Do Purple Plums Belong to the Citrus Fruit Family?

No. All plums are members of the Prunus genus, which is also home to apricots, peaches, almonds, nectarines and cherries. They belong to the Rosaceae (rose) family. Citrus fruits, on the other hand, belong to the Citrus genus, which is part of the Rutaceae (rue) family.

The purple plum is not a citrus fruit.

Purple Plums

Common purple plums are known as Prunus domestica in Latin. They came to the United States from Europe, but probably originated in southwestern Asia. Prunus domestica has also been hybridized with Prunus salicina, which is the Japanese or Asian plum. Members of this Asian species have reddish skin, and the hybrids appear somewhat purple.

Citrus Fruits

The Citrus genus is home to lemons, limes, grapefruits and tangerines. Citrus family members are evergreen shrubs or small trees with prominent thorns or spines. Plants in this genus are native to Asia and the Malay Peninsula. They are not hardy in cold-weather climates.


Commercial plum trees and citrus trees are often grafted specimens, with desirable top growth grafted onto the rootstock of a tougher variety. The two genera both produce trees with attractive blossoms and edible fruits.

Elisabeth Ginsburg

Elisabeth Ginsburg, a writer with over 20 years' experience, earned an M.A. from Northwestern University and has done advanced study in horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden. Her work has been published in the "New York Times," "Christian Science Monitor," "Horticulture Magazine" and other national and regional publications.