The great apricot mystery

Six years ago we bought our current acreage. Already established on the property were a large plum and apricot. The apricot in particular is incredible. As juicy as the juiciest peach you have every bit into. Super high in sugar content (Brix of 21). Clingstone, super soft. No keeping ability. Will bruise if you stack them in a container just 2 high. Put simply they are the most amazing piece of fruit ive ever put in my mouth.

The tree itself is large and vigorous. Trunk is in excess of 15" in diameter. 15 ft tall with a mushroomed spread of 35 ft. Fruits in the first to second week on May.Its incredibly productive on our colder years, but still not bad on our warmest.

I assumed that it must be one of the common low chill apricots that you can at times find for sale around these parts. As we have expanded our growing I have now planted nearly all the common apricots (Blenheim, Gold Kist, Katy, Tropic Gold) to compare and I can now say for a fact that it is not any of these. Gold Kist and Katy fruit slightly later than the apricot in question and are both freestone and of far lower quality. Tested Katy today at a Brix of only 13.

So does anyone out there have a suggestion of what I might have here? Knowing the former owners its entirely possible that its a seedling I suppose. If it is then I need to work thru the patent process because this thing really does rock.

Katy on the left, mystery apricot on the right

Katy left, Mystery apricot right


The odds are it is a seedling, aren’t they. Patent it!

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That’s a small fruit and being super soft it honestly doesn’t sound that good. 21 brix is OK for an apricot but not really high. I’m eating Tasty Rich now at about that brix and it’s well down my list of favorites. Robada can reach 24+ and is a very big apricot, also firm and highly blushed.

I don’t know how you would patent it if you are not sure it is a seedling. Maybe you should just take some scion wood of off it and put it on the trade section next spring😉

I think you need to consider the brix levels that other fruit is getting under the same conditions. A 21 vs 13 brix difference is pretty big. If all you saw about Tomcot was me posting the 16 I measured, it would look pretty puny compared to what you see. But when you compare it to the other fruit ripening at the same time (in my case, PF1 peaches at 9-10 brix), 16 is pretty good.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a piece of fruit with 20+ brix which I found lacking. Though I bet they are out there- I had an astringent pear with 18, which I can’t recommend for fresh eating.

I’m not sure if it will be too low chill for me, but I’d be interested in giving it a try.

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Amadio, would you be willing to trade scionwood for next year? I have Santa Rosa plum x krauter vesuvius myrobalan plum wood to trade for next year.

I wouldnt think that many of you in colder climates would like its early bloom. @fruitnut having never had your higher chill cots I cant comment, but I dont think they can be discounted because of lack of firmness. For fresh eating on a backyard tree they are divine. The softness is a plus in a fresh eating fruit in my book. Brix would likely be much higher if I was withholding irrigation. Right now they are over-irrigated due to needing to flood the whole area to meet the needs of vegetables we are growing near by.

Sorry guys, until I figure out what it is I think I will keep it here. If it does turn out to be a seedling it would be fun to get to name it and see it distributed. Most other low chill apricots arent that great.

It probably is a seedling. Over watering will make the fruit softer and lower brix. If you like it that’s what counts.

FN, but it still has much higher brix than the commercial varieties he has in similar or perhaps areas with less water.

Amad, the reason I think it may be a seedling is that it is so much better there than the other available varieties- I doubt you’d be the first to notice it. Of course, there is a chance that someone ordered it from a nursery that doesn’t specialize in low chill apricots and it turned out to function as one. I have no idea what the odds are of that.

The Navaho grew apricots from seeds brought by the Spanish so there have been apricot trees in Arizona a very long time that were seed propagated. Of course, I assume they were grown at fairly high elevations. I’ve only seen naturalized apricots in New Mexico, but when I lived in Arizona I was quite young.

I spent some time in New Mexico hanging with hippies on cheap land in cheap adobe houses as a young man long, long,long ago, well aware of the excellence of apricots (my first CA fruit tree was one). I was surprised to see so many ancient wild apricot trees in the high dessert there near the early run of the Rio Grande not far from Taos.

One thing I can say about apricots here is that the juiciness of any given variety is also affected by site. I haven’t been able to figure out what environmental factors create the difference, but it is not likely about water, based on my observations. They are more likely to have a pleasing juiciness on dry years, if anything.


Eric, I agree, it’s probably a seedling, but I would take more photos of the fruit, compared to other fruits, as well as a few photos of the tree, the leaves, etc., and send them to Tom Spellman at DWN. If it is a known cultivar, bet they can ID it for you. I’d LOVE some scionwood, and happy to trade with you. Sounds like my kind of apricot. I do like them small, sweet and juicy.


