A plum is a fruit of the subgenus Prunus of the genus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera in the shoots having terminal bud and solitary side buds (not clustered), the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems.
Mature plum fruit may have a dusty-white waxy coating that gives them a glaucous appearance. This is an epicuticular wax coating and is known as "wax bloom". Dried plum fruits are called "dried plums" or prunes, although, in many countries (Li hing mui for instance), prunes are a distinct type of dried plum having a wrinkled appearance. Plums may have been one of the first fruits domesticated by humans. Three of the most abundant cultivars are not found in the wild, only around human settlements: Prunus domestica has been traced to East European and Caucasian mountains, while Prunus salicina and Prunus simonii originated in Asia. Plum remains have been found in Neolithic age archaeological sites along with olives, grapes and figs.