All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Czar plum

Czar is a large dark black/purple early-season plum, with good astringency and useful for culinary purposes.  It can also be eaten fresh if you leave it to get fully ripe.  The blossom is a notable characteristic, being unusually large for a plum.

The Victorian fruit enthusiast and author Robert Hogg was sent some samples in August 1874 by the growers, Rivers of Sawbridgeworth.  This was the year of its first fruiting.  Hogg subsequently rated it as an "excellent plum".  Rivers named it Czar in honour of the Czar of Russia, who visited England that year.

Czar soon become a popular garden plum in English gardens, being easy and reliable to grow (thanks in part to blossom which has some frost resistance), and producing good crops.  Although the flavour is not necessarily the best, it is one of the earliest culinary plums in the season.  The tree can also grow in partial shade and is hardy enough to tolerate north-facing situations.

Czar identification photos

  • Copyright: Orange Pippin

  • Czar
    Copyright: Orange Pippin

Visitor reviews

  • 19 Jun 2018  Weshayden,  CHESHIRE, United Kingdom
    Very prolific cropping plum. Easily maintainable tree with self fertile habit and good disease resistance. Flavour of fruit is good when plums are allowed to ripen properly but they do not keep well in my experience. Good dehydrated for storage and makes nice jams and chutneys. The wine made from this variety was ok but loses taste so is best blended.

Tree register

United Kingdom



Spring blossom records for this variety

2020 season

  • 16th April  2020  - tree owned by James in Glynn, Ireland

2012 season

  • 21st April  2012  - tree owned by Nickkk in Oldham, United Kingdom
  • 13th April  2012  - tree owned by Peter in Eye, United Kingdom

Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.

Harvest records for this variety

2017 season

  • July  2017  - tree owned by Angela in London, United Kingdom

2016 season

  • August  2016  - tree owned by Jenny in Llanfairfechan, United Kingdom

2011 season

  • 2nd week August  2011  - tree owned by Ute in Kilfenora, Ireland


  • Species: Prunus domestica
  • Parentage: Prince Englebert fertilised by Rivers' Early Prolific
  • Originates from: United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1874
  • Developed by: Rivers of Sawbridgeworth
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1250


  • Fruit colour: Purple
  • Fruit shape: Oval / round
  • Stone clinging?: Free stone


  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Flavour quality: Average
  • Harvest period: Early-Mid season Early August
  • Use / keeping: 1 week


  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Self-fertile
  • Vigour: Average growth
  • Gardening skill: Very easy
  • Attractive features: Attractive tree
  • Attractive features: Attractive blossom
  • Attractive features: Attractive fruit
  • General disease resistance: Average


  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
  • Climate suitability: Tolerates cold winters
  • Blossom frost-resistance: Good resistance

Other qualities

  • Awards: RHS AGM 1993

Parents and other ancestors of this variety

Offspring of this variety


  • Canker  - Some resistance
  • Silverleaf  Chondrostereum purpureum  - Some susceptibility

Where to buy fresh fruit

United Kingdom


  • Fruit Expert
    Author: Hessayon

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