The aromatic bitter almond 5 fresh seeds. Prunus dulcis var. amara
Almond (Latin: Prunus dulcis var. amara) is a shrub or small tree from the subgenus Almond (Amygdalus) of the genus Plum. Almonds are often classified as nuts, although they are actually stone fruits. The shape of the fruit is similar to an apricot stone.
The primary focus of formation is located in the Anterior Asia and adjacent areas, including the Mediterranean and Central Asia. In these areas, the almond culture originated many centuries before our era. Currently, the largest almond plantations are located in the Mediterranean region, in China, the USA (California), Central Asia, in Kopetdag and Western Tien Shan, the Crimea and the Caucasus. In Tajikistan, there is even a "city of almonds" — Kanibadam.
It is also grown in the warm regions of Slovakia, most often in vineyards, as well as in South Moravia and in the Czech Republic in the vicinity of litomerzhice.
Almonds grow on stony and gravelly slopes at an altitude of 800 to 1600 m above sea level (Bukhara almonds reach 2500 m), prefer calcium-rich soils. In Israel, it grows well below 800 meters, in the Haifa area very close to the Mediterranean coast.
It grows in small groups of 3-4 individuals, at a distance of 5-7 meters from each other.
Very light-loving, very drought-resistant due to a well-developed root system and economical transpiration.
Blooms in March-April, sometimes even in February, the fruit ripens in June-July. Begins to bear fruit from four to five years, fruiting lasts 30-50 years, lives up to 130 years. It is propagated by seeds, root offspring and Mature growth. Tolerates frosts up to -25 °C, but with the beginning of the growing season suffers from spring frosts.
Shrub (rarely a small tree) 4-6 m tall, very branchy. There are two types of shoots: elongated vegetative and shortened generative.
Leaves are petiolate, lanceolate, with a long-pointed tip.
The flowers are solitary, up to 2.5 cm in diameter, with white or light pink petals, numerous stamens and a single pistil, and consist of a flanked srostnolistnoy calyx and a pink or red Corolla. The flowers bloom before the leaves.
The fruit is a dry velvety-pubescent oval monocost with a leathery green fleshy inedible pericarp. Dry pericarp at maturity is easily separated from the stone. The seeds ("nuts») the same shape as the fruit itself, covered with small dimples, sometimes with grooves, 2.5-3.5 cm long, weighing 1-5 g.
Whole kernels of bitter almonds do not smell. When sliced, they acquire a specific almond flavor due to benzaldehyde.
A valuable early spring honey plant, it gives nectar and a lot of pollen.
It is used as a drought-resistant rootstock for peaches and apricots.
Almonds can be planted as an ornamental soil-protecting plant.
The kernels of bitter almonds are inedible, and they make fat oil. Oil purified from amygdalin is used for cooking the best varieties of soap. Cake is poisonous, in the past it was used to prepare medicinal bitter-industrial water, prescribed as a sedative, tonic and analgesic. Essential oil is distilled from it for perfumery fragrance.