The Difference Between Plumcots, Pluots, Apriplums, and Apriums

Get to know the hybrid cousins of the peach, plum, and apricot, the stone fruits known as pluot, plumcot, peacharine, and aprium.

Botanically speaking, stone fruits are a type of drupe: thin-skin fruits with soft flesh around a hard stone or pit encasing their seeds. Mangoes and olives also fall under this classification, but we most commonly think of stone fruits as ones from the Prunus genus (peaches, apricots, cherries, and plums). But what about those odd-sounding hybrids in the produce section and farmers markets these days? It's actually pretty easy for farmers to crossbreed stone fruits today, but we have the late Floyd Zaiger of Zaiger Genetics to thank for creating the pluot (plum + apricot) and other stone fruit crossbreeds we now get to enjoy. Here are some of the common hybrids you're likely to see in stores and at your local farmers markets.

Stone Fruit Hybrids

Each of these stone fruit hybrids contains different ratios of their parent fruits. Follow the same picking methods for hybrids as you'd use for their parents. Look for fruits that are fragrant and firm but yield under slight pressure from your thumb. Plums should feel heavy for their size when you hold them. Apricots ripen more quickly than peaches and plums, so purchase only what you can eat within a couple of days. Store stone fruits on the countertop. (Chilling slows ripening but also makes the texture mealy.)

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pluot fruit
Brie Passano

A pluot is mostly plum with a bit of apricot mixed in. You get a firm plum-like texture and a decidedly apricot flavor. "Pluot" was trademarked by the Zaiger family in the '80s, so you'll also find pluot varieties that go by other names such as Dapple Dandy, Geo Pride, or Flavor Supreme.

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aprium fruit
Jason Donnelly

Apriums are more apricot than plum (approximately 75:25). The fruit is smaller and sweeter than both its parent fruits. Since apriums are also trademarked by Zaiger, you might also find apriplums on the market, which are similar varieties not created by Zaiger.

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plumcot fruit
Brie Passano

These 50:50 combos are first-generation hybrids of plums and apricots. The parent varietals determine the color. While some plums can have a trace of bitterness, these are (usually) guaranteed to be sweet. They'd make a fantastic swap for apricots in this tangy freezer jam recipe.

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Three Peacharines
Courtesy of Kingsburg Orchards

This practically fuzzless fruit is a 50:50 genetic split between a peach and a nectarine. It gets its firm texture from the nectarine and its sweetness from the peach. Try introducing them into your fresh peach recipes for a unique twist on flavors.

Use any of these hybrid stone fruits interchangeably with their parent fruits in your favorite recipes. For inspiration, we recommend trying them out in some grilled chicken thighs with apricots or a plum-pork noodle bowl. Finish off your meal with an upside-down almond-plum cake or peach crumble bars.

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