Armenia is famous for its apricots, known here during ancient times. People often think apricot has originated in Armenia, and its scientific name “Prunus Armeniaca” (Armenian plum) comes from that assumption.
“This tree takes its name from Armenia, province of Asia, where it is native, and whence it was brought to Europe,” wrote De Poerderlé in the 18th century.
During archaeological excavations at Garni in Armenia apricot seeds were found in an Eneolithic-era site. There are about 50 different varieties of apricots grown in Armenia today.
In the town of Ashtarak, where I live now, there are many apricot trees around. Below is one of the apricot gardens with the view of the highest mountain in Armenia, Aragats, still in snow.
One of my favourite times of the year in Armenia is the early spring when apricot trees bloom. The spring came late this time, and unlike last year, the air was filled with the cold breath of winter until April. But with the first sunbeams warming the earth, the apricot trees began blooming.