bubblegum plum

January 2, 2009

I was wondering if anyone has grown the Bubblegum plum tree or tried a Bubblegum plum. This tree is offered by the Stark brothers and it sounds delicious. I have also seen it for sale on another website.

Here is a link to the Stark brothers page for it.

I am thinking of getting one, but would like to know if it is really any good.


Comments (21)

  • fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


    I saw this plum while looking thru their material. All they say about taste is it tastes like bubblegum. Is that really an endorsement? Doesn't sound that appealing to me. Many of Stark's cultivars are offered no where else. You have to wonder why is that? If this is so good why haven't we ever heard of it before or seen it offered elsewhere? I know they have exclusive rights to a few cultivars but I'm skeptical until I hear a few favorable 1st hand reports. But it's new to them so maybe you should try it and give us a report.

    The Fruitnut

  • serafyn


    You have a good point, but I have found places where others talk about this plum and they say it is so delicious. I have found people talking about them on their blogs and here is another site where you can get one.

  • fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

    Still have no idea what to expect from a plum that tastes like bubblegum, but maybe I should give it a try. Do you know anything about it's parentage or where it originated?

    A plum that Stark offers that I have heard good things about is Superior. Haven't ordered one yet but I might.

  • serafyn

    It seems this plum may also be called the Toka plum. Prunus salicina 'Toka'. Japanese American hybrid.

    Stark says Superior is the best pollinator for this plum.

    Here is Burnt Ridge Nursery's description:
    (Japanese X American plum) Medium to large fruit is firm, spicy, sweet and flavorful. Reddish orange skin with yellow flesh. Good pollinator for Japanese and American plums. Late summer ripening. Exceptionally hardy selection from South Dakota. Self fruitful. Zone 3-8.

  • fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

    Well good, now we at least know what plum we're dealing with. I've at least heard of Toka. But I don't recall anyone on this site talking about what a good plum Toka is and why we should try it. There are dozens if not hundreds of stonefruit we could try. I doubt that this one is all that special. But maybe it's just that I think Toka should be called Toka and not Bubblegum. Stark is always finding something, giving it a tempting new name, and saying it is out of this world good. But I seldom hear anyone talking about that great variety you can only get at Stark's.

    Call me skeptical. If it were me, I'd try Superior first.

  • alan haigh

    I second Fruitnut's motion.

  • ramble


    Superior over Redheart?

  • alan haigh

    In the northeast Redheart has failed repeatedly for me because of excessive cracking where many others have succeeded.

  • milehighgirl

    I'd like to revive this post. Has anyone tried it yet? I noticed that Cummins is carrying it now.

    It's a Paul Friday cultivar, so I don't think it's Toka.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Plums

  • milehighgirl

    I'll try again to bump!

  • needhelp215_live_com

    I was looking at this plum, too. I brought it up to my father a few months back when we were talking about fruit. He had just visited a huge orchard/mystery in Oregon. I do not remember the name.
    I brought up the bubblegum plum and I saw the excitement on his face. He said this plum tasted amazing and reminded him of old pink bubblegum.
    I just realized I typed that like an add! Ha! Im in nipomo ca.

  • cyberface

    I ordered the Bubblegum Plum yesterday. They had it on sale at Stark Bros.

    I noticed it has been a few years since anyone posted on this thread. Has anyone had luck with the Bubblegum Plums they ordered in the past?

  • mattpf (zone4)

    Toka is known as the bubblegum plum and has been around for a very long time. The fruit is very nice if properly ripened. Its prunus Americana (Native American plum) x prunus simoni (Chinese plum apricot)

    Superior plum is the same cross only except it's crossed back to a salicina plum .

    This plum has been out longer than any of those fruit breeders and it's a northern cold variety survives in zone 2

  • mattpf (zone4)

    There is also a reason they all use toka .its not a gimmick it's a great tree it pollinates for long periods and Ive tasted these bubblegum plums they are excellent no matter the name .they are not trying to market anything in my opinon ,the plum is a big box store plum variety it's been around for decades if I remember almost 70 years . Homedepot and Costco sells them .

  • mattpf (zone4)

    Why would stark or Paul Friday try and compete with either. It seems toka is probably the most popular variety that is cold hardy. Guys grow it in warm climates all the way far north into northern Canada.

  • canadianplant

    Some tip die back in zone 3/4 with low windchills but grows really fast. mine hasnt produced yet. best pollinator is native plums

  • tbuch

    I've had my Toka plum in the ground for 3 years now, and the last two winters were brutal here in Ontario (zone 5), but no worries for the Toka. It does bloom like crazy. I've only had a few to taste; they tasted good, but i didn't notice any resemblance to a bubblegum flavour. I had a pretty good fruit set this year, but the curculios have been hitting them hard (along with all my other plums). I show some footage of my Toka tree just after bloom at the 8:00 mark of my youtube video of my backyard orchard.

  • mattpf (zone4)

    Yah I've heard that Ontario had bad winters. But that plum looks delicious

  • houuzzofpain

    Does it have tart skins?

  • mattpf (zone4)

    Maybe a bit . The ones I had were so ripe they exploded and the skin didn't taste bad. Most plums skin has a bit of tarty taste some just way more.

  • squarepegman

    I've grafted up a Toka a couple years ago that hasn't borne yet, in Fairbanks. It died back some last winter, which (by our standards) wasn't that cold. We'll see how it fares longer term. I thought the whole "bubblegum" flavor thing was just some marketing bs, but I have another tree, a rootstock from a failed graft, which bears nice plums and this year I detected a pronounced bubblegum flavor, so there's probably something to it.

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268