Mexican Plum

  • Mexican plum tree in courtyard of Flavin #6.
  • Mexican plum tree in summer.
  • Mexican plum tree leaves.
  • Mexican plum tree, courtyard view.

Outside of building 6 of Dan Flavin’s light installation grows a Mexican Plum tree. The tree blossoms in the spring, bursting with fragrant white flowers. Later, from July to September, the plums that give Mexican Plum its name ripen, changing color from yellow to mauve to purple. Plums from this tree can be eaten fresh, but are more commonly preserved as jams or jellies. These sweet fruits are tasty to birds and other mammals as well; thus, this tree attracts several winged visitors! Mexican Plums can grow to be 25–30 feet. Their trunks are blueish-grey, and their leaves can be up to five inches long. The leaves are yellow-green, with a fuzzy underside. The trees’ branches are thorny. Mexican Plums are native to Northern Mexico and southern US states; however, they grow well in a variety of conditions. We believe this particular Mexican Plum was planted by the Army.

What is texture and how do you represent it in drawing? Texture is the feeling or appearance of a surface. For example, a cat’s texture might be smooth, whereas a porcupine’s texture might be spiky. Adding texture to a drawing can express both detail and emotion. We can capture texture in drawing through using lines, marks, or different materials. Look up a tree, or look closely at this tree’s bark. How would you describe the texture? What might it feel like to run your hand across the trunk or branches? Experimenting with a few drawing tools (pencils, pens, markers, Crayons, etc.), draw a tree and play with representing the trunk’s texture!