An essay on apricots

A great article on apricots from 2012, somehow I missed it until now. Unfortunately, a couple years ago the main orchard that produced CandyCots was bulldozed and replaced by almonds.


Nice article! I wonder if those apricots he was tasting at the end of the article are to be found somewhere.

Yes, a bit of mystery at the end — good for the literature value of the story, but not for us fruit fanatics. :wink: I think that John Driver’s experimental orchard with all these varieties should still be intact, it’s the commercial one that was converted to almonds.

Stan, you have praised candycots before? How do you rank them among your top cots? I saw on the Facebook page of the candycots orchard a post saying that they kept a couple of trees and that they tried to offer them (or their scions) to some of the orchards that cater to home growers, but the orchard(s) showed no interest. May be if you contact them they agree to offer you scions.

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Of the CandyCot varieties, I ate Anya and Yuliya. Yuliya was from Andy Mariani’s orchard and it was very good, but not the top of the list. Anya was from the commercial CandyCot orchard (the one that was removed in 2016), it was the best of the best.

I’m not a nursery or company, just another home grower (probably with more trees than average one, but still…), there would be no commercial interest for them to give me their material. I think it would only make sense for them to work with a big nursery that can move thousands of trees in a season.

I’m growing about 40 Anya seedlings in my experimental rows. I expect them to start producing in 2019 (a few of them even made a couple fruits in 2018). Perhaps there will be a few that make good quality fruit. I don’t really have time and space to experiment on a bigger scale, so it’s based on a hope that I’m lucky. :slight_smile:


It would not harm to try. May be they have a sweet spot for serious fruit enthusiasts like you… or may be you can offer them $30-50 or so for a few scions of Anya. The variety is of no commercial value to them and may be they would like to preserve their name in history as the breeders of the best apricot variety ever… and preserve that variety at least among home growers. You may also get the scions from them, grow them into a few trees and start selling the scions to us and pay the original orchard some royalty… If I were living close to that orchard like you, I would certainly try one of the above scenarios.


when i was living in southeast asia, some of the best tropical fruis have sampled were obscure ones given to me by folks farming in far-flung boondocks. Most of them unnamed, and obviously grown from random seed or perhaps selectively obtained from the wild. Evidently the same scenario with some apricots and other drupes and pomes in areas where they might be native to or have gone feral.

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This article is very interesting. I have read it several times now… Gollner is a talented writer and I think he could sell ice to Eskimos, but still, enough people on this forum rave about CandyCots, that there must be something actually better about them.

You hear a lot about Anya and Yulija - I’m guessing because those varieties are in Andy’s Orchard, but the article mentions that John Driver attempted to commercialize a total of five varieties (Anya, Honey, Yulija, Mischa, and Eleni). Does anyone know what happened with the other three varieties?


I haven’t read the article but if I was you I wouldn’t give up. The nurseries probably refused due to uninteresting color (consumers are looking for bright orange, orange/red and red) or poor shelf/storage life. From what I read from Stan these apricots came from pits in the east so I am sure there are many apricots with similar characteristics. The Anya Cot looks somewhat like Shalah Ananasnyj I ate few weeks ago at my friend’s. It is high brix apricot that had somewhat lemon color. It gets a lot of attention in the apricot enthusiasts circles. I am sure there are many other similar varieties that mostly come from Ukraine (and they get there from other countries to the east). Just check the google search for shalah here…0…gws-wiz-img.adZFWKwCyXU&ved=0ahUKEwiqpduk-bHkAhUSYsAKHTqzCOMQ4dUDCAY&uact=5


Shalah (a.k.a. Yerevani) is an Armenian apricot, it’s most popular and widely grown variety in Armenia. It’s an excellent apricot but it’s very different from Anya which originated from seeds brought from Central Asia. Shalah is available from ARS-GRIN germplasm repository at Davis, and I have several grafts of it.

In Ukraine, there is a lot of confusion about apricot varieties. At some point they started to call Shalah by the name “Ananasnyj” (which means “pineapple-like” in Russian although no such name is used in Armenia). Now, if you go to a market in Ukraine everybody who sells apricots tells you they sell “Ananasnyj”, which simply means they want to get the highest price.


Thank you for the article @Stan. I don’t know how I missed it for these past several months. Gollner can write indeed.

There are a farm or two near me that grow pick your own peaches. I could get tree-ripened peaches from those PYO. There are several homes that grow peaches trees (mostly bug-infested because owners do not want to spray).

In my area, I have not found a farm growing apricots (too risky of losing crops with spring freeze, I guess) or a home with an apricot tree. Eating tree-ripening apricots are worth it for me because -
1 ) the good ones are excellent.
2) No PYO for apricots near me
3) no hope for any tasty store bought apricots here


Good to know Shalah is available in US as well and too bad it’s different from Anya.
We got also many of the pineapple apricots, mostly referring to some of the heritage varieties.
This might be a reason why Anya weren’t commercial success - short shelf life, easy bruising. To be honest if you put a box like this in your store, absolute majority of people will skip.
Too bad the owner didn’t want to release it to the public, could be a good variety for the homegrower.


I think the seeds may come close to the real thing


Stan, have you had more apricots from your trees since you wrote? I saved some Anya kernels from Andy’s Orchard and have six seedlings and three about to sprout. I’m finding two patterns of growth: straight up tall and fast, and almost immediately branching out and short (so far) and bushy. I haven’t seen the original trees and have no idea whether either is more indicative of a different pollinator vs the Anya.

I figure anything coming out of Andy’s is good so I can’t go wrong either way.


Cool, thank you!


Super cool thanks Stan


By the way, I found this, which says they walked through John Driver’s apricots with him (while the commercial orchard was still standing) and that the Anyas were the ones that were self-fertile. I’m hoping my seedlings turn out to be, so I thought I’d pass this on. Sweetness & Light: The Making of CandyCots | CUESA


Stan, you are absolutely correct. ‘Anya’ was not bred, but originated from imported Central Asian seed. Paul,- I agree that the boxed fruit isn’t all that attractive,- even if you call them ‘sugar spots.’ US consumers will not buy those fruit,- only people who have been shown that what they see actually represents characteristics of high quality.

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