BRIONCON APRICOT
(Prunus brigintana)

 

 

A tree of brioncon apricot

 

Family: Rosasceae

Synonyms:  Armeniaca brigantiaca, Prunus armeniaca brigantiaca,

Other names: Alpine Plum

Brioncon apricot is a fruit from Europe growing from southeast France and northwest Italy and also in  the Alps.  The fruit has also been introduced to a few more European countries.  

It was introduced into America in as early as in 1896 but it is still very little known in America.

The fruit resembles a golden cherry tomato, tastes like a plum, and botanists class it as a fuzzless little apricot.

Brioncon apricot fruits

 

Description:

A deciduous tree growing to 6m, more elegant and refines; buds sharply pointed and relatively slender

Leaves 2.5 to 7.5 or rarely 10 cm long, very sharply toothed, and lightly hairy.

Flowers of brioncon apricot

 

            Flowers borne in crowded tufts of 2 5,  pinkish or white, about 2-2.5 cm wide, hermaphrodite and are pollinated by Insects

Fruits golden-yellow, fuzzless, 2-2.5 cm wide, edible, tasting like plum, freestone.

Utilization:

Fruit are eaten raw.  They taste somewhat like a plum and have a pleasant mealy texture and sweet flavour.  These are also made into a jam and other products. 

Leaves of a brioncon apricot tree

 

An aromatic edible oil called 'huille des marmottes' is obtained from the seed. It is used as a substite for olive oil substitute in France.  This oil obtained is also used for lighting. It is aromatic.

A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit.

Cultivation:

Brioncon apricot starts bearing at an early age and is a prolific bearer.  It is planted in gardens.

This fruit tree thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, growing well on limestone. This succeeds in sun or partial shade too though the fruiting is better in a sunny locations.

The tree can be propagated from seed which require 10-12 cold stratification for 10-12 weeks.  But the seeds are very slow to grow.

It is also possible to raise new plants by cuttings.  Semi hardwood cuttings with a heel have been found to give better results. 

 

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