Apricot . The history of apricot ( Prunus armeniaca ) goes back 5000 years in China with the first attribution to the Emperor Yu (2205–2198 BCE), with other references in 658 BCE; and superior orchards were described in 406–250 BCE (Faust et al. 1998). Grafting of apricots began about 600 CE with defined cultivars developed after this time. There are at least 11 cities in China that contain xing (apricot) as part of their name. The closely related P. mume , Japanese apricot, noted for its early bloom, which is especially revered in China for their gnarled branches, profuse early flowering, and fragrance. Painting of this species is a specialized art form. In Central Asia, the apricot appears to have become naturalized in Sogdiana (associated with fabled trading city of Samarkand) as well as Armenia, but the lack of wild apricots suggests that Armenia is merely the route through which apricots entered Europe. Alexander the Great brought the apricot to Greece and Epirus (Albania), from whence it reached Italy. Mention by
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