Prunus armeniaca L.

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Prunus armeniaca
Elena Torres & Santiago Moreno
Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Prunus armeniaca: Appearance of two apricot trees in autumn

Appearance of two apricot trees in autumnBranch with broadly ovate-deltate leaves with a rounded base, pale green on both sides; the dark dots on the petioles are nectar-secreting glandsBranch with proteranthous, solitary flowers on short shoots; the whitish dots are lenticelsBranch with 4 mature velvety drupes (apricots); one of them shows the well-marked groove along its sideFruit with little spots (a symptom of the attack of <span class=cursiva>Stigmina carpophila</span> = <span class=cursiva>Clasterosporium carpophilum</span>)Branch with gummosis (a symptom of the attack of <span class=cursiva>Stigmina carpophila</span> = <span class=cursiva>Clasterosporium carpophilum</span>)

Prunus: Ancient Latin name for plum tree (Prunus domestica L.)

armeniaca: ancient Latin name for the apricot tree which means "from Armenia," the region through which it was introduced into Europe


Habit: Deciduous tree 3-6 m tall with smooth red young branches.

Leaves: alternate, deciduous, 5-10 cm long, simple, with deciduous stipules and a petiole 2-4 cm long with reddish glands; blade widely ovate-deltate or rounded; base rounded or cordate, apex acuminate, margin serrate, glabrous.

Flowers: proteranthous, hermaphrodite, actinomorphic, perigynous, 2-3 cm in diam., solitary or arranged in small groups with very short pedicels; sepals 5, free; petals 5, much larger than the sepals, suborbicular, white or pink; stamens numerous; gynoecium unicarpellous, pubescent, with a half-inferior ovary.

Fruit: drupe (apricot) 3-5 cm in diam., subglobose, covered with short downy hairs, yellow, orange or pink, with a marked lateral groove and a compressed, keeled stone.


It flowers at the end of winter, before the leaves sprout; fruits mature at the end of spring or beginning of summer.

Geographic origin

Native to C and E Asia.


It is widely cultivated as a fruit tree and as an ornamental because of its beautiful flowers. Although most varieties are self-compatible, some are not. In those cases, to obtain fruit it is necessary to have trees of at least two varieties in the same plantation that flower at the same time and are compatible.

The two specimens on this campus are seriously affected by Stigmina carpophila (Lév.) M.B. Ellis = Clasterosporium carpophilum (Lév.) Aderh., a fungus that causes shothole disease in stone fruit trees. It starts by causing necrotic leaf spots with circular margins. As it evolves, the dead tissue falls out, so leaves have "shot holes." Other symptoms are little spots on the fruits, sometimes with a reddish halo, and necrotic lesions (cankers) on the twigs oozing gum drops (see Picture Gallery).

It is propagated from hardwood cuttings or seeds or by grafting.

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