Prunus dulcis, the Common Almond

Prunus dulcis, the Common Almond, is universal favourite that you can see in bloom outside the University Church on the High Street. A member of the Rosaceae family, Prunus dulcis is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree that grows to around seven metres tall. It has bright green leaves which are considerably longer than they are wide, turning a yellowy orange in the autumn. They do produce nuts, although in the case of this particular specimen they rarely ripen fully. Providing a beautiful splash of colour at the moment, the flowers are a delicate pink and will last a couple of weeks if the weather stays mild.

The tree prefers a well-drained, reasonably fertile soil in a sunny spot. It’s a good tree for the average to slightly larger garden. It is fairly easy to grow, but is prone to problems including peach leaf curl if conditions are not suitable. It is one of the earliest known domesticated fruit trees, appearing from the early Bronze Age. You can propagate by budding onto a suitable rootstock, or by seed.

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