The apricot is a tree native to China and Central Asia. It typically grows to be about 20-30 feet tall and has a spreading, round canopy. The leaves are oval-shaped and about 2-4 inches long, with a serrated edge and a glossy green surface. The flowers are white or pink and have five petals. The fruit is a drupe, similar in appearance to a peach, with a smooth, orange skin and a fleshy interior.
Apricots are known for their sweet flavor and are often used in jams, jellies, and other preserves. The fruit can also be eaten fresh or dried. The seed, or pit, of the apricot contains a small amount of cyanide and should not be eaten.
Apricots prefer a warm, sunny climate and well-draining soil. They are sensitive to frost and can be damaged by cold temperatures. To successfully grow apricots, they should be planted in an area with full sun exposure and watered regularly.
Apricots have a number of uses beyond their delicious fruit. The wood of the tree is often used for smoking meats, and the leaves can be used as a natural insecticide. In traditional medicine, apricot oil has been used to treat a variety of ailments.