Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Prunus domestica ‘Drap d?Or’

A Prunus domestica L. cultivar. ‘Branches smooth, but downy at the ends. Fruit rather small, of a roundish figure, somewhat like the Little Queen Claude, with but very little suture, and a small dimple at each end: about an inch deep, and rather more in diameter. Stalk half an inch long, slender. Skin bright yellow, spotted or marbled with red on the sunny side. Flesh yellow, melting, and separates clean from the stone. Juice sugary and excellent. Ripe the middle of August.’ [George Lindley – Orchard guide p.463/1831]. Thought by some to be a selection from, or more likely a hybrid of, Prunus institia L.

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘According to Pomologie De La France, this variety was cited by Merlet in 1675 and is of old and uncertain origin. Merlet placed the Mirabelle and the Drap d'Or in the Damas class, but Poiteau thought that the latter was probably a cross between Reine Claude and Mirabelle since it resembled the former in quality and shape and the latter in color and size. Yellow Damask, Mirabelle de Nancy, Yellow Perdrigon, Gross Mirabelle and others have proved to be identical with the Drap d'Or as tested in Europe. Whether all of the other synonyms mentioned are the true Drap d'Or is a question; their number indicates that there are many variations in this type of the plum. The American Pomological Society placed Drap d'Or in its catalog list in 1875 and withdrew it in 1899.’ [Plums of New York p.195].

An excellent dessert plum, it resembles the Green Gage but ripens earlier [Don]. ‘Drap d’Or’ is figured in Pomona Britannicus [PB pl.XVI/1812], the figure used here.

‘Drap d’Or d’Esperen’, synonym ‘Golden Esperen’ or simply ‘Esperen’, is figured in Flore des Serres [FS f.396-397/1848]. This an improved variety from Belgium, first fruited by Major Esperen of Malines in 1844. 


History at Camden Park

Listed in Addenda to the 1857 catalogue as ‘Drap d’or’ [Plum no.19/1857].


Published May 27, 2010 - 03:43 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 05:15 PM

Figured are 4 shoots with clusters of yellow, green or blue plums. Pomona Britannicus ol.16, 1812.

Prunus domestica ‘Drap d'Or’ | PB pl.XVI/1812. Drap d'Or is the yellow plum at the top. Also figured are White Gage, Blue Gage and Green Gage.


Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, uncertain but probably France

  • Cloth of Gold
  • Damas Jaune
  • Gross Mirabelle
  • Double Mirabelle
  • Pedrigon Hâtif
  • and many more 


Common Name

Dessert Plum, summer

Name in the Camden Park Record

Drap d’or 

Confidence level high