the liver, heart muscle, bone marrow and the placenta, it occurs in the somatic cells of some animals, such as goldfish and salamanders, but is common among ferns and flowering plants, including both wild and cultivated species. Wheat, for example, after millennia of hybridization and modification by humans, has strains that are diploid, tetraploid with the common name of durum or macaroni wheat, hexaploid with the common name of bread wheat.
Many agriculturally important plants of the genus Brassica are tetraploids. Polyploidization is a mechanism of sympatric speciation because polyploids are unable to interbreed with their diploid ancestors. An example is the plant Erythranthe peregrina. Sequencing confirmed that this species originated from E. × robertsii, a sterile triploid hybrid between E. guttata and E. lutea, both of which have been introduced and naturalised in the United Kingdom. New populations of E. peregrina arose on the Scottish mainland and the Orkney Islands via genome duplication from local populations of E. × robertsii. Because of a rare genetic mutation, E. peregrina is not sterile. Polyploid types are labeled according to the number of chromosome sets in the nucleus; the letter x is used to represent the number of chromosomes in a single set. Triploid, for example sterile saffron crocus, or seedless watermelons common in the phylum Tardigrada tetraploid, for example Salmonidae fish, the cotton Gossypium hirsutum pentaploid, for example Kenai Birch hexaploid, for example wheat, kiwifruit heptaploid or septaploid octaploid or octoploid, for example Acipenser, dahlias decaploid, for example certain strawberries dodecaploid, for example the plants Celosia argentea and Spartina anglica or the amphibian Xenopus ruwenzoriensis.
Examples in animals are more common in non-vertebrates such as flatworms and brine shrimp. Within vertebrates, examples of stable polyploidy include many cyprinids; some fish have as many as 400 chromosomes. Polyploidy occurs in amphibians. Polyploid lizards are quite common, but are sterile and must reproduce by parthenogenesis. Polyploid mole salamanders are all female and reproduce by kleptogenesis, "stealing" spermatophores from diploid males of related species to trigger egg development but not incorporating the males' DNA into the offspring. While mammalian liver cells are polyploid, rare instances of polyploid mammals are known, but most result in prenatal death. An octodontid rodent of Argentina's harsh desert regions, known as the plains viscacha rat has been reported as an exception to this'rule'. However, careful analysis using chromosome paints shows that there are only two copies of each chromosome in T. barrerae, not the four expected if it were a tetraploid. This rodent kin to guinea pigs and chinchillas.
Its "new" diploid number is 102 and so its cells are twice normal size. Its closest living relation is Octomys mimax, the Andean Viscacha-Rat of the same family, whose 2n = 56, it was therefore surmised that an Octomys-like ancestor produced tetraploid offspring that were, by virtue of their doubled chromosomes, reproductively isolated from their parents. Polyploidy was induced in fish by Har Swarup using a cold-shock treatment of the eggs close to the time o
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants. The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs. Flowers may allow selfing; some flowers produce diaspores without fertilization. Flowers are the site where gametophytes develop. Many flowers have evolved to be attractive to animals, so as to cause them to be vectors for the transfer of pollen. After fertilization, the ovary of the flower develops into fruit containing seeds. In addition to facilitating the reproduction of flowering plants, flowers have long been admired and used by humans to bring beauty to their environment, as objects of romance, religion, medicine and as a source of food; the essential parts of a flower can be considered in two parts: the vegetative part, consisting of petals and associated structures in the perianth, the reproductive or sexual parts. A stereotypical flower consists of four kinds of structures attached to the tip of a short stalk.
Each of these kinds of parts is arranged in a whorl on the receptacle. The four main whorls are as follows: Collectively the calyx and corolla form the perianth. Calyx: the outermost whorl consisting of units called sepals. Corolla: the next whorl toward the apex, composed of units called petals, which are thin and colored to attract animals that help the process of pollination. Androecium: the next whorl, consisting of units called stamens. Stamens consist of two parts: a stalk called a filament, topped by an anther where pollen is produced by meiosis and dispersed. Gynoecium: the innermost whorl of a flower, consisting of one or more units called carpels; the carpel or multiple fused carpels form a hollow structure called an ovary, which produces ovules internally. Ovules are megasporangia and they in turn produce megaspores by meiosis which develop into female gametophytes; these give rise to egg cells. The gynoecium of a flower is described using an alternative terminology wherein the structure one sees in the innermost whorl is called a pistil.
A pistil may consist of a number of carpels fused together. The sticky tip of the pistil, the stigma, is the receptor of pollen; the supportive stalk, the style, becomes the pathway for pollen tubes to grow from pollen grains adhering to the stigma. The relationship to the gynoecium on the receptacle is described as hypogynous, perigynous, or epigynous. Although the arrangement described above is considered "typical", plant species show a wide variation in floral structure; these modifications have significance in the evolution of flowering plants and are used extensively by botanists to establish relationships among plant species. The four main parts of a flower are defined by their positions on the receptacle and not by their function. Many flowers lack some parts or parts may be modified into other functions and/or look like what is another part. In some families, like Ranunculaceae, the petals are reduced and in many species the sepals are colorful and petal-like. Other flowers have modified stamens.
