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New Plum, Apricot Cross Ideal for Southern Growers

By Tara Weaver-Missick
June 13, 2000

Agricultural Research Service scientists have developed and released a new specialty fruit as luscious as its name. Spring Satin, a cross between a plum and apricot, is now available to nurseries.

ARS horticulturist William R. Okie developed the reddish-black-colored fruit. Southeastern fruit growers have trouble growing plums and apricots in that region’s climate. This new cultivar is the first plumcot that is well adapted to the medium-high chill areas of the south. Plumcots developed in California haven’t done well in the south.

Spring Satin produces beautiful white flowers that bloom in mid March. The large, high-quality fruit ripen in late May, a time of year when high-quality fruit is in limited supply. When fully ripe, these fruits have a very good flavor.

The short fuzz plumcot is about two inches in diameter. This vibrant beauty has yellow flesh when immature, changing to a yellowish-red when mature.

This unique cross is tolerant to major plum diseases, like bacterial spot disease, bacterial canker disease, and plum leaf scald. These diseases make commercial production difficult due to the limited life span of the orchard.

Spring Satin trees will be available commercially this winter. Limited amounts of budwood are available from Okie, who is with the ARS Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory in Byron, Ga. Germplasm from this release is deposited in the NSRP5/IR-2 Fruit Tree collection at Washington State University, Prosser, Wash.

Consumers will have to wait to try Spring Satin; the trees take about three years to start producing fruit for large-scale distribution.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific research agency.

Scientific contact: William R. Okie, ARS Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory, Byron, Ga.; phone (912) 956-6405, fax (912) 956-2929,