Spring 2024 - end of seasonWe have finished taking orders for this season. You will be able to pre-order for next season from June onwards and shipping begins again in Spring 2025.
Orange Pippin Trees USA logoSpecialist fruit trees for your orchard or back-yard

Empress plum tree

Prunus domestica 'Empress'

  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Picking season: Very late
  • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 5

Empress is a very late season European plum, notable for its rich sweet flavor.

The dark blue / purple plums are usually ready to pick in mid-September, but will hang on the tree for much longer if allowed to. They can be kept fresh in a fridge for several weeks, which is also much longer than most European plums.

The green/yellow flesh is quite dry, which makes it excellent for use in the kitchen. The stone is semi-clinging.

Empress european plums for sale

You can pre-order for spring 2025

  • 1Semi-dwarf 1-year bare-root tree $40.95
    Mature height: 8ft-12ft after 10 years
    Semi-dwarf rootstock
    Out of stock
  • 2Full-size 1-year bare-root tree $40.95
    Mature height: 16ft-24ft after 10 years
    Vigorous rootstock
    Out of stock

How to grow

Empress is fairly easy to grow, and although not self-fertile, is readily pollinated by most other late-flowering European plum varieties.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.


Empress is a very old variety of uncertain origins. It is widely known in Europe as Blue Imperatrice, the name apparently being shortened to Empress when it was introduced to North America.

Empress characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Pollination group5
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • Picking seasonVery late
  • UsesDryingDual purpose
  • Keeping (of fruit)2-3 weeks
  • General resistanceGood
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)Zone 5 (-29C)
  • Period of origin1700 - 1749
  • Flesh colourGolden / Yellow
  • Fruit colorBlue - darkPurple - light