Almond "reliable" ( prunus amygdalus)

Asked October 30, 2017, 3:42 PM EDT

I have two Almond “Reliable” which I purchased from Raintree. They are doing well here on the Crockett Prairie ( up the hill from the Crockett Barn).

Raintree lists their almonds as Prunus amygdalus rather than Prunis Dulcis. Do you know if the nuts from the Almond “Reliable” have the potential
To have cyanid compounds/precursors since they appear to a be a cross from the Prunus Amygdalus?

Has anyone tested this variety of “almond” for these?

Thank, you

Oregon nut trees horticulture

5 Responses

Hi, my name is Seamus and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert in regards to your almond tree question. Such a wonderful question you pose between Prunus amygdalus and Prunus dulcis specimens regarding cyanide compounds and their precursors. I only wish I had a quick answer for you.

I am not readily finding any easily accessible information that is completely scientific based, however, if you allow me a few more days I will continue to ferret out what I can for you. Hopefully, I will be able to provide you with a few scientific articles or at least references regarding your query. Please allow me until Monday to finish my research as I will be out of town, but I will be searching as time allows while I am away.

If you need a speedier response, please resubmit your question once again and one of my colleagues will address your questions. Thank your patience and understanding.

Again, thank you for contacting Cooperative Extension Ask an Expert.





The Reliable almond is a peach almond cross. And since it appears it is a cross from Prunus Amygdalus rather than Prunus Dulcis, I am concerned about the potential for cyanide precursors in this particular cultivar.

Greetings! Tough question this is! I've corresponded with an Extension expert in Food Science at OSU and two Toxicologists, and OSU simply doesn't have a lot of information on almonds. Consequently, I've made contact with someone at UC, Davis, who referred me to four folks intimately connected with almonds. I reached out to them via email a couple of days ago but haven't yet heard back from them. Please know that I will continue to try and track down an answer to your question, but it may take a little while. I'll send another reply as soon as I have more information. Thanks for your patience!

Quick update here...I just learned that several of the almond experts from UC, Davis, currently are at an ISHS almond meeting in Australia, so it may take them a little while to receive my inquiry and/or catch up with their in-boxes after traveling. I will check back with them if I don't hear from them in the next week or so.


Here is the response I received from Thomas Gradziel at UC, Davis:

Reliable almond is a cross between almond (Prunus amygdalus or Prunus dulcis, both refer to the same species) and peach (Prunus persica).

Any seed of almond, peach, or other rosaceous fruit (apples pears plums cherries, etc.) has potential to have cyanide precursors.

If they have cyanide precursors in any sufficient quantity, the seed is usually too bitter to eat.

[For more information on toxicity, lookup Laetrile on the web, where bitter apricot seeds are often sold as a source for this proposed cancer treatment].