Botanical name: Prunus domestica "Opal"
Ideal location & conditions: Full sun
Size after 5 years: 1.25m x 75cm
Soil: Soil based compost with added grit
Flowering colour: Pure white
Flowering period: Late March - early April
Fruit harvest period: Mid August
We all know that Sweden is famous for Volvo Cars, Abba and Ikea, but we must also add to that impressive list of achievements, breeding very good plums! Over the years plant breeders in Sweden have released a series of plum cultivars that are among the very best in the world and are grown across the globe. One of those varieties, Opal is probably the best known, and for very good reason indeed.
Bred in 1925, Opal has excelled; giving very large crops of delicious tasting fruits year after year after year. Those delicious fruits are a testament to the breeder who crossed the varieties Oullin’s Gage with Early Favourite. The wonderful, sweet flavour and melting flesh of Oullin’s has been passed onto Opal, but given the gage’s golden colour, we must look to Early Favourite for Opal’s red to purple colour and its early ripening.
Considering all of that background and pedigree, it is no surprise that plum growers and gardeners around the world continue to plant Opal after almost 100 years. A century is a very long time for most things and alludes most of us. For a fruit variety to still be at the top of its game and amongst the best in the world; it is just remarkable.
Early April sees a mass of snowy white blossoms, which set fruit very easily and quite quickly start to show the tiny fruitlets forming. By the middle of July, the fruits have swelled to the size of a hen’s egg, and in early August, the green coloured fruits start to turn to yellow with red blushes that face the sun. Hang on though - don’t pick them just yet!
Give them another few days until mid-August, when the fruits have turned a dark red bordering on a purple colour. Now pick them - and be quick about it before someone else sees them!
Five reasons to plant an Opal Plum:
• It really is the 'Dancing Queen' of plums and you won't need a screwdriver! (sorry, couldn't resist!)
• It produces very large crops of delicious tasting fruit year after year
• Masses of pretty white blossom form before the fruit sets
• Beautiful and sweet to eat
• Plum Pie, tarts, pickles, chutney..... or just as they are. The choice is yours!
Plants are despatched on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We deliver to England, Wales and mainland Scotland using a next day delivery courier service.
A delivery charge of £11.50 will be applied to all orders. We send a maximum of 5 trees per consignment. If you would like to order 6 trees or more, please contact us for a bespoke quote as we may be able to offer you a better price for larger orders.
We do not currently offer delivery to the Scottish Highlands and Islands, to Northern Ireland or outside the UK.
For more information visit our delivery page.
With a combined experience of over 50 years in the industry our knowledge on how to grow our Terrace plants is second to none.
Every tree and plant sold comes with a care leaflet to get you started on your growing journey as well as a lifetime advice package - this means you can be confident that you will be provided with all the support and knowledge to get the best out of your new plant.
Visit our advice hub for guides about growing fruit trees as well as inspiration for your garden and how to use your produce.
View our FAQs for the most commonly asked question in relation to caring for fruit trees
Contact us if you would like specific advice about a plant before you place your order.