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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 121: VII Symposium on Apricot Culture and Decline

APRICOTS OF ARMENIA: ORIGIN AND CLASSIFICATION OF VARIETIES

Author:   E.S. MORIKIAN
Abstract:
Apricot in Armenia, where vulgar forms of this culture exist until present, was cultivated ever since the ancient times. Seeds of the apricot have been discovered during archaelogie excavations of the Garni Temple and Shengavit settlement, having a history of 6 000 years. In process of many centuries the reproduction of apricots went by means of its stones, as a result of which a broad spectrum of varieties and forms been created. Today there are 50 local varieties and large number of forms known in Armenia, entering the group of khargie (seedlings). All of them belong to the species of ordinary apricot Armeniaca vulgaris Lam.

Industrial culture of apricot is grown today in the southern and south-western parts of the Armenian SSR, at altitudes from 600 up to 1 800 meters above the sea-level. Apricot is the main fruit culture grown in the republic and occupies the territory of 8 000 hectares, or 17% of the total area under the fruit cultures. In future the area under the apricot orchards is planned to be enlarged up to 15 thousand hectares. In the environement conditions of Armenia the apricot threes reach the height of 6–10 meters, having the crown diameter of 7–14 meters.

Local varieties are frost-resistant. The trees of apricot may tolerate the frosts reaching minus 30–32°C, and the generative buds-minus 24–27°C. Fruit-bearing period of the apricot is attained at the 4-th or 5-th year after its planting. For the local varieties, the ripening period begins on 10-th of June and lasts until the 15-th of August. The fruits vary in size from 30 to 120 grams. The pulp of the fruits is either yellow, orange, or white. The pulp is dense, fleshy and of high quality. Sugars' contents is 6.2–20%, acids'-0,25–1.8%. An average crop from a 20–30 year-old tree reaches 150–600 kilograms, and 100-300 centers from a hectare.

The main attention in studies of apricots of Armenia has been paid for the problem of origin of the apricot. In order to obtain an answer to this problem the intragroup crossings have been carried out for the various ecological groups.

During the years 1968–1975 150 thousand flowers of various geographic-botanical groups have been pollinated. Seeds of free pollination were also used, taken from Armenia and Uzbekistan. The following varieties were used in the experiment: from the Armenian group-Erevani,

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