History of cultivation apricot
The center of diversity of the apricot is northeastern China near the Russian border .From there it spread west throughout central Asia. Cultivation in China dates back 3000 years. The Romans introduced apricots to Europe in 70-60 BC through Greece and Italy. Apricots probably moved to the US through English settlers on the East Coast, and Spanish Missionaries in California.For much of their history of cultivation, apricots were grown from seedlings, and few improved cultivars existed until the nineteenth century. Cultivars vary among countries, and in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria, a great deal of the production is from seedling orchards.
Apricots are small to medium sized trees with Spreading canopies. They are generally kept under 12′ in cultivation, but capable of reaching 45 ft in their native range.The one-year-old wood and spurs are thin, twiggy, and shorter lived than those of other stone fruits. Leaves are elliptic to cordate, with acute to acuminate tips, about 3″ wide; wider than leaves of other stone fruits. Leaves have serrate margins and long, red-purple petioles.
Flowers are similar in morphology to peach, plum, and cherry. White flowers are borne solitary in leaf axils of 1-yr wood, or in leaf axils on short spurs and appear to be in clusters. There are 5 sepals and petals, many erect stamens, all of which emanate from the hypanthiums or floral cup. Ovary position is epigenous.
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