Nicole ApricotA Flavorful New Fruit
From ARS By Marcia Wood
August 25, 2003
The tasty apricot filling in your morning coffee cake or Danish
pastry might someday be made from a flavorful new apricot named "Nicole." This
gourmet fruit is meant for processing into jams, marmalade or fillings for
baked goodies. The specialty apricot is superb for using in these foods because
it keeps its delightful fragrance, exceptionally sweet flavor and attractive,
Nicole is the newest apricot from
Agricultural Research Service tree fruit
breeder and geneticist Craig A. Ledbetter, based at ARS'
San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences
Center in Parlier, Calif. Ledbetter works in the
Postharvest Quality and
Genetics Research Unit at the Parlier center. ARS is the chief scientific
research agency of the U.S. Department of
Ledbetter singled out Nicole from other experimental apricots in
1992. After testing Nicole trees in Parlier research orchards and examining
hundreds of apricots produced by those experimental trees, he offered the new
variety to growers and breeders this year.
Nicole should flourish in any area where commercial apricots are
currently grown. Trees will produce a bountiful supply of two-ounce fruit, a
typical size for today's apricots.
To form these apricots, Nicole trees require pollen from the
flowers of other apricot trees. That's not unusual for apricots, but it's a
requirement that growers and backyard gardeners will need to keep in mind when
choosing where to plant their new trees.
Budwood, for grafting onto standard rootstocks such as Nemaguard
and Nemared, is available seasonally from Ledbetter for breeders and
researchers to use.