Opal is probably one of the best flavoured early plum variety - indeed it is sometimes called a gage-like plum thanks to the excellence of its flavour. However the flavour depends crucially on developing sugars during the short growing period, and in northern gardens Opal really benefits from being grown in a sunny aspect. In less favourable situations it will still give good crops but with a less intense flavour.
The fruit is medium-sized, coloured dusky red with a heavy bloom, becoming blue when overripe. The plums ripen over a period of about 1-2 weeks, so you don't have to deal with a glut. The flesh is straw-yellow and fairly juicy. Opal is a free-stone plum - the stone falls away easily from the flesh. If picked on a warm July day and placed in a fruit bowl Opal also has a wonderful aroma. This is primarily a plum to eat fresh, but it is also useful for jams and fruit crumbles.
We recommend Opal because it is easy to grow in a variety of climates and provides good quality plums early in the season.
Plum Type : Dessert mostly but can also be used for culinary Jams or Crumbles
Climate Suitability : Cold weather tolerant
Fruit picking time: Early - Late July
Fruit size/colour: Large Red
Pollination group: Group 3 Self Fertile