As a steppe flora originally, the apricot loves dry, warm regions and therefore grows best in countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Apricots originally came from Central Asia, most likely Northern China. They have been grown there since 4000BC, and arrived in Europe later. Spain and Italy are included in the top 10 apricot-producing countries.
This small, yellowish fruit grows on shrubs or small trees which can grow up to 6m tall, and there are a broad range of varieties. These are categorised as early, medium-early, medium-late and late varieties. It is one of the oldest cultivated fruits in the world.