Flavor Delight Aprium - surprisingly healthy
With all the talk about erratic fruit set in Pluots, the contrast with the reliable fruit set of Flavor Delight Aprium struck me this year. We got poor fruit set this year on Dapple Dandy and Flavor Queen Pluots despite good weather during bloom. Cold, rainy weather followed.
But, as always (so far) Flavor Delight set fruit way too heavily for me. I think it must have quite a bit of resistance to blossom blight. I sincerely doubt that it needs cross-pollination, which is a good thing, since not many apricots bloom so early.
We slacked off the copper spraying this winter, and Royal Rosa, which blooms with Flavor Delight (in another yard) has dropped 3/4 of its fruit. Much of it is damaged. There was also damage to later-blooming varieties from later rains. We expect damage on Blenheim from rain. There was also a little damage to Harcot and more damage to Golden Amber and Royalty. And we got rain just as Canadian White Blenheim and Chinese are finishing bloom. Canadian White Blenheim seems to be "on the edge" for us as far as chill requirement goes - most years it has not bloomed normally. This year it did.
Though Flavor Delight might not reach the very summit of apricot quality, it certainly has tasty fruit here in the Southern San Joaquin valley, with our high summer heat. I think it's almost as good as Harcot, my favorite of the varieties I have. Its fruiting season overlaps Harcot, unfortunately. Harcot has also been reliable for me, though it usually sets less fruit than Flavor Delight.
I guess this is a recommendation for Flavor Delight as a lower-maintenance "apricot" for growers who may slack off on winter spraying sometimes. At least in climates similar to ours, where its very early bloom does not pose a threat of loss due to frost most years. A pretty safe bet for a "gift tree" to novice growers in our region.