Scientific Name:
Prunus armeniaca
cyanogenic glycosides
Flower Color:
landscapes, fields, subtropical, tropical, crops, ornamental

Geographical Distribution

Apricot distribution - United States


Prunus armeniaca

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Prunus armeniaca , otherwise known as the apricot tree, is a small well-known tree that is grown worldwide for cultivation of its fleshy, stone fruits--the apricot. P. armeniaca develops pink to white colored blossoms in the spring, prior to leaves appearing. The fruits ripen towards the end of July to mid-August.

Apricot Toxic Components

Although apricots are safely eaten by humans, the leaves, shoots, bark, twigs and pits of the fruit contain cyanogenic glycosides that can cause poisoning in chickens. Of these chemicals, amygdalin is the most abundant. The danger of cyanogenic glycosides is that they are able to convert to HCN (cyanide) when damaged or stressed (due to chewing, crushing, freezing, wilting).
Apricot toxins chickens

Young, rapidly growing leaf tissue and seed tend to contain increased amounts of cyanogenic glycosides. Toxicity levels also increase during periods of frost, drought, application of 2,4-D herbicides, nitrate fertilization, low phosphorous soil levels, and cool moist growing conditions.