An apricot is a fruit or the tree that bears the fruit. However, an apricot tree has got several species that is closely related to the Prunus genus. The apricot is a minute tree that has an average height of 8-12 meters, and its trunk is about 40 centimeters in diameter. The tree has ovate leaves that are 5-9 centimeters long and 4-8 centimeters wide. The leaves have a circular base and pointed tips with mostly segregated margins. Blooms of an apricot are white pinkish flower petals that are either produced singularly or in pairs. An apricot fruit is a drupe that resembles a small peach that develops from yellow to orange and sometimes red when fully exposed to the sun. The fruit's surface can either be velvety or smooth with very short hairs while the flesh of an apricot is usually firm and not very succulent with either a sweet or tart taste.
Benefits Of Apricot
Apricots are believed to be among the healthiest fruits despite its tiny size. An apricot fruit is fully packed with the right amount of essential vitamins and has plenty of fiber and low fat. Apricot fruits are also rich in vitamin A and potassium which are good for eyesight and maintenance of proper fluid balance and muscle function respectively. Other than nutritional value apricot production has considerable economic benefit to countries that grow them in large scale for exportation.
Cultivation Of Apricot
Apricots prefer a continental climate for growth. Dry climates are usually the best for the apricot fruits to mature. Apricot cultivars are often grafted onto peach or plum rootstocks which help provide growth characteristics for the apricot. There are several apricot hybrids including black or purple apricot a mixture of apricot and cherry plum and apriums, plumcots, apriplum or pluots. Some apricot cultivars can be self-reliant since they do not need pollinizer trees while others need to be planted in pairs to pollinate.
Top Apricot Producing Countries
Turkey grows more apricots than any other country in the world, with 985,000 tonnes. Uzbekistan is the second largest producer of the fruit, with 532,565 tonnes. In third place is Italy at 266,372 tonnes. Below is a complete list of the world's largest producers of apricots.