Peach

Peach

Overview
The peach tree is a deciduous
Deciduous
Deciduous means "falling off at maturity" or "tending to fall off", and is typically used in reference to trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, and to the shedding of other plant structures such as petals after flowering or fruit when ripe...

 tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 growing to 4 – tall and 6 in. in diameter, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae
Prunoideae
Amygdaloideae is a subfamily within the flowering plant family Rosaceae. It was formerly considered by some authors to be separate from Rosaceae, and the family names Prunaceae and Amygdalaceae have been used. Commercially, important members of the Amygdaloideae include plum, cherry, apricot,...

 of the family Rosaceae
Rosaceae
Rosaceae are a medium-sized family of flowering plants, including about 2830 species in 95 genera. The name is derived from the type genus Rosa. Among the largest genera are Alchemilla , Sorbus , Crataegus , Cotoneaster , and Rubus...

. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach. The peach is a species of Prunus
Prunus
Prunus is a genus of trees and shrubs, which includes the plums, cherries, peaches, apricots and almonds. There are around 430 species spread throughout the northern temperate regions of the globe. Many members of the genus are widely cultivated for fruit and ornament.-Botany:Members of the genus...

native to China, where it was first cultivated; the species name Persica refers to its widespread cultivation in Persia
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, from whence it was transplanted to Europe. It is classified with the almond
Almond
The almond , is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree...

 in the subgenus Amygdalus within the genus Prunus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated seed shell.

The leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 are lanceolate, 7 – long, 2 – broad, pinnate
Pinnate
Pinnate is a term used to describe feather-like or multi-divided features arising from both sides of a common axis in plant or animal structures, and comes from the Latin word pinna meaning "feather", "wing", or "fin". A similar term is pectinate, which refers to a comb-like arrangement of parts...

ly veined.
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Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
The peach tree is a deciduous
Deciduous
Deciduous means "falling off at maturity" or "tending to fall off", and is typically used in reference to trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, and to the shedding of other plant structures such as petals after flowering or fruit when ripe...

 tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 growing to 4 – tall and 6 in. in diameter, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae
Prunoideae
Amygdaloideae is a subfamily within the flowering plant family Rosaceae. It was formerly considered by some authors to be separate from Rosaceae, and the family names Prunaceae and Amygdalaceae have been used. Commercially, important members of the Amygdaloideae include plum, cherry, apricot,...

 of the family Rosaceae
Rosaceae
Rosaceae are a medium-sized family of flowering plants, including about 2830 species in 95 genera. The name is derived from the type genus Rosa. Among the largest genera are Alchemilla , Sorbus , Crataegus , Cotoneaster , and Rubus...

. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach. The peach is a species of Prunus
Prunus
Prunus is a genus of trees and shrubs, which includes the plums, cherries, peaches, apricots and almonds. There are around 430 species spread throughout the northern temperate regions of the globe. Many members of the genus are widely cultivated for fruit and ornament.-Botany:Members of the genus...

native to China, where it was first cultivated; the species name Persica refers to its widespread cultivation in Persia
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, from whence it was transplanted to Europe. It is classified with the almond
Almond
The almond , is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree...

 in the subgenus Amygdalus within the genus Prunus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated seed shell.

The leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 are lanceolate, 7 – long, 2 – broad, pinnate
Pinnate
Pinnate is a term used to describe feather-like or multi-divided features arising from both sides of a common axis in plant or animal structures, and comes from the Latin word pinna meaning "feather", "wing", or "fin". A similar term is pectinate, which refers to a comb-like arrangement of parts...

ly veined. The flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s are produced in early spring before the leaves; they are solitary or paired, 2.5–3 cm diameter, pink, with five petals. The fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 has yellow or whitish flesh, a delicate aroma, and a skin that is either velvety (peaches) or smooth (nectarines) in different cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s. The flesh is very delicate and easily bruised in some cultivars, but is fairly firm in some commercial varieties, especially when green. The single, large seed is red-brown, oval shaped, approximately 1.3–2 cm long, and is surrounded by a wood-like husk. Peaches, along with cherries
Cherry
The cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus, and is a fleshy stone fruit. The cherry fruits of commerce are usually obtained from a limited number of species, including especially cultivars of the wild cherry, Prunus avium....

