This best-noted variety of apricot in America is at last made available to our public: the genuine, true to name 'Royal' apricot of France. As explained elsewhere (see our blogposts) this variety has been confused in the public mind with other fruits by the duplicity of fruit-growers and tradesmen lasting well over a century ... with the result that, until the advent of The Arboreum Company, few or no fruit fanciers could obtain the true variety.
The name of this fruit has evolved with the politics prevailing at the time of its birth. First fruited in 1813 during the reign of Napoleon I, it was named 'Luxembourg,' for the Paris residence of his empress, Marie-Louise, also the site of the nursery where it was raised from a seed of 'Peche de Nancy.' After ten years of eclipse under the Bourbon restoration, it was opportune to be renamed 'Royal' to shed all associations with the previous regime, and its commercial success was assured for all time.A variety as changeable in fruit as in name, it produces, in young trees and within the canopy, large elongated, wedge-shaped fruits clear orange-yellow with only a suggestion of pink brushing around the stem cavity. Old and unirrigated trees, and far out on exposed branches, produce more compact fruits with brighter red markings resembling those of 'Shipley's Blenheim'. 'Royal' is the probable seed parent of 'Shipley's Blenheim,' and a century ago was more regular in cropping than that variety under southern Californian conditions; both varieties were sold under the 'Royal' name ever since. Ripens early July. 600 hours. On Citation.