Japanese plum “Ume”

“Ume”, which is in my family name, is a very familiar plant for Japanese. We love not only flowers but also fruits.

“Ume” is a Japanese plum. It came from China about 1500 years ago. After that, there have been breed improvements, and there are more than 300 breeds now. “Ume” blooms and flowers even in the cold weather of the end of winter and tells us the arrival of spring, so “Ume” is also familiar as auspicious in Japan.

The fruit is edible. However, the underripe fruit is toxic so you need to do the processing. “Ume-boshi” is one of the most famous Japanese traditional foods and it is made by salting. We also make plum wine and syrup.

“Ume” fruit is rich in organic acids. People in the past treated it as a medicine sometimes because they knew its effects of recovery from physical exhaustion and disinfection.

To make a “Ume” flower, you need to prepare 5 petals with “Maru-tsumami”.  (Click here for my post on how to do maru-tsumami!)

You can make it double or triple by putting a smaller flower inside of it. You can arrange the direction of your smaller flower inside. You can put your smaller petals in the same place as bigger petals or between bigger petals.

I think that the stamens are the most important part to make a “Ume” flower. You need to have more stamens, finer and longer one than other flowers. Then lay them down in all directions. These steps make it more like an “Ume” flower.