Kester, Dale E. Department of Pomology, College of Agriculture, University of California, Davis, California.
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Prunus dulcis (also known as Prunus amygdalus or Amygdalus communis), a small deciduous tree of the order Rosales that is closely related to the peach and other stone fruit trees, and grown widely for its ellipsoidal edible seeds. The fruit of the almond (Fig. 1), classified botanically as a drupe, is analogous to that of the peach, except that the outer fleshy (mesocarp) layer does not enlarge in size during the latter part of the fruit growth curve. Instead, it splits (dehisces) as it nears maturity, separates from the shell (endocarp), and then dries. The nut with the kernel, or seed, within is then released (Fig. 2). See also: Fruit; Fruit, tree; Nut crop culture; Peach; Rosales
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