, plum
Plum
A plum or gage is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera in the shoots having a terminal bud and solitary side buds , the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one...

s and apricot
Apricot
The apricot, Prunus armeniaca, is a species of Prunus, classified with the plum in the subgenus Prunus. The native range is somewhat uncertain due to its extensive prehistoric cultivation.- Description :...

s, are stone fruits (drupe
Drupe
In botany, a drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries...

s).

The scientific name persica, along with the word "peach" itself and its cognates in many European languages, derives from an early European belief that peaches were native to Persia (now Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

). The modern botanical consensus is that they originate in China, and were introduced to Persia and the Mediterranean region along the Silk Road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

 before Christian times
History of Christianity
The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, its followers and the Church with its various denominations, from the first century to the present. Christianity was founded in the 1st century by the followers of Jesus of Nazareth who they believed to be the Christ or chosen one of God...

. The botanical name is derived from the Greek word for the fruit after it was introduced into the Mediterranean through Persia and from China.

Cultivated peaches are divided into clingstones and freestones, depending on whether the flesh sticks to the stone or not; both can have either white or yellow flesh. Peaches with white flesh typically are very sweet with little acid
Acid
An acid is a substance which reacts with a base. Commonly, acids can be identified as tasting sour, reacting with metals such as calcium, and bases like sodium carbonate. Aqueous acids have a pH of less than 7, where an acid of lower pH is typically stronger, and turn blue litmus paper red...

ity, while yellow-fleshed peaches typically have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness, though this also varies greatly. Both colours often have some red on their skin. Low-acid white-fleshed peaches are the most popular kinds in China, Japan, and neighbouring Asian countries, while Europeans and North Americans have historically favoured the acidic, yellow-fleshed kinds.

History


Although its botanical name Prunus persica suggests the peach is native to Persia after the Persians introduced the fruit into the Western world, peaches actually originated in China, where they have been cultivated since the early days of Chinese culture
Peach production in China
China, the world's leading producer of fruit, is also by far the leading producer of peaches. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, as of 2010 peach production in China was 10.0 million tonnes, accounting for 50 percent of world production. Other leading peach producers are Italy ,...

. Peaches were mentioned in Chinese writings as far back as the 10th century BC and were a favoured fruit of kings and emperors
Emperor of China
The Emperor of China refers to any sovereign of Imperial China reigning between the founding of Qin Dynasty of China, united by the King of Qin in 221 BCE, and the fall of Yuan Shikai's Empire of China in 1916. When referred to as the Son of Heaven , a title that predates the Qin unification, the...

. As of late, the history of cultivation of peaches in China has been extensively reviewed citing numerous original manuscripts dating back to 1100 BC.

Its English name derives originally from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 malum persicum, "Persian apple", which became the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 pêche, then peach in Middle English
Middle English
Middle English is the stage in the history of the English language during the High and Late Middle Ages, or roughly during the four centuries between the late 11th and the late 15th century....

.

The peach was brought to India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Western Asia in ancient times. Alexander the Great introduced the fruit into Europe after he conquered the Persians. Then it was brought to the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 by Spanish explorers in the 16th century, and eventually made it to England and France in the 17th century, where it was a prized, albeit rare, treat.

The horticulturist George Minifie supposedly brought the first peaches from England to its North American colonies
British America
For American people of British descent, see British American.British America is the anachronistic term used to refer to the territories under the control of the Crown or Parliament in present day North America , Central America, the Caribbean, and Guyana...

 in the early 17th century, planting them at his Estate of Buckland in Virginia.

Various American Indian
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 tribes are credited with spreading the peach tree across the United States, taking seeds along with them and planting as they roved the country.

