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

Merryweather damson

Merryweather is one of the most widely-grown of all damson varieties, being easy to grow, and producing good crops of classic damson-flavoured fruit.

Inspite of this popularity, some authorities question whether Merryweather is a true damson since it has many plum-like characteristics.  H.V. Taylor in his definitive book "The plums of England" considered it as a hybrid damson / plum - but went on to say he felt it was probably the best of all damsons for gardeners.

By damson standards the fruit is large - more like a small plum in fact.  Merryweather grows like a plum too, with a spreading habit rather than the more vertical habit often seen in damsons.  It also comes into bearing earlier in its life than most damsons.  Again unusually for a damson, the fruit can be eaten fresh if left to hang on the tree - although, like all damsons its true home is in the kitchen where it is one of the most versatile of culinary fruits.

Inspite of this interesting debate about its origins, Merryweather can be classed as a true damson for a simple reason - it has the distinctive astringent flavour which is the hallmark of the damson.  Like most damsons it is also a hardy tree, in fact Merryweather is a tough tree even by damson standards and can thrive in very difficult situations.

Merryweather identification photos

  • Copyright: Orange Pippin

Visitor reviews

  • 26 Sep 2013  Tahir,  United Kingdom
    A great damson, much bigger than most and really pleasant as a dessert plum as long as it's really ripe. Bit of a pain for jam as it's VERY clingstone, nice flavour especially for people that find something ;like Farleighs too intense

Tree register

United States

  • Mike in Glen Rock, PA

United Kingdom


Spring blossom records for this variety

2015 season

  • 19th April  2015  - tree owned by Michael in Halifax, United Kingdom

2014 season

  • 25th April  2014  - tree owned by Lawrence in Mayfield, United Kingdom
  • 19th April  2014  - tree owned by Michael in Halifax, United Kingdom

2012 season

  • 13th April  2012  - tree owned by Peter in Eye, United Kingdom
  • 13th April  2012  - tree owned by Nickkk in Oldham, United Kingdom
  • 24th March  2012  - tree owned by Mike in Glen Rock, United States

2011 season

  • 15th April  2011  - tree owned by Davidjohndawkins in Ely, United Kingdom
  • 4th April  2011  - tree owned by David in Sleaford, United Kingdom
  • 28th March  2011  - tree owned by Rachel in Downham Market, United Kingdom
  • 20th March  2011  - tree owned by Dr in Petersfield, United Kingdom

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

Harvest records for this variety

2010 season

  • 2nd week August  2010  - tree owned by Rachel in Downham Market, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week August  2010  - tree owned by Dr in Petersfield, United Kingdom


  • Species: Prunus insititia
  • Originates from: Southwell, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1907
  • Developed by: Messrs. Merryweather (nuserymen)
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1265


  • Fruit colour: Blue-black
  • Fruit shape: Oval / round
  • Stone clinging?: Clinging


  • Uses: Cooking
  • Flavour quality: Good
  • Flavour style: Sharper
  • Harvest period: Mid season
  • Use / keeping: 1-3 days


  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Flowering period: Mid season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Self-fertile
  • Vigour: Large
  • Gardening skill: Very easy
  • Precocity: Precocious
  • General disease resistance: Good


  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates One of the hardiest of all fruit trees
  • Climate suitability: Tolerates cold winters


  • Silverleaf  Chondrostereum purpureum  - Very resistant

Where to buy fresh fruit

United Kingdom


  • Fruit Expert
    Author: Hessayon

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