California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Prunus armeniaca ~ Blenheim Royal Apricot

The Blenheim Royal Apricot announces the real beginning of the fruit season in our garden in late May or the first week in June. There are some strawberries and vegetables by this time of year, but a loaded Royal Apricot tree warms me to the depths of my belly; Apricot tarts, apricot jam, apricot upside-down cake and always a pleasure to eat out of hand straight from the tree. The Blenheim Royal Apricot is a low chill fruit, though not really low chill enough to produce much fruit in coastal gardens except in particularly cool microclimates. The Apricot fruit will often split or much of the fruit will drop if the trees are watered while the fruit is in the last stages of ripening. Historically most of the Apricot orchards in our area were dry farmed. Blenheim Royal Apricots in our area bloom with a flush of white flowers in mid February. The success of our season is largely dependent on the warmth of the weather during that week or two of blooms. If it is warm enough for the bees to fly we get great crops. The temperature differences from one end of the Ojai Valley to the other make for ripening times that spread over a month and a half. Fruit ripens on our Blenheim Royal Apricot tree over a two or three week span.

Blenheim Royal Apricot

Fruit of the Blenheim Royal Apricot. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.