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3 Qualities that Make Santa Rosa Plums Better than Others

Named for its birthplace, this plum variety was bred in 1906 by the famed California horticulturist Luther Burbank in his Santa Rosa plant research center. Responsible for over 800 varieties of fruits and vegetables, most notably the russet potato, the Santa Rosa plum is considered the jewel in Burbank’s crown.

So what makes Santa Rosa plums so special? We've narrowed it down to three distinct qualities:

 1. Deep, rich flavor: The sweet, tender and juicy flesh of a Santa Rosa plum is complemented by a hint of tartness in the skin, which serves to balance out the sugars for a perfect blend of flavor.

You can now order Santa Rosa plums to be delivered to you from tree to table in 48 hours.


 2. Beautiful, dark color: Red-skinned with a purple bloom, the juicy amber flesh of these Santa Rosa plums is flushed with a bright red hue at the edges. You may see scars on the fruit every so often, but these are strictly cosmetic and do not affect the fruit’s flavor at all. (Note: Thrips are insects that scratch the skin of a plum when it's young, resulting in the beige scar you see.)

 3. Compact size: Bigger than bite-sized varieties, the Santa Rosa plums are sized just right to please without being overwhelming.

 Over time, the good ol’ Santa Rosa plum may have fallen out of favor in the fruit-growing industry — having been replaced by plums that are bigger and ship better — but it still remains the benchmark among all ‘fruities’ for plum flavor. No other variety can compete with the plump perfection of a Santa Rosa and at Frog Hollow Farm we recognize and respect its supremacy and continue to grow organic Santa Rosa plums on our farm so that you may enjoy this delicious treat every summer.

If we're out of our Santa Rosa plums, give our Flavor King pluots (a pluot is a hybrid between a plum and an apricot) a shot. They have an intense rich flavor, like the plum, combined with sweet, spicy tones.

Chef Becky’s Expert Tips on Santa Rosa plums:

Frog Hollow Farms' Rebecca Courchesne (Chef Becky!), co-author of CookingLight Magazine's "The Art of Preserving," shares her expert advice on how to handle, consume and cook with plums.

•Santa Rosa plums get very soft when they are ripe, so they require a lot of care while handling.

•They may be refrigerated, but only once completely ripe.

•When cooking with plums, don’t be surprised if you need more sugar than you originally planned on using because it would take a lot to balance out the tartness in the skin.

•On the other hand, the tart skin, coupled with the fact that they are high in pectin, makes Santa Rosa plums great for jams.


Also Read: 

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  • I don’t care if my comments on Santa Rosa plums are approved or not… I just want to know where I can buy them! I had a similar experience to another writer — the new property owner was a moron and destroyed the rare and wonderful tree. Since then, I’ve never been able to find Santa Rosa plums ANYWHERE in Southern California. Is there an answer to this vexing problem?

    Dan Sterling
  • Is this plum a freestone or cling? I can’t find any reference one way or another. Please e-mail the answer. Thanks

    Ruby Bates
  • Wanting to plant this plum tree now here in Huntsville,al can it survive and will it produce well .

  • When I moved from Philly to Los Angeles in 1976 I stayed with my aunt Tillie in her home in Beverly Hills In her backyard was a large Santa Rosa plum tree that never failed to deliver the absolute greatest food product bar none. If I only 1 food to live on hands down it is the Santa Rosa plum. During the peak season middle to end of July these very soft deep red purple flesh covered by a very thin tart skin with a white covering that rubbed off were the greatest eating experience , Talk about how in one bite the juice would drip down and end up on your clothing they were so soft and juicy .I eat 30 at 1 time and still want more .I suppose I was spoiled cause I was the only person save Tillie for 5 or 6 years when I visit the tree after I moved out but still close by and every year all I could think of was these plums . Aunt Tillie died and her house sold with the new owners destroying a sacred tree I am still sick. Rarely have I come across these plums in many years sold anywhere and when they did were quite expensive . The different varieties are a waste of time and sour not juicy or sweet no comparison as those Santa Rosa plums which are impossible to find in So.Cal how did this happen that such a great fruit plum is not available I am broken hearted and miss those late July days when I would pick non stop juicy plums and eat till I couldn’t

    Steven Berger
  • I am having trouble placing my order. I would like to order 3 or 5.lbs of Santa Rosa Plums if available. Thank you!!

    katherine greubel

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