Although Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 had peach trees at Monticello
Monticello
Monticello is a National Historic Landmark just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, United States. It was the estate of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, third President of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia; it is...

, United States farmers did not begin commercial production until the 19th century in Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 and finally Virginia. California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 today raises 65 percent of peaches grown for commercial production in the United States, but the states of South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 and Washington also grow a significant amount. Italy, China, India and Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 are major producers of peaches outside of the United States.

In 2010, a team of researchers at Clemson University
Clemson University
Clemson University is an American public, coeducational, land-grant, sea-grant, research university located in Clemson, South Carolina, United States....

, in South Carolina, announced they had sequenced the peach tree genome (doubled haploid Lovell).

Cultivation


Peach plants grow very well in a fairly limited range, since they have a chilling requirement
Chilling requirement
The chilling requirement of a fruit is the minimum period of cold weather after which a fruit-bearing tree will blossom. It is often expressed in chill hours, which can be calculated in different ways, all of which essentially involve adding up the total amount of time in a winter spent at certain...

 that tropical areas cannot satisfy. The trees themselves can usually tolerate temperatures to around -26 C, although the following season's flower buds are usually killed at these temperatures, leading to no crop that summer. Flower bud kill begins to occur between -15 C, depending on the cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

 (some are more cold-tolerant than others) and the timing of the cold, with the buds becoming less cold tolerant in late winter. Certain cultivars are more tender, and others can tolerate a few degrees colder. In addition, intense summer heat is required to mature the crop, with mean temperatures of the hottest month between 20 and 30 °C (68 and 86 F). Another problematic issue in many peach-growing areas is spring frost. The trees tend to flower fairly early in spring. The blooms often can be damaged or killed by freezes; typically, if temperatures drop below about -4 C, most flowers will be killed. However, if the flowers are not fully open, they can tolerate a few degrees colder.

Important historical peach-producing areas are China, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, France, and the Mediterranean countries, such as Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. More recently, the United States (where the three largest producing states are California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

, and Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

), Canada (British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

), and Australia (the Riverland
Riverland
The Riverland, is a region of South Australia. It covers the area near the Murray River from where it flows into South Australia downstream to Blanchetown.The major town centres are Renmark, Berri, Loxton, Waikerie and Barmera...

 region) have also become important; peach growing in the Niagara Peninsula
Niagara Peninsula
The Niagara Peninsula is the portion of Southern Ontario, Canada lying between the south shore of Lake Ontario and the north shore of Lake Erie. It stretches from the Niagara River in the east to Hamilton, Ontario in the west. The population of the peninsula is roughly 1,000,000 people...

 of Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada, was formerly intensive, but slowed substantially in 2008 when the last fruit cannery in Canada was closed by the proprietors. Oceanic climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

 areas, like the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

 and coastline of northwestern Europe, are generally not satisfactory for growing peaches due to inadequate summer heat, though they are sometimes grown trained against south-facing walls to catch extra heat from the sun. Trees grown in a sheltered and south-facing position in the southeast of England are capable of producing both flowers and a large crop of fruit. In Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, the most famous variety of peach fruit product is grown in Mẫu Sơn commune, Lộc Bình district, Lạng Sơn
Lạng Sơn Province
Lạng Sơn is a province in far northern Vietnam, bordering Guangxi province in China. Its capital is also called Lang Son, which is a strategically important town at the border with China and is northeast of Hanoi connected by rail and road...

 province.

For home gardeners, semidwarf (3 metre) and dwarf (2 metre) varieties have been developed by grafting desirable cultivars onto dwarfing rootstock. Fruit size is not affected. Another mutation is flowering peaches, selected for ornamental display rather than fruit production.

Depending on climate and cultivar, peach harvest can occur from late May into August (Northern Hemisphere); harvest from each tree lasts about a week.

