The most commonly cultivated apricot species is Prunus Armeniaca.
The natural range of this species is not fully known due to widespread ancient cultivation.
Genetic investigations suggest that its center of origin is in Central Asia.
This apricot variety is extensively farmed in numerous countries and has effectively naturalized
in the wild within many of these nations.
What are Prunus Armeniaca?
The Prunus armeniaca, a commonly cultivated apricot species in the Prunus genus of the
Rosaceae family is a small tree known for its ovate leaves, a trunk diameter of up to
40 cm, and a dense, spreading canopy. Native to central Asia.
Prunus armeniaca: Characteristics
This tree, reaching 8-12 meters (26-39 feet) in height, features a trunk with a diameter of
up to 40 centimeters (16 inches).
Its oval leaves, measuring 5-9 centimeters (2.0-3.5 inches) in length and 4-8 centimeters
(1.6-3.1 inches) in width, have a rounded base, pointed tip, and finely serrated
Blooms, with a diameter of 0.8-1.8 inches (0.2-4.5 centimeters), boast five petals in
shades from white to pink.
Appearing individually or in pairs in early spring, before leaves emerge.
The fruit, resembling a small peach, is 1.5-2.5 centimeters (0.6-1.0 inches) in diameter,
exhibiting colors ranging from yellow to orange, often with a red tint on the sun-exposed side.
Some modern cultivars may have larger fruit.
Prunus Armeniaca: Varieties
Prunus armeniaca var. ansu:
Apricot species native to East Asia, adorned with pink flowers.
Found in China and Central Asia, extensively cultivated.
Tibetan apricot, Prunus armeniaca var. holosericea:
Discovered in Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, and Tibet.
Double-flowered apricot native to Mei County apricot.
Prunus armeniaca var. xiongyueensis – Xiongyue apricot:
Indigenous to Liaoning.
Prunus armeniaca var. zhidanensis — Zhidan apricot:
Located in Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, and Shanxi.
Prunus Armeniaca: How to grow?
Growing Prunus Armeniaca:
Choose the Right Location:
Select a sunny location with well-draining soil. Apricots thrive in full sunlight.
Ensure the soil is well-drained and slightly acidic to neutral. Apricots prefer loose, loamy soil.
Plant apricot seeds or young saplings in early spring. Provide adequate spacing for mature tree size.
Maintain regular watering, especially during dry spells. However, avoid waterlogged conditions.
Apply a balanced fertilizer in spring and again in early summer to support healthy growth.
Prune in late winter to shape the tree and remove dead or crowded branches. This helps in the air
Pest and Disease Management:
Keep an eye out for pests like aphids and diseases. Treat promptly with organic or chemical
Harvest apricots when fully ripe. The fruit should easily come off the tree with a slight twist.
Protect young trees from frost, and apply a layer of mulch around the base to retain moisture.
Enjoy the Fruits:
Revel in the delicious harvest of your homegrown apricots!
Prunus armeniaca: Care Guidelines
Optimal Sunlight Exposure:
Place the apricot tree in a sun-drenched location to enhance the quality of fruits and flowers.
Opt for well-draining, loamy soil enriched with organic matter. Aim for a slightly acidic to neutral
pH; assess soil pH before planting.
As the tree matures, increase watering to maintain soil moisture. Apricots thrive in consistently
moist soil and struggle in dry conditions.
Supplemental Watering in Warmer Zones:
In warmer climates, provide additional watering to support healthy blossom and fruit development,
especially during dry spells.
Regular Soil Aeration:
Weekly soil aeration is essential. Ensure thorough watering using drip, sprinkler, or other methods
to keep the soil around the tree hydrated.
Given apricots’ early spring blossoming, choose a frost-resistant site. Avoid low-lying areas and opt
for elevated locations with ample ventilation.
Fertilization Timing and Method:
Fertilize your apricot trees in early spring, before new growth begins. Apply fertilizer along the
drip line, opting for a low-nitrogen formula for optimal results.
Pests and Diseases
Apricots typically exhibit resistance to many pests and diseases that affect their kin, such as
peaches and nectarines. The primary challenge for a thriving apricot harvest is frost.
Once the tree is well-established and its blossoms withstand the frost-free date in your region,
maintaining orchard cleanliness, proper fertilization, and consistent watering may be the only
additional care is needed.
Prunus Armeniaca: Apricot Harvest
When the apricot tree thrives in an optimal location for fruit production, harvest when the fruit
exhibits a delightful blush yet remains firm to the touch.
Handle the fruits with care, ensuring they are plucked with the stem intact.
Enjoy ripe apricots fresh or explore various cooking methods.
Canning is preferable over freezing raw, as freezing may toughen the fruit skin. If freezing is
necessary, remember to peel the fruit before the process.
Prunus Armeniaca: Uses and Advantages
The seeds or kernels of apricots, cultivated in central Asia and the Mediterranean, serve as
a sweet substitute for almonds.
Extracting oil from these kernels, known as almond oil, is employed in cooking.
Apricot fruit, consumed raw, cooked, or dried, offers a tender, juicy texture with a deliciously rich
flavor. Wild Himalayan trees yield approximately 47.5 kg of fruit annually.
The wild type contains 6.3% carbohydrates, 0.7% protein, 2.5% ash, and 2.5% pectin.
With around 10 mg of vitamin C per hundred grams, apricot pulp is a nutritious choice.
Bitter seeds are consumed sparingly, while sweet seeds can be enjoyed freely.
Bitter seeds substitute for bitter almonds in recipes like marzipan.
The trunk is a source of edible gum, and the seed can yield up to fifty percent of a semi-drying
Apricot fruits contain citric and tartaric acids, along with flavonoids and carotenoids, offering
nourishing, purifying, and gentle laxative properties.
In Vietnam, they are used medicinally for digestive and respiratory issues.
The flowers act as a tonic for women, potentially enhancing fertility, while astringency is found in
In cases of poisoning from bitter almonds or apricot seeds, the inner bark or root can be employed
as a remedy.
A decoction from the outer bark helps counteract the effects of hydrogen cyanide and soothes skin
Apricots are utilized for conditions like asthma, coughs, bronchitis, and constipation.
The seeds contain “laetrile” or vitamin B17, with suggested benefits for cancer treatment,
though current evidence is limited.
Prunus Armeniaca: Toxicity
Kernels of apricots contain hydrogen cyanide at levels between 2.05% and 2.40%.
Nevertheless, the typical consumption of a regular diet is insufficient to cause significant harm.
Where is the ideal location for planting an apricot tree?
It thrives in a full-sun setting.
Are the root systems of apricot trees extensive?
Apricot tree roots tend to be shallow.
What is the growth rate of Prunus armeniaca?
This tree adds more than 24 inches in height each year.
in height each year.