Flowers show great variation and plant scientists describe this variation in a systematic way to identify and distinguish species. Specific terminology is used to describe their parts. Many flower parts are fused together; when petals are fused into a tube or ring that falls away as a single unit, they are sympetalous. Connate petals may have distinctive regions: the cylindrical base is the tube, the expanding region is the throat and the flaring outer region is the limb. A sympetalous flower, with bilateral symmetry with an upper and lower lip, is bilabiate. Flowers with connate petals or sepals may have various shaped corolla or calyx, including campanulate, tubular, salverform or rotate. Referring to "fusion," as it is done, appears questionable because at least some of the processes involved may be non-fusion processes. For example, the addition of intercalary growth at or below the base of the primordia of floral appendages such as sepals, petals and carpels may lead to a common base, not the result of fusion.
Many flowers have a symmetry. When the perianth is bisected through the central axis from any point and symmetrical halves are produced, the flower is said to be actinomorphic or regular, e.g. rose or trillium. This is an example of radial symmetry; when flowers are bisected and produce only one line that produces symmetrical halves, the flower is said to be irregular or zygomorphic, e.g. snapdragon or most orchids. Flowers may be directly attached to the plant at their base; the stem or stalk subtending a flower is called a peduncle. If a peduncle supports more than o
A plum is a fruit of the subgenus Prunus of the genus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera in the shoots having terminal bud and solitary side buds, the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, the fruit having a groove running down one side and a smooth stone. Mature plum fruit may have a dusty-white waxy coating; this is an epicuticular wax coating and is known as "wax bloom". Dried plum fruits are called "dried plums" or prunes, although, in many countries, prunes are a distinct type of dried plum having a wrinkled appearance. Plums may have been one of the first fruits domesticated by humans. Three of the most abundant cultivars are not found in the wild, only around human settlements: Prunus domestica has been traced to East European and Caucasian mountains, while Prunus salicina and Prunus simonii originated in Asia. Plum remains have been found in Neolithic age archaeological sites along with olives and figs; the name plum derived from Old English plume or "plum, plum tree," which extended from Germanic language or Middle Dutch, Latin prūnum, from Ancient Greek προῦμνον, believed to be a loanword from Asia Minor.
In the late 18th century, the word, was used to indicate "something desirable" in reference to tasty fruit pieces in desserts. Plums are a diverse group of species; the commercially important plum trees are medium-sized pruned to 5–6 metres height. The tree is of medium hardiness. Without pruning, the trees can reach 12 metres in spread across 10 metres, they blossom in different months in different parts of the world. Fruits are of medium size, between 2 and 7 centimetres in diameter, globose to oval; the flesh is juicy. The fruit's peel is smooth, with a natural waxy surface; the plum is a drupe. Plum cultivars include: Damson Greengage Mirabelle Satsuma plum Victoria Yellowgage or golden plum Different plum cultivars When it flowers in the early spring, a plum tree will be covered in blossoms, in a good year 50% of the flowers will be pollinated and become plums. Flowering starts after 80 growing degree days. If the weather is too dry, the plums will not develop past a certain stage, but will fall from the tree while still tiny, green buds, if it is unseasonably wet or if the plums are not harvested as soon as they are ripe, the fruit may develop a fungal condition called brown rot.
Brown rot is not toxic, some affected areas can be cut out of the fruit, but unless the rot is caught the fruit will no longer be edible. Plum is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera, including November moth, willow beauty and short-cloaked moth; the taste of the plum fruit ranges from sweet to tart. It can be eaten fresh or used in jam-making or other recipes. Plum juice can be fermented into plum wine. In central England, a cider-like alcoholic beverage known as plum jerkum is made from plums. Dried, salted plums are used as a snack, sometimes known as salao. Various flavors of dried plum are available at Chinese grocers and specialty stores worldwide, they tend to be much drier than the standard prune. Cream, ginseng and salty are among the common varieties. Licorice is used to intensify the flavor of these plums and is used to make salty plum drinks and toppings for shaved ice or baobing. Pickled plums are another type of preserve available in Asia and international specialty stores.
The Japanese variety, called umeboshi, is used for rice balls, called onigiri or omusubi. The ume, from which umeboshi are made, is more related, however, to the apricot than to the plum. In the Balkans, plum is converted into an alcoholic drink named slivovitz. A large number of plums, of the Damson variety, are grown in Hungary, where they are called szilva and are used to make lekvar, plum dumplings, other foods; as with many other members of the rose family, plum kernels contain cyanogenic glycosides, including amygdalin. Prune kernel oil is made from the fleshy inner part of the pit of the plum. Though not available commercially, the wood of plum trees is used by hobbyists and other private woodworkers for musical instruments, knife handles and similar small projects. Plum has many species, taxonomists differ on the count. Depending on the taxonomist, between 19 and 40 species of plum exist. From this diversity only two species, the hexaploid European plum and the diploid Japanese plum, are of worldwide commercial significance.
The origin of these commercially important species is uncertain but may have involved P. cerasifera and P. spinosa as ancestors. Other species of plum variously originated in Europe and America; the subgenus Prunus is divided into three sections: Sect. Prunus – leaves in bud rolled inwards.