Southwick, Stephen M. Department of Pomology, University of California, Davis, California.
Last reviewed:October 2019
- Production and propagation
- Insect pests
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A deciduous tree, Prunus armeniaca, in the order Rosales that produces a simple fleshy stone fruit. The apricot is thought to be native to China; then it was distributed throughout Asia and Europe, and eventually North America, South America, and Oceania. The species is genetically diverse and can grow in a wide range of climates, depending on the cultivar. Such diversity occurs in North America, where apricots are produced near Penticton, British Columbia, Canada; in northern New York; as far south as southern California; and even near Puebla, Mexico. Most commercial production in the world is limited to areas where temperatures do not fall below −10oF to −20°F (−23°C to −29°C) for extended periods; however, certain cultivars can tolerate even severer conditions. Many apricot cultivars can tolerate high summer temperatures in excess of 105°F (40.5°C). Some cultivars develop an internal browning of the flesh if high temperatures persist with fruit on trees. Apricots tend to bloom earlier than other stone fruits and are sensitive to frost. Frost-free areas are generally preferred. See also: Fruit; Fruit, tree; Rosales
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