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If it does turn out to be grown from seed and you’d like to patent it, you can protect yourself while sharing it with a limited selection of people.

What you’ll want to do is to have anyone receiving scionwood from you sign the equivalent of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), a legal agreement that allows the sharing of patentable information between people and / or companies without the sharing being considered “public disclosure.” (You don’t want to have a “public disclosure” event as it would put you on a one year clock to submit a patent application or you lose the ability to patent.) An NDA also normally includes a non-compete section in which the person / entity also agrees not to use what the NDA covers to compete against you (e.g., they are legally forbidden from trying to patent it themselves).

A lawyer who is good at dealing with intellectual property (IP) issues is the kind you want, and preferably one who has significant knowledge and experience in the area of plant-related IP. You don’t want someone who is going to make a dumb mistake that ends up costing you, nor do you want to pay a lawyer with little or no experience in this area several hundred dollars at hour for a number of hours in order to learn enough background information to be able to help you.

It is worth (IMO) considering letting some selected people try growing the apricots (under an NDA / non-compete agreement, of course) on the condition that they provide you with feedback on their experiences growing the apricots. This way you could build up information on what zones and climate types the apricots will grow in, how they turn out, which diseases they are particularly prone to (or resistant to), etc. This information would be helpful in assessing the commercial value of your apricot.

HOWEVER, be aware that if you do go the route of an NDA / non-compete with some selected people, MAKE SURE (as best as you can) that the people involved actually intend to keep the agreement. From a practical standpoint, it’s actually more important that the people truly intend to stick to the agreement than that they signed a piece of paper. Anybody can sign a piece of paper and then go and break the agreement. If this happens, your only real recourse is to sue them, which can be difficult, expensive, and have a very uncertain outcome. The other problem is that if they broke the agreement you might very well not know about it at all - or not find out about it until the damage was already done. Thus sincerity is a critical attribute in anyone you might work with on this.

Finally, as part of any NDA / non-compete agreement, you’d want to make sure you’d thought through the details of what people should and shouldn’t be allowed to do and made sure this was included in the language of the agreement.

For example, you might say that someone could have a maximum (for example) of ten trees of your type of apricot, whether received from you or grown themselves by grafting (in which case they would be required to report it to you). Multiple trees would let people collect a better quality of information on, say, tree survival rates in marginal areas (whether due to cold winter tolerance, disease / pest susceptibility, or other factors), average tree age before fruit production begins, etc.

You could also specify that people can eat the apricots themselves but can’t sell them or give them away (to prevent seeds from being spread around to other people who might then grow trees from them), can’t grow trees from the seeds, etc. (I’m figuring that being self-pollinating, some seeds might produce something fairly similar to your apricot type.) Of course if you do patent the apricot and it gets sold commercially, people who buy one will be perfectly within their rights to plant seeds from it and see if they can come up with something similar, if that is something they want to do. So maybe putting restrictions on the seeds isn’t something you want to do.

Patents that aren’t especially complex cost about $15,000 each, ballpark, when all the costs are added up. If you earn a royalty of $1 per tree, that means 15,000 trees would need to be sold just for you to break even (not including all your personal time, etc.).

These are all issues you’ll want to think about before making firm decisions of any kind.

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Yikes!! I had no idea! Not really interested in earning a royalty. More interested in attaching a name to it that will go forward. Hmmmm. Lots to think about.

So, give it a name and folks will spread it if it’s a nice catchy one. Honeysoft?

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The taste description of this apricot matches the apricot I had in China. Those grow in countryside, old fashion apricot that are small but tastes very sweet, and juicy.


I think this name sounds much better: Amadicot.


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I like, “Amadiocot”. Has a nice ring to it!!

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Yeah, that way they’d know where to find you if it actually is patented.

Kidding, of course, as I was with suggesting Honeysoft- can you imagine the jokes that one would inspire?

Cot can join many words for a musical sound. Amadiocot might be a good way to publicise the rest of your operation if you need that. Or name it after your wife, perhaps.

Since it produces smaller fruit, name it … Microsoft? :grinning:

Just kidding!

I think “Amadiocot” is very catchy and pointed. I vote for it! And love to trade for a cutting…



Trade Marking “Amadio Apricots” or “Amadiocot” would be much cheaper than a patent.
If you set up a little nursery and sell the trees to your customers or on the internet it could be some nice extra income.
If it is a seedling you can craft a story.
Customers always love a good story.


I wonder if seeing if a company like L.E. Cooke might be interesting in it might be a best way to get it distributed and a name attached? Im not a Dave Wilson fan so I doubt id go that way. BTW I do like Amadiocot. :slight_smile: