Plum-Apricot Hybrid definitions/category description - teach me!

I, and perhaps others, need a little tutoring on the subject of pluots and/or other hybrids like apriums.
I’ve read articles that are diametrically opposed in their descriptions and definitions of these fruits and I’d like some clarification.

Lets start with the 2 plum/apricot hybrids that I have in my orchard right now. One is a smooth skinned fruit very similar to Flavor Supreme but due to being mislabeled I’m not 100% sure what it is- though it doesn’t matter for this discussion, so lets just call it a Flavor Supreme. My other hybrid is a Spring Satin pluot?/plumcot?/aprium?/etc. Now, most of the on-line nurseries call Spring Satin a “Pluot”. But most definitions in various articles I’ve read say that a hybrid with slightly fuzzy skin like an apricot- which spring satin has- are actually apriums. Other articles say the name depends on whether Zaiger created and/or named a particular variety or not determines whether its a plumcot or pluot or aprium and so on. . Other sources have other, opposing information about what the difference is between pluot, plumcot, aprium, and so on. The wikipedia article has actually changed its explanation of what qualities make a fruit fit into which category within the last few months, so obviously I’m not the only one confused.

In short, I’d love to hear what you all think defines each category, or better yet, if anyone has a link to an article that defines and explains the differences in each category (pluot, plumcot, aprium, etc) and which you all trust and agree with.

Last but not least, part of why I’m interested in this is that I’d like to try and locate a source for more trees that are similar to Spring Satin but its hard to do searches or even peruse online nurseries unless I know what class of fruit I’m searching for. And the reason I say I want some Spring-satin-similar trees is that I’ve had great luck with those that look and feel like spring satin. This summer, my local Kroger Grocery Store (of all places!) had an AMAZING variety of plum/apricot hybrids, and (for my own personal tastes) the ones that had slightly fuzzy skin (like apricot skin) were far and away the best/most incredible fruits I’ve ever had. Regardless of the color inside or out, those with apricot-like skin were by far the best (to me) and I’d like to buy some trees that grow those…but I’m not sure what to search for. Many nurseries call Spring Satin a plumcot but the literature doesn’t seem to match that!

Sorry for all the confusion, but surely I’m not the only one who is perplexed by what exactly makes a given hybrid fit into one of the aforementioned categories. THanks!!!

I’m with you; I don’t know what to search for either. Japanese plums survive the black knot and wilt here, apricots get wilt and die…and I have 3 seedlings from grocery store ‘pluots’ and they are healthy and growing well…too young for fruiting yet. If I knew what to buy, I’d mail order a tree to hurry things along. I like the more tangy aprocot flavour, in something wiltproof.

This is the correct explanation I think. Many of these names are trademarked by Zaiger so only Zaiger can classify their varieties as such. Plumcot is not a trade name though.

OK here it is in a nut shell. Those with more experience feel free to correct me but I think I can come close. Pluot is a hybrid that is a patented and trademarked name owned by Zaiger. So only they are supposed to call anything a pluot. Most pluots favor the plum parent and are super sweet and tasty plums basically. Plumcots are non pated hybrids that also favor the plum parent like Spring Satin. These include natural hybrids, old introductions made by Luther Burbank and others and new modern indroductions. Apriums are hybrids that favor the Apricot parent like Flavor delight. Think that’s pretty close to right.



This is what I heard.

Pluot = 75% plum, 25% apricot
Plumcot = 50/50
Aprium = 25% plum, 75% apricot

This is probably more complex than this. In general I think the lineage of such hybrids often gets changed when looking at the genetics scientifically.
A plum in Europe called Aprimira was said to be a cross between P. cerasifera and P. armeniaca, but when thoroughly examined no armeniaca genetic markers were found, only P. domestica.

Anyway, if the fruit tastes good, then grow it, regardless of name…


Kevin. I posted this in the Spring Satin thread last year. It is an excellent read. I think you’ll like it.

1 Like

This is a great article. I’m reading Chip Brantley’s book, The Perfect Fruit, and it goes into great depth about this. So this article is sort of a summation of the book. Best to just call a pluot “mostly plum”.

I’d love to get a look at Zaiger’s genetics line. I’m curious what they are using as their parent stocks and how often they are crossing with parent plants. The variations are truly endless. I’ve gotten more into “antique” varieties of plums, so I’d like to know if they are using some of the older varieties as parents.

Unfortunately, as I learned from reading this book, it’s rare that the best tasting fruit makes its way to the top of the list of preferred pluots (see: “King, Flavor”). That’s why it’s up to people like us to grow for flavor, not production and/or shelf stability. Flavor is desired, sure, but so is regular cropping and durability.

1 Like