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Prunus sibirica - L.

Common Name Siberian Apricot
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Habitats Dry sunny slopes amongst shrubs[74]. Forests, thickets, hill grasslands, river valleys and dry sunny slopes at elevations of 400 - 2500 metres[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Korea, Mongolia and eastern Siberia.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Prunus sibirica Siberian Apricot


Prunus sibirica Siberian Apricot

 

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Summary

Siberian apricot is a deciduous shrub, native to eastern China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia and eastern Siberia, growing to 3m (10ft). An edible oil resembling olive oil is obtained from the seed, and used as a substitute for almond flavouring. The fruit is eaten raw or cooked, and is a good size: about 25mm x 25mm (1in), and contains one large seed. The fruit is occasionally eaten but is sour and scarcely edible. The fruit seed is eaten raw or cooked and has a bitter taste. If the seed is too bitter do not eat it. Siberian apricot can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or full sun. The fruit is harvested in early to mid-summer. As a Carbon Farming Solution plant, Siberian apricot is a staple oil crop and an industrial oil crop. Sometimes misspelt as Prunus siberica.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Prunus sibirica is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower in March, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Armeniaca sibirica. Sometimes misspelt as Prunus siberica.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Oil

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 105]. A good size, it is about 25mm x 25mm and contains one large seed[200]. Sour and scarcely edible[11, 266]. The fruit is occasionally eaten. Seed - raw or cooked. A bitter taste[11], they are normally used as an almond flavouring[74, 105]. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter - see the notes above on toxicity. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[183] - it is used as an almond flavouring[74]. The oil resembles olive oil[183].

References

Medicinal Uses

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Analgesic  Antiasthmatic  Antiseptic  Antitussive  Emollient

The seed is analgesic, antiasthmatic, antiseptic, antitussive and emollient[176]. It is used in the treatment of coughs, asthma, acute or chronic bronchitis and constipation[176]. The seed contains amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being[238].

References

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Other Uses

Dye  Oil  Rootstock

A potential rootstock for apricots[113]. A green dye can be obtained from the leaves[168]. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit[168].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Oil  Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Oil

Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, growing well on limestone[11, 200]. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present[1]. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position[11, 200]. This species is reputed to be hardy to about -50°c and as such is of potential use for conferring greater cold tolerance in breeding programmes with the closely related apricot, P. armeniaca. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged[238]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Oil  Materials, chemicals and energy include bioplastics, biomass, glycerin, soaps, lubricants, paints, biodiesel. Oilseed crop types.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.
  • Staple Crop: Oil  (0-15 percent protein, 16+ percent oil). Some of these are consumed whole while others are exclusively pressed for oil. Annuals include canola, poppyseed, maize, cottonseed, sunflower, peanut. Perennials include high-oil fruits, seeds, and nuts, such as olive, coconut, avocado, oil palm, shea, pecan, and macadamia. Some perennial oil crops are consumed whole as fruits and nuts, while others are exclusively pressed for oil (and some are used fresh and for oil).

References

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Propagation

Seed - requires 2 - 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[200]. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[200]. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate[113]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame[11, 200]. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame[200]. Layering in spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Subject : Prunus sibirica  
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