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Prunus brigantina Vill.

Briançon Apricot

Modern name

Prunus brigantina Vill.


P. brigantiaca Vill.; P. armeniaca subsp. brigantiaca (Vill.) Dipp.

A small, deciduous, bushy tree 10 to 20 ft high, with a short trunk. Leaves ovate or oval, often slightly heart-shaped at the base, shortly and abruptly pointed, the margins doubly and rather jaggedly toothed, 112 to 3 in. long, 1 to 212 in. wide, hairy beneath, especially on the veins and midrib; stalk 13 to 23 in. long. Flowers white or pinkish, 34 in. or so across, two or more together. Fruit like a small apricot, of a rather clear yellow, smooth.

This tree grows spontaneously in the neighbourhood of Briançon, and occurs wild in the Maritime and Cottian Alps. From the seeds the Briançonnais express an inflammable, agreeably perfumed oil, known as huile de Marmotte. This apricot has little to recommend it for gardens.



Other species in the genus