Description from Flora of China
Trees, rarely shrubs, deciduous. Branches unarmed, rarely spiny. Axillary wintern bud solitary; terminal winter bud absent. Stipules present. Leaves simple, alternate, convolute when young; petioles usually with 2 nectaries; leaf blade margin singly or doubly serrate. Inflorescences apparently axillary, 1–3-flowered. Flowers bisexual, regular, solitary or to 3 in a fascicle, opening before leaves or rarely with leaves. Pedicel nearly absent to very short, rarely longer. Hypanthium caducous in fruit. Sepals 5, imbricate. Petals 5, inserted on mouth of hypanthium, imbricate. Stamens 15–45, perigynous; filaments free, filiform. Carpel 1(or 2); ovary superior, hairy, 1-loculed; ovules 2, collateral, pendulous. Style terminal, elongated. Fruit a drupe, ± laterally compressed, hairy, rarely glabrous, with a conspicuous longitudinal groove; mesocarp succulent or fleshy, not splitting when ripe, rarely dry and splitting when ripe; endocarp hard, 2-valved, compressed on both sides, surface smooth, scabrous, or reticulate, rarely pitted, separating from or adnate to mesocarp. Seeds bitter or sweet.
Armeniaca is widespread in China and is especially common in N China, but its distribution center is the middle and lower reaches of the Huang He. Many species and varieties are cultivated for their edible fruit and a few for their edible seeds. Many species are also grown as ornamentals. The seeds are sweet or bitter and are rich in oil and protein. Seeds are used as food or medicine and the oil is used in light industry. The high quality wood is also used commercially.
About 11 species: E to SW Asia; ten species (five endemic) in China.
(Authors: Lu Lingdi (Lu Ling-ti); Bruce Bartholomew)