Nectarines



The nectarine cultivar group
Cultivar group
In naming cultivated plants, a Group is a formal classification category, under the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants :The term "Group" was introduced in the 2004 ICNCP, replacing the "Cultivar-group" of the 1995 ICNCP.A Group is united by some common trait; for example...

 of peaches have a smooth skin. It is often referred to as a "shaved peach", "fuzzy-less peach" or "shaven peach" due to its lack of fuzz or short hairs. Though fuzzy peaches and nectarines are regarded commercially as different fruits, with nectarines often erroneously believed to be a crossbreed between peaches and plum
Plum
A plum or gage is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera in the shoots having a terminal bud and solitary side buds , the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one...

s, or a "peach with a plum skin", they belong to the same species as peaches. Several genetic studies have concluded nectarines are created due to a recessive allele, whereas a fuzzy peach skin is dominant. Nectarines have arisen many times from peach trees, often as bud sport
Bud sport
A bud sport is a part of a plant or tree, for example, a leaf, shoot or flower, which due to a genetic mutation clearly differs from the rest of the plant, and which can also be grafted to grow new plants which retain this genetic difference as a new cultivar....

s.

As with peaches, nectarines can be white or yellow, and clingstone or freestone. On average, nectarines are slightly smaller and sweeter than peaches, but with much overlap. The lack of skin fuzz can make nectarine skins appear more reddish than those of peaches, contributing to the fruit's plum-like appearance. The lack of down on nectarines' skin also means their skin is more easily bruised than peaches.

The history of the nectarine is unclear; the first recorded mention in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 is from 1616, but they had probably been grown much earlier within the native range of the peach in central
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 and eastern Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

. Although one source states that Nectarines were introduced into the United States by David Fairchild
David Fairchild
David Grandison Fairchild was an American botanist and plant explorer. Fairchild was responsible for the introduction of more than 200,000 exotic plants and varieties of established crops into the United States, including soybeans, pistachios, mangos, nectarines, dates, bamboos, and flowering...

 of the Department of Agriculture in 1906; a number of colonial era newspaper articles make reference to nectarines being grown in the United States prior to the Revolutionary War. The 28 March 1768 edition of the "New York Gazette" (pg 3.), for example, mentions a farm in Jamaica, Long Island, New York, where nectarines were grown.

Peacherines


The Peacherine tree carries large fruit intermediate in appearance between a peach and a nectarine, large and brightly colored like a red peach, with a good flavor. The flesh of the fruit is usually yellow but white varieties also exist.

Peacherines appear to be most readily available in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

. The Koanga Institute lists varieties that ripen in (Southern hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

) February, Late February, and March or during the summer. Edible Garden lists varieties that ripen in January and March.

The Peacherine is variously said to be a cross between a Peach and a Nectarine, or between a Peach and an Apricot. The 1909 Pacific Monthly states it originated in Acampo (near Stockton
Stockton
-Places:Australia:*Stockton, New South WalesNew Zealand:*Stockton, New ZealandUnited Kingdom:*Stockton, Cheshire*Stockton, Norfolk*Stockton, Warwickshire*Stockton, Wiltshire*Stockton-on-Tees*Stockton-on-Teme*Stockton-on-the-ForestUnited States:...

), California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

:
"A man, J. W. Philippi of Acampo, has originated a new fruit known as the “peacherine.” It combines the solidity and flavor of the nectarine with all the good qualities of the peach. It is becoming so well known and liked that calls are coming from all parts of the world for it. Incidentally, proving the value of California land, it is said that the originator of the peacherine has made an annual profit of $2000 from a single acre, notwithstanding that his residence and other buildings are on the same tract."

Diseases



The trees are prone to a disease called leaf curl
Leaf curl
Leaf curl is a plant disease caused by a fungus or virus and characterized by curling of leaves...

, which usually does not directly affect the fruit, but does reduce the crop yield by partially defoliating the tree. The fruit is very susceptible to brown rot
Brown rot
Brown rot may refer to the following diseases:*Wood-decay fungus, a disease of trees and wood.*Ralstonia solanacearum, a disease of plants caused by bacteria.*Monilinia fructicola, a disease of stone fruits....

