Species of the month
Some facts on this tree:
Height: 4–10 metres.
Trunk diameter: Up to 30 cm.
Flowers: White or pale pink; 3–5 cm in diameter
Range: Native to southeastern Asia; spread by humans to other parts of the world.
Global production of almonds: Around 1.7 million tonnes.
Top almond grower: U.S.A. (California) with 0.7 million tonnes.
Prunus dulcis has strikingly beautiful flowers and on top of that it grows delicious nuts. The growing fruit resembles its relative, the peach, until it approaches maturity; when it ripens, the hull with the leathery outer covering splits open, curls, and discharges the inner nut. There are two types of nuts: sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds are the edible type consumed as nuts and used in cooking or as a source of almond oil or almond meal. Almonds are very nutritious providing protein, iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, B and E vitamins and are high in fat. They are eaten raw, blanched, or roasted and are also used in baking. The almond tree belongs to the rose family, Rosaceae, and is a close cousin to apricots, cherries, peaches and nectarines that all belong to the genus Prunus.
(Archived from Template:Species of the week)