Prunus dulcis

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

All authors of this article

Last updated on: 29.10.2020

Dieser Artikel auf Deutsch


Almond Tree; bitter almond; common amygdalus; Prunus amygdalus; Sweet Almond

This section has been translated automatically.

Prunus dulcis (from lat. prunum, plum), the almond tree belongs to the rose family and is today mainly cultivated in California and in the Mediterranean area (e.g. Mallorca). The tree reaches a height of three to eight metres. Depending on the variety, it forms an expansive crown.

One distinguishes among others the variations:

  • Prunus dulcis var. dulcis with sweet almonds and
  • Prunus dulcis var. amara with bitter almonds.

The somewhat felted, hairy, initially light green, later dark brown, leathery, firm, approximately plum-sized drupes of Prunus dulcis contain an approximately 2cm large, cream-coloured seed kernel enclosed by a light brown seed coat, the actual almond. The seed skin contains a concentration of antioxidants which prevent the penetration of atmospheric oxygen and thus the rancidity of the almond's stored oils.

The cream-coloured almond kernels, about 1.8-2.5 cm long, taste sweet or bitter, depending on the variety. In cosmetics, different proportions of the almond fruits (fruits complete, almond kernels, press residues), but also the leaves of the almond tree are used.

This section has been translated automatically.

Ingredients of Semen amygdale dulce (sweet almonds): 40-65% fatty oil, 10% sucrose, glucose, 30% protein, choline, asparagine, max. 0.1% amygdalin, emulsin, enzymes.

Ingredients of Semen amygdale amarae (bitter almonds): 30-50% fatty oil, up to 30% protein, choline, asparagine, 1.5-8% amygdalin, from which prussic acid can develop enzymatically or in an acidic environment (the consumption of large quantities of bitter almonds can be fatal; for children 5-12 bitter almonds, for adults 50-80 bitter almonds.

This section has been translated automatically.

This section has been translated automatically.

  1. Ammon H et al (2014). Hunnius Pharmaceutical Dictionary. Walter de Gruyter GmbH Berlin/Boston S 1478


Last updated on: 29.10.2020