introducing the beach plum

introducing the beach plum

Limited Edition linen Kestrel in Beach Plum

We are so excited about our latest Limited Edition color in our linen Kestrel. If a color can be delicious, this is the one. And that is why we’ve called this dark and delectable purple linen: Beach Plum

But what is a Beach Plum, you ask? Oh well, let us tell you! The Beach Plum plant, Prunus Maritima, is a gnarly, multi-stemmed shrub native to Maine. It grows in a range from 3-10 feet tall and thrives in highly exposed sandy environments, such as dunes and coastlines. The Beach Plum is its best self when completely neglected, growing in full sun while deeply rooting in dry, sandy soil.  

In the spring, bursts of snow-white petaled flowers blush after native pollinators give their sweet, nectar kisses. And come late summer the now pinkish-hued flowers burst into tiny dark purple plums. The plums are about the size of a penny. Each plum contains an egg-shaped seed (pit) which is layered in sweet flesh, and wrapped in bitter skin. Many Mainers might describe its flavor as the taste of summer’s end. 

introducing the beach plum

Beach Plums growing in their natural habitat; image source Cornell University

introducing the beach plum

Pictured: Bees gathering pollen from Beach Plum flowers; image source Cornell University (left); Pinkish Plum Beach flowers after pollination; image source The National Gardening Assoc. (right)

introducing the beach plum

Plums of a Beach Plum; image source Cornell University

Now what to do with those adorable little fruits! Of course, pick and eat. Or perhaps leave them for the birds! If you should decide to pick a bushel or two, Beach Plums are traditionally used to make jam or jelly. If you’re more of a contemporary culinary adventurer, Beach Plums can be used to make wine, vinegar, sorbet, sauces or chutneys. Truly the sky's the limit for our Beach Plums!

At Quince, we are particularly mystified with Beach Plums’ natural dye properties. Although we did not include Beach Plum in our Natural Dyer's Starter Kit, we love the idea of using their leaves to produce an earthy yellowish-green pigment. Or using the fruits to get a dark greenish-gray hue. Who wants to be the first to experiment? I know I am excited to try it out.

And there you have it, Maine’s beloved Beach Plum. An obvious choice of inspiration for our beloved Limited Edition color in Kestrel. We think it would be a show-stopper knit in our summer-y tanks, Gully and Aster, or as a companion color in Kai

introducing the beach plumFrom left to right: Gully by Leah B. Thibault, Aster by Dawn Catanzaro, and Kai by Elizabeth Smith

Gully by Leah B. Thibault
Leah’s apron-style tank is ready for the hottest of days. With cool shaping details on the front and angled back panels, it's a cute and ultra-quick addition to your summer wardrobe. 

Aster by Dawn Catanzaro
This playful tank celebrates Kestrel’s usefulness as a summer yarn. It knits up quickly on larger needles. A little shaping in the way of back darts lets the breezy body sit just right.

Kai by Elizabeth Smith
Kai is our sophisticated color block shell, with a split hem and the slightest of finishing trim on neck and armholes. Would love this in Beach Plum and Hyacinth.

Happy Beach Plum Knitting (and eating, cooking, drinking and dyeing)!

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Shop now