Victoria plums

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brianc

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Victoria plums
« on: October 17, 2014, 03:37:31 PM »
I would like to grow Victoria plums in  Cyprus. Is this possible? How do I go about it?

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Pauline

  • Jr. Member
Re: Victoria plums
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2014, 06:57:56 PM »
I shall watch with interest to see what the experts say about this. I'm about to put in a plum tree - one that's known here in Greece as a Vanilia. I have no idea how that translates into a specific variety; the man in the local plant shop says he has a βανιλια so that is what I shall plant. If the fruit turns out to be on the sour side I can always cook it. :)

An amateur and a complete novice in mediterranean stuff, attempting to establish a garden in Andros, Cyclades, Greece. We're about 45m above sea level. Steep learning curve? Vertical straight line.

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Janet Ibbotson

  • Jr. Member
Re: Victoria plums
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2014, 09:55:09 PM »
We have vanillia on Skopelos too.  There is also damascena which they grow for prunes - which used to be a major commercial crop on the island and a yellow plum used for preserves or "spoon fruit".  I don't know much about them or the differences between them or their uses but I will make enquiries and report back.
Janet Ibbotson
MGS Member currently based in Skopelos, Greece but also gardens in Norfolk

Trevor Australis

  • Sr. Member
Re: Victoria plums
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2014, 11:29:40 PM »
This will be an interesting discussion. The 'spoon fruit' sounds intriguing. I guess it is something served with Greek coffee?
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

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Pauline

  • Jr. Member
Re: Victoria plums
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 09:18:46 AM »
Spoon sweets are preserves (sometimes sweet enough to make my teeth shriek in protest!) - made from a variety of things including: grapes, sour cherries, rose petals, lemon blossom or fruit, whole young walnuts, the peel of the bitter orange, quince, plums you've just heard about, and I can't think of any more just now. Many of them resemble jam, but not the walnut which is in a dark syrup flavoured with cloves (and is divine).

They are eaten by the teaspoonful and often served on tiny glass plates, with a glass of water to cleanse the palate afterwards. I don't associate them with coffee but I dare say you could suit yourself. :)


An amateur and a complete novice in mediterranean stuff, attempting to establish a garden in Andros, Cyclades, Greece. We're about 45m above sea level. Steep learning curve? Vertical straight line.

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John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Victoria plums
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2014, 11:32:46 AM »
Am trying to catch up after returning from the MGS AGM in Menton and so have just seen this post. I'm afraid that it's rather like the old recipe for 'jugged hare' that starts by declaring 'first catch your hare'. In this instance first find your Victoria plum tree. I must admit that I have never come across one here in Cyprus. That doesn't mean that they are not out there only that I have never seen one. Then, of course, there are the factors of geography, etc, such as where in Cyprus are you gardening, at what altitude, what's your soil like, how much access do you have to water, etc, etc.
Sorry I can't be of more positive help but I'll put out feelers among my contacts regarding availability of Victoria plum trees.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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JTh

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Re: Victoria plums
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2014, 06:15:38 PM »
I have a feeling the names of plums vary a lot in Greece; around here (Halkidiki  and Thessaloniki), the vanilies are rather big, round dark, with firm flesh, they can be bought during the summer and now as well, while in the photo of the Greek website http://www.garden-center.gr/el/plants/outdoorplants/fruitbearings/plums.aspx they seem to be smaller and red, and not so round. I can't see Victoria plums mentioned on this site.

I was at the big, permanent marked in Thessaloniki some weeks ago and I have a photo showing both the so-called vanilies (ΒΑΝΙΛΙA) and the regular plums (ΔΑΜΑΣΚΗΝΑ). The vanilies are seen to the left of the avocados and the ‘damaskina’ to the right.

_Z042926 Market in Thessaloniki.jpg by JorunT, on Flickr
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

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Janet Ibbotson

  • Jr. Member
Re: Victoria plums
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 05:09:33 PM »
So finally I had a chance to ask my local nurseryman Nikos Orfanos about the varieties of plum most commonly found on Skopelos. 
"Damascena" ΔΑΜΑΣΚΗΝΑ have blue black skins with a chalky blue bloom.  They are used for making prunes and were once the mainstay of the island's economy.  Many of the kalivis here have plum ovens for drying them.
"Vanilia" ΒΑΝΙΛΙΑ are large, round and dark red with red flesh.  They are used fresh.
"Dvoca to" which when written down looks something like ΔΥΓΙΕ ΤΟ are the yellow ones which are used for spoon fruit but can also be used fresh.  These are oval.
"Xino" which when written down looks like a bit like ΞΥΝΟ are pink and if it is the one I am thinking of its a Victoria type of plum so I guess its used for cooking and fresh.

I am told that to pollinate Damascena you need a a Dvoca to or a Zina.  Ratio of 3 Damascena to one of the others.

Early in the summer my neighbour also gives me small round green plums which are very sweet and juicy.  I don't know what these are called.

Perhaps others can add to this.
Janet Ibbotson
MGS Member currently based in Skopelos, Greece but also gardens in Norfolk