Superb Apricot Offered to GrowersBy
A big, great-tasting apricot called Robada offers more flavor and
aroma than many other commercial varieties. This apricot is the work
of fruit breeders with the Agricultural
Research Service's Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory in
Robada apricots should be easy to spot: A bright-red blush may tint
nearly half the fruits surface, depending upon how much sun
reaches each ripening fruit. The firm, finely textured flesh is an
attractive deep orange. Apricots are low in calories and good sources
of vitamin A and potassium.
Robada ripens from mid to late May--the peak of the California
apricot harvest. That state produces most of the U.S. crop. ARS
researchers have tested Robada only in California, but it may perform
well in other apricot-growing regions.
Plump Robadas average about 2-1/2 inches in diameter. The variety
ships well and is intended for fresh-market sales, but further testing
might reveal whether its suitable for drying, canning or
freezing. Like most other commercial apricots, Robada is
self-pollinating. Thats a plus for backyard gardeners, because
it means Robada bears fruit without other apricot trees nearby as
ARS scientists spent more than a decade developing and testing
Robada. It resulted from four consecutive hybridizations of different
sets of parent trees. Those crosses were followed by eight years of
orchard observation by Fresno-based ARS researchers Craig A. Ledbetter
and David W. Ramming.
ARS has patented Robada and is issuing licenses allowing treefruit
nurseries to grow and sell the trees. Three companies now have
licenses: Agri Sun Nursery, LLC, Selma, Calif.; Bright's Nursery,
Inc., Le Grand, Calif.; and GIE Star Fruits, Mondragon, France.
Scientific contact: Craig A. Ledbetter, ARS Horticultural
Crops Research Laboratory, Fresno, Calif., phone (209) 453-3064, fax
(209) 453-3088, firstname.lastname@example.org.