, or a dark reddish spot.

Planting




Most peach trees sold by nurseries are named cultivars budded
Shield budding
Shield budding is a technique of grafting to change varieties of fruit trees. Typically used in fruit tree propagation, it can also be used for many other kinds of nursery stock. An extremely sharp knife is necessary; specialty budding knives are on the market...

 or grafted onto a suitable rootstock
Rootstock
A rootstock is a plant, and sometimes just the stump, which already has an established, healthy root system, used for grafting a cutting or budding from another plant. The tree part being grafted onto the rootstock is usually called the scion...

. Trees can be grown from either a peach or nectarine seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

, but the fruit quality of the resulting tree will be very unpredictable.

Peaches should be located in full sun, and with good air flow to allow cold air to flow away on frosty nights and keep the area cool in summer. Peaches are best planted in early winter, as this allows time for the roots to establish and to sustain the new spring growth. When planting in rows, it is best to plant the rows north to south.

For optimum growth, peach trees require a constant supply of water, increased shortly before harvest. The best-tasting fruit is produced when the peach is watered throughout the season. Drip irrigation
Drip irrigation
Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or microirrigation or localized irrigation , is an irrigation method which saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of valves,...

 is ideal, with at least one dripper per tree. Although it is better to use multiple drippers around the tree, this is not necessary. A quarter of the root being watered is sufficient.

Peaches have a high nutrient
Nutrient
A nutrient is a chemical that an organism needs to live and grow or a substance used in an organism's metabolism which must be taken in from its environment. They are used to build and repair tissues, regulate body processes and are converted to and used as energy...

 requirement, needing more nitrogen
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

 than most other fruit trees. An NPK
NPK rating
NPK rating is used to label fertilizer based on the relative content of the chemicals nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that are commonly used in fertilizers....

 fertilizer
Fertilizer
Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

 can be applied regularly, and an additional mulch of poultry manure in autumn soon after the harvest will benefit the tree. If the leaves of the peach are yellow or small, the tree needs more nitrogen. Blood meal
Blood meal
Blood meal is a dry, inert powder made from blood used as a high-nitrogen fertilizer and a high protein animal feed. N= 13.25%, P = 1.0%, K = 0.6%. It is one of the highest non-synthetic sources of nitrogen. Blood meal is completely soluble and can be mixed with water to be used as a liquid...

 and bone meal
Bone meal
Bone meal is a mixture of crushed and coarsely ground bones that is used as an organic fertilizer for plants and formerly in animal feed. As a slow-release fertilizer, bone meal is primarily used as a source of phosphorus....

, 3 – per mature tree, or calcium ammonium nitrate, 0.5 –, are suitable fertilizers. This also applies if the tree is putting forth little growth.

If the full number of peaches is left, they will be under-sized and lacking in sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

 and flavour. In dry conditions, extra watering is important. The fruit should be thinned when they have reached 2 centimetre (0.78740157480315 in) in diameter, usually about two months after flowering. Fresh fruit are best consumed on the day of picking, and do not keep well. They are best eaten when the fruit is slightly soft, having aroma, and heated by the sun.

Storage


Peaches should be stored at room temperature and refrigeration
Refrigeration
Refrigeration is a process in which work is done to move heat from one location to another. This work is traditionally done by mechanical work, but can also be done by magnetism, laser or other means...

 should be avoided as this can lessen the taste of the peach. Peaches are climacteric
Climacteric fruits
Climacteric fruits refer to fruits that have high respiration rate during the fruit's ripening. During the ripening process of climacteric fruits, the production of a phytohormone, ethylene, dramatically increase up to 1000-fold of the basal ethylene level.Climacteric fruits are ones that are able...

  and hence they will continue ripening after being picked from the tree.

Cultural significance in East Asia


Peaches are known in China, Japan, Korea, Laos, and Vietnam, not only as a popular fruit, but also for the many folk tales and traditions associated with it, such as the Peaches of Immortality.

