Prunus armeniaca

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                           Prunus armeniaca  L., ; Sp. Pl. 474 (1753).
File:Prunus armeniaca in Donetsk 2.jpg
Flowers of Prunus armeniaca

Nomenclature and Taxonomy

Fruits of Prunus armeniaca

Prunus armeniaca belongs to family Rosaceae. It is commonly known as Apricot while it is locally known as खुर्पानी - Khurpani (Standard Nepali), Khorpani (Newari), and Kham-bu (Tibetan) in Nepal. [1] It is synonymed as Armeniaca vulgaris Lam. also. Some authors has recoreded four varieties viz., Armeniaca vulgaris var. ansu (Maximowicz) T. T. Yü & L. T. Lu; Armeniaca vulgaris var. meixianensis J. Y. Zhang et al.; Armeniaca vulgaris var. vulgaris; and Armeniaca vulgaris var. zhidanensis (C. Z. Qiao & Y. P. Zhu) L. T. Lu of Armeniaca vulgaris. [2]

Plant Description

Prunus armeniaca is a 5–8(–12) m tall tree , with spherical, spherical-flattened, or elongated oblong crown . Bark is grayish brown, longitudinally splitting. Older branchlets are brownish, glabrous, transversely lenticellate; young branchlets are reddish brown, with many pale lenticels. Winter buds are purplish red, ovoid, 2–4 mm, glabrous or puberulous at scale margins, apex obtuse. Petiole is 2–3.5 cm, glabrous or white pubescent, basally usually with 1–6 nectaries. Leaf blade is broadly ovate to orbicular-ovate, 5–9 × 4–8 cm, both surfaces glabrous, abaxially pubescent in vein axils, or adaxially white pubescent, base cuneate, broadly cuneate, rounded, or subcordate and with several nectaries, margin crenate, apex acute to shortly acuminate. Flowers are solitary or occasionally paired, opening before leaves, 2–4.5 cm in diam. Pedicel is 1–3 mm, pubescent. It has purplish green hypanthium of shortly cylindrical, 5–7 × 3–4 mm, outside pubescent near base. Sepals are purplish green, ovate to ovate-oblong, 3–5 mm, reflexed after anthesis, apex acute to rarely obtuse. Petals are white, pink, or tinged with red, orbicular to obovate, 0.8–1.2 cm and ± as broad, margin shortly unguiculate, apex rounded. Stamens are 20–100, slightly shorter than petals; filaments white; anthers yellow. Ovary is pubescent. Style is slightly longer to nearly as long as stamens, basally pubescent. Drupe is white, yellow, orange, often tinged red, globose, ovoid, or rarely obovoid, 1.5 to more than 2.5 cm in diam., usually pubescent, glaucous or not; mesocarp succulent, not splitting when ripe; endocarp globose, ovoid, or ellipsoid, compressed laterally, often obtuse at ventral suture and more straight at dorsal suture, with keel-like ribs on ventral side, surface scabrous or smooth, base symmetric or rarely asymmetric, apex obtuse to ± rounded. Seed is bitter or sweet. [2]

Ecology and Distribution

Prunus armeniaca is distributed in Central Asia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and Nepal. In the Central Asia, China, Japan, and Korea it grows in sparse forests on mountain slopes, slopes, gullies, and also cultivated at 700-3000 m. [2] However, in Nepal, it is widely cultivated at 2900-3500 m and sometimes escaped. [3]

Phenology and Reproduction

Prunus armeniaca flowers in March to April and fruits in June to July. [2] It reproduces by seeds. [1]

Economic Value

Prunus armeniaca is economically valuable for edible ripen fruit and its seed oil which is also edible. Also, its seed oil is used for burning. [1]

Phytochemistry and Pharmacology

According to some pharmacopias and well established documents decoction of Prunus armeniaca is used for symptomatic treatment of asthma, cough with profuse expectoration and fever. Its seed oil is used fro treatment of constipation. However, there are no clinically supporting data of their medicinal activities. [4]

The major constituent is amygdalin (up to 4.9%), a cyanogenic glycoside (a plant compound that contains sugar and produces cyanide). Other cyanogenic compounds present are prunasin and mandelonitrile. Also present are the amygdalin-hydrolysing enzyme, emulsin, and fatty acids and sitosterols. [4]

Diseases and Pathogens


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Manandhar, N. P.(2002). Plants and People of Nepal. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon, USA. p. 381
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Lu, L. D. & Bartholomew, B. (2003). ARMENIACA Scopoli, Meth. Pl. 15. 1754. 杏属 xing shu. In Flora of China Editorial Committee (Eds.), Flora of China Volume 9 [1] pp. 396 - 401.
  3. Annotated Checklist of the Flowering Plants of Nepal. (2015). Prunus armeniaca L., ; Sp. Pl. 474 (1753). Retrieved from on April 8, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Herbal Information the green ring society. (2015). Prunus armeniaca L. (Rosaceae). Retrieved from on April 8, 2015.