Prunus Mume (Japanese apricot)


ORIGIN AND DIFFUSION
China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan 

CHARACTERISTICS:  Prunus mume, commonly called Japanese apricot, is primarily grown for ornamental purposes, and in particular for its mid to late winter bloom of pink flowers.. It is an upright, fast-growing, deciduous tree that typically grows to 15-20’ tall with a rounded form. It may be trained as a large shrub. Spicily fragrant pink flowers (solitary or in pairs) bloom in winter (February – March, but earlier in mild winter climates) before the leaves emerge. Flowers have red calyxes and yellowish stamens. Flowers are followed by fuzzy-skinned, green to yellow apricots (to 1” diameter) with clinging stones. Apricots ripen in summer. Apricots are technically edible fresh from the plant (some say bitter and inedible), but are at any rate of very poor quality in comparison to commercially sold common apricots (Broad-oval leaves (2-4” long) are sharply-serrulate.

CARE
Sun: full sun to part shade
Water: medium
Winter resistance:  – 10°C

PRUNING:  it is grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained, acidic loams in full sun to part shade. Best flowering is in full sun. Foliage appreciates some part afternoon shade in the hot summers of the deep South. Avoid heavy clays and poorly drained wet soils. Prune if needed immediately after flowering. Unfortunately, protected locations may encourage the flowers to open early and succumb to freezing temperatures.