Botanical name: Prunus dulcis Family: Rosaceae (Rose family)
Synonyms: Prunus amygdalus, Prunus communis
Almond is a deciduous tree, growing 4-10 m in height, with a trunk of up to 30 cm in diameter. The young twigs are green at first, becoming purplish where exposed to sunlight, then grey in their second year. The leaves are 8-13 cm long, with a sawtoothed margin and a 2.5 cm leaf-stalk. The flowers are white to pale pink, 3-5 cm diameter with five petals, produced singly or in pairs and appearing before the leaves in early spring. The almond fruit is 3.5-6 cm long. The outer covering, fleshy in other members of Prunus such as the plum and cherry, is instead a thick, leathery, grey-green coat, called the hull. Inside the hull is a netveinedd, hard, woody shell (like the outside of a peach pit) called the endocarp. Inside the shell is the edible seed, commonly called a nut. After the fruit matures, the hull splits and separates from the shell, and an abscission layer forms between the stem and the fruit so that the fruit can fall from the tree. Almond tree is native to Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Pakistani Kashmir, Uzbekistan. It is widely cultivated in Kashmir.
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