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Prunus dasycarpa Ehrh.

Black Apricot

Modern name

Prunus × dasycarpa Ehrh.


Armeniaca dasycarpa (Ehrh.) Pers.

A deciduous tree 12 to 20 ft high, with purplish, glabrous twigs. Leaves oval to ovate, with a rather abrupt tapering point finely toothed, 112 to 212 in. long, two-thirds as wide, downy beneath on the midrib and main veins; leaf­stalk 34 to 1 in. long, often glanded. Flower 34 in. across, pure white, produced on the naked wood in March, each on a downy stalk. Fruits round, 112 in. across, black, with purple bloom, minutely downy.

P. dasycarpa is almost certainly a hybrid between the apricot and the cherry plum (P. cerasifera). According to Kostina in Fl. SSSR (Vol. 10, p. 599) many sorts of the plum-apricot are cultivated in Central Asia, Kashmir, Baluchistan, and Iran, regions in which the apricot and cherry plum are grown together and usually raised from seeds, so that the likelihood of spontaneous hybridisation between them is very great. P. dasycarpa bears fruit only sparsely in this country, but has been offered in German catalogues of fruit trees as ‘plum-apricot’. The fruit is described as ripening in August, purple-black, covered with fine down, the flesh red, juicy, sweet, and of an apricot flavour. It would probably need wall treatment in this country to develop its fruit properly. It is worth cultivation as an early free-flowering tree.



Other species in the genus