|Prunus mume blossoms|
|Subgenus:||Prunus subg. Prunus|
|Section:||Prunus sect. Armeniaca|
Prunus mume is an East Asian and Southeast Asian tree species classified in the Armeniaca section of the genus Prunus subgenus Prunus. Its common names include Chinese plum, Japanese plum, and Japanese apricot. The flower, long a beloved subject in the traditional painting and poetry of East Asia and Vietnam, is usually called plum blossom. This distinct tree species is related to both the plum and apricot trees. Although generally referred to as a plum in English, it is more closely related to the apricot. In East Asian cuisine (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) and Vietnamese cuisine (Vietnamese), the fruit of the tree is used in juices, as a flavouring for alcohol, as a pickle and in sauces. It is also used in traditional medicine.
The tree's flowering in late winter and early spring is highly regarded as a seasonal symbol.
Prunus mume should not be confused with Prunus salicina, a related species also grown in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Another tree, Prunus japonica, is also a separate species despite having a Latin name similar to Prunus mume's common name.