In most parts of the South, growing almonds is no joy. Though closely related to the peach, the almond (Prunus dulcis) is considerably fussier about its requirements. Nuts develop properly only in regions with long, hot, dry summers, like those in the plant's native Asia Minor and North Africa, and late-spring frosts can spell the end for a developing crop. For these reasons, almost all commercially grown almonds come from Southern California. Some selections, however, can succeed in Texas and Oklahoma.
An almond tree grows 2030 feet high, upright when young, and then more rounded with age. Pale pink or white flowers appear in early spring. Fruit looks like a flattened, undersized green peach. In autumn, the pit splits to reveal the nut inside, which is the almond.