Scientific Name: Prunus fenzliana
IUCN Red List status: Data Deficient
Native to the Caucasus region of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkey, Prunus fenzliana is a deciduous shrub or small tree. As a wild species, it is the closest relative and presumed lone ancestor of Prunus dulcis, the almond species commonly cultivated across the world today.
Prunus fenzliana can be distinguished from its close relatives by several features. This includes having one-year-old twigs that are reddish on the side exposed to the sun, and green elsewhere. The fruits are initially dark green and mature to light tan.
It is known to reside at altitudes of between 1,400 and 3,500 metres above sea level and form Juniper forests, for example in Armenia’s Khosrov Forest Reserve. It can be found growing both on rocky mountain slopes and the rock debris of foothills.