In the botanical world of the birds and bees, some plum trees (Prunus spp.) need only a pollinator to help them set fruit, while other plum trees need both a pollinator and a pollenizer. 'Bruce' plum trees (Prunus salicina 'Bruce') need both to successfully bear fruit.
These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are distinctly different:
- Pollinators are agents that transfer pollen grains from male flowers to female flowers, such as birds and insects.
- Pollenizers are plants that lend their pollen to other plants for cross-fertilization.
The 'Bruce' plum tree, which grows in USDA zones 5 through 9, relies primarily on honeybees as pollinators, although other agents, including the wind may also pollinate its flowers.