Peach blossoms are highly prized in Chinese culture, and because they appear before leaves sprout. The ancient Chinese believed the peach to possess more vitality than any other tree. When early rulers of China visited their territories, they were preceded by sorcerers armed with peach rods to protect them from spectral evils. On New Year's Eve, local magistrates would cut peach wood branches and place them over their doors to protect against evil influences. Peach kernels (桃仁 táo rén) are a common ingredient used in traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine refers to a broad range of medicine practices sharing common theoretical concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage , exercise , and dietary therapy...

 to dispel blood stasis
Stasis (medicine)
In medicine, stasis is the state in which the normal flow of a body liquid stops, for example the flow of blood through vessels or of intestinal contents through the digestive tract....

, counter inflammation and reduce allergies.

It was in an orchard of flowering peach trees that Liu Bei
Liu Bei
Liu Bei , also known as Liu Xuande, was a warlord, military general and later the founding emperor of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history...

, Guan Yu
Guan Yu
Guan Yu was a general serving under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han Dynasty of China. He played a significant role in the civil war that led to the collapse of the Han Dynasty and the establishment of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period, of which Liu Bei was the...

, and Zhang Fei took an oath of brotherhood in the opening chapter of the classic Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Romance of the Three Kingdoms, written by Luo Guanzhong in the 14th century, is a Chinese historical novel based on the events in the turbulent years near the end of the Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history, starting in 169 and ending with the reunification of the land in...

. Another peach forest, the “Peach Blossom Spring” by poet Tao Yuanming is the setting of the favourite Chinese fable and a metaphor of utopias. A peach tree growing on a precipice was where the Taoist master Zhang Daoling
Zhang Daoling
Zhang Ling , style name Fuhan , was an Eastern Han Dynasty Taoist hermit who founded the Way of the Celestial Masters sect of Taoism, which is also known as the Way of the Five Pecks of Rice....

 tested his disciples.

Momotaro
Momotaro
is a popular hero from Japanese folklore. His name literally means Peach Tarō; as Tarō is a common Japanese boy's name, it is often translated as Peach Boy...

, one of Japan's most noble and semihistorical heroes, was born from within an enormous peach floating down a stream. Momotaro or "Peach Boy" went on to fight evil oni and face many adventures.

In Korea, peaches have been cultivated from ancient times. According to Samguk Sagi
Samguk Sagi
Samguk Sagi is a historical record of the Three Kingdoms of Korea: Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla. The Samguk Sagi is written in Classical Chinese and its compilation was ordered by Goryeo's King Injong Samguk Sagi (History of the Three Kingdoms) is a historical record of the Three Kingdoms of...

, peach trees were planted during the Three Kingdoms of Korea
Three Kingdoms of Korea
The Three Kingdoms of Korea refer to the ancient Korean kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla, which dominated the Korean peninsula and parts of Manchuria for much of the 1st millennium...

 period, and Sallim gyeongje also mentions cultivation skills of peach trees. Peach is seen as the fruit of happiness, riches, honours and longevity. It is one of the ten immortal plants and animals, so peaches appear in many minhwa
Minhwa
Minhwa art refers to the Korean folk art that consists of paintings of mythical figures and other objects in a specific plain, straightforward and naive style....

(folk paintings). Peaches and peach trees are believed to chase away spirits, so peaches are not placed on tables for jesa (ancestor veneration), unlike other fruits.

A Vietnamese mythic history states that, in the spring of 1789, after marching to Ngọc Hồi and then winning a great victory against invaders from the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 of China, the King Quang Trung ordered a messenger to gallop to Phú Xuân citadel
Phú Xuân
Phú Xuân is an historic place in Huế, Vietnam. It was the capital of the Nguyễn Lords, the Tây Sơn Dynasty, and later became a part of the Nguyễn Dynasty’s capital in Huế....

