The Sandhill plum (Courtesy: Getty Images)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) — Kansas now has an official state fruit.

On Tuesday, Governor Laura Kelly signed House Bill 2644, officially designating the sandhill plum, also known as the chickasaw plum, as the state fruit of Kansas.

The process of making the sandhill plum the state fruit started in 2021 when more than 400 students from 24 different schools across Kansas wrote essays and sent letters to state representatives.

Students from Sabetha Elementary School, who started the process, were in attendance to witness the bill become law.

“I am proud of the efforts put forth by the students from Sabetha Elementary School and beyond,” Kelly said. “Hundreds of bills are introduced each legislative session, but not all of them make it to this point. It’s a shining example of what hard work and determination can truly accomplish at any age.”

The official name of the sandhill plum is Prunus Angustifolia, and it is native to Kansas.

The Sandhill plum (Courtesy: Kansas Forest Service)

According to the Kansas Forest Service (KFS), it is the most common wild plum in western Kansas. It can be found on sandy prairies, which is very effective in stopping blowing sand.

The shrub can grow to a height of three to four feet and spread four to six feet, according to the KFS.

The sandhill plum can be used to make jams and jellies, and wine.

The sandhill plum beat out the Red Mulberry, the American Persimmon, and the Gooseberry for the title of state fruit.