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My cherimoya, shortly before it became smoothie fodder.

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August 22, 2009

Plumcots vs. Pluots

Chip Brantley, whose pluot book I recently reviewed, has also recently penned an article on the distinction (or lack there of) between plumcots and pluots.

The Whole Truth About Pluots Versus Plumcots (Slate)

As I have mentioned before, I myself definitely favor "plumcot". I'm bothered by the idea of something trademarked becoming a generic term for something for which there is no real non-trademarked term, which would be the case if one insisted that plumcots are solely 50-50 plum-apricot hybrids (well, I suppose there's always "interspecific plum", but come on...). It restricts discussion and trade by people who don't hold the trademark, and it dilutes the trademark, so pretty much no one wins.

On a semi-related note, does anybody know the exact species make up of the "cherums" I've been seeing in the store? They've only come in big packages, so I haven't yet bought one, but they look pretty heavy on the plum side of things. I'd be stunned if some one could get any fertility of consequence in a cherry x plum hybrid without a bunch of backcrosses to one side or the other, but I'd be curious just which species they're working with. I'd wondered if maybe it was really a hybrid with the cherry-plum, Prunus cerasifera, but if you believe what little I've found online, it sounds like it involves actual cherries...

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At 9/10/2009 09:59:00 PM, Blogger MAT kinase said...

My grad school mentor worked with a peach breeder who was utilizing almond breeding lines. One day the extras came from a cross that looked like peaches, tasted like plums, and had an almond in the center instead of a pit! I think someone should produce more of them.

At 9/11/2009 10:31:00 AM, Blogger Evil Fruit Lord said...


Did you go to Davis, by any chance? (Just curious...that's just home to the one almond breeding program I have any familiarity with).

There are "sweet kernel" apricots available in which the pit is edible, like an almond. I suppose if one were to cross one of them with a plum, the resulting plumcot might sort of match that description (though I think the sweet kernel trait is recessive, so maybe you'd need a backcross in there...)

Also--I love your username.

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