Hybrid fruits produced by crossing plums and apricots have started popping up in the summer over the past few years, and they're almost as popular now as more traditional stone fruits like peaches and nectarines. These hybrids are found under various names — pluots, plumcots, apriums, apriplums are the most popular ones — but are they just all just the same fruit, under weird names?
What's with the hybrid names of these hybrid fruits?
How These Hybrid Fruits Get Their Names
The main thing to know is that nearly all of these strangely-named fruits are crosses between plums and apricots. And here's the secret to their names:
The name is determined by what percentage of each fruit is included in the hybrid fruit.
50% plum, 50% apricot
These were the first hybrids, and the name was trademarked in the 1980s by Zaiger Genetics, the breeder in California that has developed the vast majority of these crossbred fruits. These aren't as commonly found because they are hard to grow, harvest, and ship.
Want to learn more about the business of breeding fruit?
Read our review of The Perfect Fruit, a book that tells the story and history of Floyd Zaiger and his pursuit of apriums, pluots, plumcots, and more.
Generally 75% plum, 25% apricot
Pluots are the most popular plum-apricot hybrids available. While the 75-25 split is most common, there are other percentages out there, but all have a greater percentage of plum to apricot. Zaiger Genetics also trademarked the name pluot in 1990. Pluots taste more like plums than apricots and are usually available throughout the summer.
→ Read more: Everything You Need to Know About Pluots
3. Apriums or Apriplums
Higher percentage of apricot than plum
Much more yellow-orange in color, these are the hybrids where apricot is more dominant than plum. Aprium is a trademarked Zaiger Genetics name, and the crosses not developed by them are named apriplums. These are available in the late spring or early summer, when regular apricots also come into season.
Even with all the nuanced differences, these hybrid fruits are all delicious. We like to use them just like we would most stone fruits: in baked desserts, turned into jam, or just eaten out of hand.
Which of these hybrids is your favorite?
→ Read more: Plu-What? What's the difference between pluots and plum cots? at Slate