6

I see that Luther Burbank wrote a book on the subject around a hundred years ago. But I don't have access to that book. Was he, or anyone else, successful?

I thought that I had seen something like that for sale in a catalog long ago, but I can't seem to find any reference to it with a Google search. I can't even seem to find anyone talking about it, besides Burbank.

Here's the Google Books link to the page of the preview that looks most relevant.

Additionally, does any edible nut in an edible fruit exist? That is, what did I probably actually see in a fruit and nut tree catalog if almond in a peach doesn't exist?

1

3 Answers 3

8

I can't imagine why anyone would bother to try to get a sweet almond from a peach tree. Peach and almond are related botanically - the pit inside the stone of a peach has a bitter almond like flavour, and these are often extracted and treated, ground down and used in products like exfoliating scrubs. They contain cyanide, but eating one or two won't kill a human - if used in manufacturing for any food purposes, they are heat treated to destroy the toxin. So far as I'm aware, and according to my research, no one is attempting to get peaches which contain sweet almonds inside the stone, which itself is very hard to crack open.

UPDATE: What I meant by why would anyone bother is, other than its appeal as a novelty, who would buy the resulting trees? Growers of almonds want just almonds to sell on - commercial peach growers might grow such a thing, but probably most people would rather pay less and have a peach than a peach/almond. And in the garden, I don't think I'd want to eat 6 peaches just to get my 6 almonds a day, that is if I got any peaches in the UK anyway. So if there is a market, it wouldn't be a particularly large and lucrative one, was what I meant, which is probably why breeders haven't spent a lot of money and time trying to breed one.

5
  • Well, Luther Burbank was interested in the idea. I added a link to one of the pages of his book. He specifically also mentions a thinner shell.
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 12, 2012 at 14:36
  • 1
    Well, its a nice idea, two 'fruits' in one - but it needs a breeder to be working on it.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Aug 12, 2012 at 16:34
  • 1
    Well, here in Bulgaria we usually keep the appricot pits when eating appricots or making preserves from them. You then dry the pits and store them. You crack them open whenever you need the nut inside. So, I would say that having almond+peach in one and the same place will be useful to some people...
    – nettle
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 9:11
  • @nettle you do want to be careful the apricot pits as only some varieties have edible pits... so called sweet pit varieties include the mormon/Chinese apricot. Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 17:49
  • 1
    Sure, I'm just saying that fruit+nut in one and the same plant is not a bad idea
    – nettle
    Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 20:27
4

I wonder if what you saw was what is marketed as a hardy almond? There are almond/peach tree crosses sold in some of the catalogs (Raintree is one). They are marketed as a substitute for almonds for growers in areas that are too cold for a regular almond tree. They have an edible seed, but I don't believe the fruit is edible.

3

luther burbank was a glorious blowhard... try a garden huckleberry if you don't believe me...

as for the alternate question, mormon/Chinese apricots (as well as several other apricots, collectively referred to as sweet pit) have an edible fruit and pit(nut).

also cashews grow with an "apple" but that wont survive outside of the tropics.

3
  • 3
    I think that is what I was thinking of. In particular, I probably saw this tree from Stark Bros, since that's a catalog I used to get.
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 22:16
  • Luther did so much good, I don't think that's a just description of him. You picked his worst thing as an example. Note that many varieties he developed are still major commercial crops today.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 4:51
  • @J.Musser he was a great horticulturist... and a glorious blowhard... much the way that PT Barnum was... if he was just a horticulturist then nobody would remember him... Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 12:39

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.