This section seeks to highlight each month a representative botanical species of the ornamental flora of the monument.
The almond (Prunus dulcis Miller) is a fruit tree that grows to about 5 metres tall. It is a deciduous plant originally from the mountainous regions of Central Asia. It gradually spread out from the Middle East in ancient times reaching the Spanish coast over 2000 years ago thanks to the Phoenicians. In Al-Andalus it was known as Lawz and was often discussed by Andalusian agronomists in their treatises. They hailed its usefulness as rootstock or for grafting onto other rosaceae. It also adapted well to rainfed land. Various authors from the period refer to its many sweet and bitter varieties. In Granada, it is well-known that in spite of being sensitive to spring frosts, it is the first tree each year to bloom. Its fruit, the almond, had and indeed still has numerous uses. It is a basic ingredient of Spanish baking and is used in making nougat, marzipan, ice cream, cakes, bread and tiger nut milk (horchata). Almonds are also used to make an oil used in skin care, in perfumery and for maintaining musical instruments such as the dulzaina. There are many almond trees at the Alhambra and Generalife, in the gardens, copses and vegetable gardens. This month we will be highlighting the almonds in the gardens in the Secano part of the Alhambra, which can be enjoyed from the path known as the Paseo de los Cipreses.