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Appelkoos, the Afrikaans name for an apricot.

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The origin of the apricot is disputed. It was known in Armenia during ancient times, and has been cultivated there for so long that it is often thought to have originated there. Apricots have been cultivated in Persia since antiquity, and dried ones were an important commodity on Persian trade routes. Its introduction to Greece is attributed to Alexander the Great and later, the Roman General Lucullus (106–57 BC) also imported some trees – the cherry, white heart cherry, and apricot – from Armenia to Rome.

It is believed that apricots came to South Africa in the 17th century, when English settlers transported them to the English colonies in the New World.

In Europe, apricots were long considered an aphrodisiac, and were used in this context in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and as an inducer of childbirth, as depicted in John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi