Black Apricot - A Hybrid Of Common Apricot And Cherry Plum - Cultivation Features And Varieties
Black Apricot - A Hybrid Of Common Apricot And Cherry Plum - Cultivation Features And Varieties

Video: Black Apricot - A Hybrid Of Common Apricot And Cherry Plum - Cultivation Features And Varieties

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This very rare kind of apricot - black apricot - is a spontaneous hybrid between common apricot and cherry plum. In culture, it is found in the countries of Western and Central Asia, Transcaucasia, as well as Western Europe and the USA. It has not been found in the wild. For the first time I read about this unusual apricot at IV Michurin's. He grew one of his varieties, Shlor Tsiran (mistakenly read as Tlor Tsiran) under light cover in a dirt shed. Assessing the taste of black apricot fruits, the scientist wrote that when eaten fresh, they “… cannot withstand comparison with the best varieties of real apricots, but, nevertheless, when compared with the fruits of imported ordinary varieties found in our markets, many of Those who do not like the fresh taste of the latter will willingly give preference to the fruits of black apricot, which have a special pungent sharpness in taste.As for the apricot jams, then everyone, without exception, will be positively on the side of the black apricot, since the jam made from its fruits, both in appearance and taste, is immeasurably higher than the quality of jams from all other varieties of apricot."

Apricot Black Velvet
Apricot Black Velvet

According to IV Michurin, the Shlor Tsiran variety itself is not suitable for planting in the gardens of the middle zone, because "… although the wood in most of the winters does not suffer from frost, the flower buds die off." However, for the sake of fairness, it must be said that IV Michurin had plants grown from the seeds of this variety, and they openly hibernated quite well.

In most of its morphological and biological features, black apricot occupies an intermediate position between the parental species. Its fruit is smaller than that of an apricot (20-30 g), pubescent, the color of the skin is from yellow to dark purple. The pulp is fibrous, juicy, sweet and sour, resembles varieties of large-fruited cherry plum, but has an apricot aroma. The stone in most varieties does not separate from the pulp. In taste, the fruits of black apricot are inferior to the best varieties of ordinary ones, but they are good for various homemade preparations.

Apricot Mouse
Apricot Mouse

Of the ancient varieties of black apricot, the most famous are Shlor Tsiran (Tsiran-Salar), American black, Big late, Manaresi. At the Crimean OSS VNIIR, a lot of work has been launched to develop new varieties of this crop. The task of scientists is to create more productive and winter-hardy varieties with an improved fruit taste and a separating bone. For this, black apricot is crossed not only with its own varieties, but even with distant relatives of plums (Chinese, Russian and domestic), cherry plum, common apricot, thorns, cherry plums. The varieties obtained in this way are so different from the old ones that they, perhaps, could be called some kind of new fruit crop. Among the new varieties, the Mouse is especially interesting… The variety was created by G.V. Eremin in the Krasnodar Territory (Krymsk). It is literally a dwarf that can be grown even in a tub culture. At the same time, it is winter-hardy (apparently, it will fit in the middle lane), is resistant to diseases, gives sweet-sour, aromatic fruits. And also G.V. Eremin recommends his new varieties of Kuban Black and Black Velvet.

Kuban black is a random hybrid of cherry plum with common apricot. Ripening period is average. Relatively resistant to disease. The yield is below average, but regular. Self-sterile. Fruits are small (25 g), very good sweet-sour taste.

Black velvet is more productive and more winter-hardy than Kuban black. It also has a smaller tree. But the fruits are also small (24 g), similar in taste to the Kuban black. The varieties are recommended for the North Caucasus region.

Apricot Kuban black
Apricot Kuban black

Black apricot is superior to common apricot both in resistance to diseases (moniliosis, clasterosporium disease, cytosporosis), and in winter hardiness, especially in resistance to recurrent cold snaps at the end of winter. Therefore, it bears fruit more regularly than the usual apricot in southern Russia. It is advisable to test its new varieties in more severe conditions - in the Volga region and the middle lane up to Moscow (and, by the way, it is better in a non-standard and low-standard bush form). Plants are placed at a distance of 4-5 m. All varieties are well pollinated by each other, as well as cherry plum, Russian and Chinese plums and common apricots.

Black apricot is propagated by grafting on cherry plum, apricot, clonal rootstocks Kuban-86, Alab-1, Eureka and others, as well as green and lignified cuttings. Black apricot, especially its varieties Alab-1, Alab-2, Afgan, are also used as clonal rootstocks for plum, apricot and peach.

Caring for a black apricot is practically no different from caring for an ordinary apricot. For landing, choose the sunniest, warmest place. The plant must be protected from northerly and easterly winds.

Apricot does not tolerate stagnant water. If there is such a danger, they dig more holes, make drainage, and place the seedlings on the hills.

The soil in the planting pits should be heterogeneous. Clay is mixed with sand and peat in equal parts. Do not overuse fertilizer when planting. In subsequent years, feed only moderately enough to support growth. If the growth is too large, stop feeding, increase the dose when the dose is attenuated.

Apricot, like other fruit crops, requires watering, which is carried out during a strong growth of shoots. In the second half of summer, watering is stopped, as it promotes the growth of shoots, and they do not have time to ripen by winter. Shoot growth can be stopped by autumn pinching, but after that, lateral shoots often begin to grow, and then they also need to be pinched. To accelerate leaf fall, which will ensure the best preparation of the tree for winter, experienced gardeners recommend pollination with dry wood ash in the fall, even on green leaves.

Apricot, to a greater extent than other fruit crops, suffers from sunburn on the bark and its decay. Therefore, the barrels must not be covered with any material that impedes air exchange (polyethylene, roofing felt, stockings). But, protecting trees from sunburn, they must be whitewashed with garden whitewash with the addition of copper sulfate. And they do it not in May, as many think, but in late autumn and again - in early spring.

Apricot loves pruning. Its technology is very similar to that of an apple tree. Many gardeners form apricot trees in a "vase" shape.

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