[R] Prunus amygdalus Batsh (Rosaceae).
Fr: Amandier; Ge: Mandelbaum; Pt: Amendoeira; Sp: Almendro; It: Mandorlo.
- Fruit tree, 5 to 12 m in height, strong root system and a taproot, white or pink flowers, pollinated by bees and cultivated throughout the Mediterranean coast-line.
- The fruit (almond) is a drupe with a smoky inedible flesh. The stone contains one or two edible almonds (nuts) (*) .
- The principal European producers are Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece.
- The sweet varieties, where the nut is used fresh or dried, are differentiated from the bitter varieties, where the nut is toxic, but its highly scented extract is used in the pharmaceutical and food processing industries.
- Flowering is early (February - March). Harvesting occurs as soon as the fruit is ripe, near the end of the summer. It is done by beating or mechanical shaking. The exocarp around the stone is removed as soon as possible.
- Propagation is by grafting onto almond or plum trees. The plants (scions) are prepared in nurseries and are planted during the dormant period after 1 or 2 years.
- An orchard can produce fruit for more than 13 years.
- Diseases: amongst the fungal diseases, brown rot (Monilia laxa) and Fusiccocum amygdali seem to be the most damaging. However, attacks of peach leaf curl (Taphrina deformans), the blight of stone fruits Coryneum beijerinckii, rust (Tranzschelia pruni-spinosae) or scab (Venturia carpophila) can also be harmful. Verticillium wilt (Verticillium dahliae) may cause serious damage as well. Finally, virus and bacterial diseases exist in some countries.
-Principal European pests: the most damaging pests are common to all fruit trees with pips and stones, but especially peach. One species deserves special mention: Phyllocoptes graniti Keifer (Ac. Eriophyidae), a mite that is rarely harmful, but attacks the leaves.
* Almond-tree bough (Minost C.)
a: leaf narrow, long, pointed, dentate; b: flower white or pinkish, almost sessile; c: almond = drupe with skin green and downy; d: kernel containing the seed.
HYPPZ on line: Species (scientific names), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.
HYP3 : HYPP Phytopathology.