The apricot is native to a continental climate region with cold winters, though it can grow in Mediterranean climates very well. Apricot trees are slightly more cold-hardy than peach trees, but they tend to flower very early, meaning spring frost often kills the flowers.

One of the most sought-after local apricots, the Blenheim or Royal apricot, was introduced to California in the 1880s, and by the 1920s the variety dominated a thriving dried apricot industry, blanketing the Santa Clara Valley. Most of the original Blenheim orchards have been paved over, but a few farmers still grow the intensely flavorful variety.