 (now Huế
Hue
Hue is one of the main properties of a color, defined technically , as "the degree to which a stimulus can be describedas similar to or different from stimuli that are described as red, green, blue, and yellow,"...

) and deliver a flowering peach branch to the Princess Ngọc Hân. This took place on the fifth day of the first lunar month, two days before the predicted end of the battle. The branch of peach flowers that was sent from the north to the centre of Vietnam was not only a message of victory from the King to his wife, but also the start of a new spring of peace and happiness for all the Vietnamese people. In addition, since the land of Nhật Tân had freely given that very branch of peach flowers to the King, it became the loyal garden of his dynasty.

It was a by peach tree that the protagonists of the Tale of Kieu
The Tale of Kieu
The Tale of Kiều is an epic poem in Vietnamese written by Nguyễn Du , and is widely regarded as the most significant work of Vietnamese literature. It is even used as a source for bibliomancy. The original title in Vietnamese is Đoạn Trường Tân Thanh , but it is better known as Truyện Kiều...

fell in love. And in Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, the blossoming peach flower is the signal of spring. Finally, peach bonsai
Bonsai
is a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penjing from which the art originated, and the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese hòn non bộ...

 trees are used as decoration during Vietnamese New Year (Tết
Tet
Tet can mean:*Tết or Tết Nguyên Đán, the Vietnamese new year**Tet Offensive, a military campaign that began in 1968*Têt in Roussillon, France*Equal temperament, abbreviated as 12-TET, 19-TET and so on...

) in northern Vietnam.

Nutrition and research



A medium peach 75 g (2.6 oz), has 30 Cal, 7 g of carbohydrate (6 g sugars and 1 g fibre), 1 g of protein, 140 mg of potassium, and 8% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C.

As with many other members of the rose family, peach seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides, including amygdalin
Amygdalin
Amygdalin , C20H27NO11, is a glycoside initially isolated from the seeds of the tree Prunus dulcis, also known as bitter almonds, by Pierre-Jean Robiquet...

 (note the subgenus
Subgenus
In biology, a subgenus is a taxonomic rank directly below genus.In zoology, a subgeneric name can be used independently or included in a species name, in parentheses, placed between the generic name and the specific epithet: e.g. the Tiger Cowry of the Indo-Pacific, Cypraea tigris Linnaeus, which...

 designation: Amygdalus). These substances are capable of decomposing into a sugar molecule and hydrogen cyanide gas. While peach seeds are not the most toxic within the rose family, that dubious honour going to the bitter almond, large doses of these chemicals from any source are hazardous to human health.

Peach allergy
Food allergy
A food allergy is an adverse immune response to a food protein. They are distinct from other adverse responses to food, such as food intolerance, pharmacological reactions, and toxin-mediated reactions....

 or intolerance
Food intolerance
Food intolerance or non-allergic food hypersensitivity is a term used widely for varied physiological responses associated with a particular food, or compound found in a range of foods....

 is a relatively common form of hypersensitivity to proteins contained in peaches and related fruit (almonds). Symptoms range from local symptoms (e.g. oral allergy syndrome
Oral allergy syndrome
Oral allergy syndrome or OAS is a type of food allergy classified by a cluster of allergic reactions in the mouth in response to eating certain fruits, nuts, and vegetables that typically develops in adult hay fever sufferers....

, contact urticaria) to systemic symptoms, including anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is defined as "a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death". It typically results in a number of symptoms including throat swelling, an itchy rash, and low blood pressure...

 (e.g. urticaria
Urticaria
Urticaria is a kind of skin rash notable for pale red, raised, itchy bumps. Hives is frequently caused by allergic reactions; however, there are many non-allergic causes...

, angioedema
Angioedema
Angioedema or Quincke's edema is the rapid swelling of the dermis, subcutaneous tissue, mucosa and submucosal tissues. It is very similar to urticaria, but urticaria, commonly known as hives, occurs in the upper dermis...

, gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms). Adverse reactions are related to the "freshness" of the fruit: peeled or canned fruit may be tolerated.

External links