AU (Auburn University)-Cherry plum originated from a cross of Methley × Starcher 1 (natural hybrid of Prunus angustifolia) made in 1965 followed by backcrossing and sibbing of selected seedlings. Trees of AU-Cherry are similar to Methley in upright spreading growth habit and dark green foliage but are more vigorous, are larger and have greater longevity. It flowers profusely, is self compatible and sets a heavy crop. Maturity date is the same as for Santa Rosa (24 June at Auburn, Alabama). Mature fruits of AU-Cherry are dark-red, 2.9 cm in diameter, with a good firmness rating and are clingstone. Fruit quality is excellent for fresh market and home use but is too small and soft for commercial production.
AU-Cherry is highly resistant to Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae, Xanthomonas campestris pv. pruni, Xylella fastidiosa and Apiosporina morbosa.
AU-Cherry has a chilling requirement of ∼700 h below 7°C
Bare root size: 4 – 5′