Peach - Prunus persica (L.) Batsch
'Tropic Beauty' peach
Fig. 1
'Tropic Beauty' peach

Showy (a) and non-showy (b) peach flowers.
Fig. 2
Showy (a) and non-showy (b) peach flowers

Bee pollinating peach flower
Fig. 3
Bee pollinating peach flower

Flowering peach branch between rows of trees
Fig. 4
Flowering peach branch between rows of trees

Eglandular (a), globose (b) and reniform (c) leaf glands on peach leaves.
Fig. 7
Eglandular (a), globose (b) and reniform (c) leaf glands on peach leaves

Prunus persica fruit
Fig. 8

Peach ‘UFO‘
Fig. 9
Peach ‘UFO‘

White peach and its cross section isolated on a white background
Fig. 10
White peach and its cross section isolated on a white background

Pits
Fig. 11

Containerized peach tree in a 3-gallon container ready for planting. Remove some soil from roots to improve root contact with field soil
Fig. 12
Containerized peach tree in a 3-gallon container ready for planting. Remove some soil from roots to improve root contact with field soil

Peach tree pruned to an open center
Fig. 13

Hauling crates of peaches from the orchard to the shipping shed.
Fig. 14
Hauling crates of peaches from the orchard to the shipping shed

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Scientific name
Prunus persica
Pronunciation
PROO-nus PER-sick-uh
Common name
Peach
Synonyms
Prunus persica f. aganonucipersica (Schübl. & G.Martens) Rehder; P. persica var. compressa (Loudon) Bean; P. persica var. davidiana (CarriŠre) Maxim.; P. persica subsp. davidiana (CarriŠre) Dippel; P.persica subsp. ferganensis Kostina & Rjabov; P. persica var. lasiocalyx H.L‚v. & Vaniot; P. persica var. nectarina (Sol.) Maxim.; P. persica var. nucipersica (L.) C.K.Schneid.; P. persica var. persica; P. persica var. platycarpa (Decne.) L.H.Bailey; P. persica subsp. platycarpa (Decne.) D. Rivera, Obón, S. Ríos, Selma, F. Mendez, Verde & F.Cano; P. persica f. scleropersica (Rchb.)
Voss 9
Relatives
Apple, Malus domestica; blackberry, Rubus spp; capulin, Prunus salicifolia; chickasaw plum, P. angustifolia; loquat, Eriobotrya japonica; mayhaw, Crataegus spp.; pear, Pyrus spp. and strawberry, Fragaria ananassa 8
Family
Rosaceae
Origin
China
USDA hardiness zones
5B through 8B
Uses
Fruit; highway median; Bonsai; espalier 1
Height
15-25 ft (4.57-7.62 m)
Spread
15-25 ft (4.57-7.62 m)
Crown
Round, dense, irregular
Plant habit
Branches droop; not showy; typically multi-trunked 2
Growth rate
Fast
Pruning requirement
Needed for strong structure
Leaf
Deciduous; simple; alternate; serrate, srrulate; lanceolate, elleptic' 2-4 in. (5.08-10.16 cm), 4-8 in. (10.16-20.32 cm) 2
Flower
White/cream/gray, pink, red; showy; in the late winter 2
Fruit
Round; 3-6 in. (7.62-15.24 cm); yellow, red; fleshy 2
Season
Late April and May
USDA Nutrient Content pdf
Light requirement
Full sun, partial sun or partial shade 2
Soil tolerances
Clay; sand; loam; acidic; well-drained 2
PH preference
6.0-6.5
Drought tolerance
Moderate
Aerosol salt tolerance
Unknown
Soil salt tolerance
Unknown
Cold tolerance
27°F (°C) for fruit and flower; tree hardy
Plant spacing
10-15 ft (3.048-4.572 m)
Roots
Not a problem
Invasive potential *
Little invasive potential
Pest/disease resistance
Sensitive to pests/diseases
Verticillium wilt susceptibility
Susceptible
Known hazard
The interior of the pit is poisonous; twigs and leaves are toxic

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Reading Material

Florida Subtropical Peaches: Production Practices from the University of Florida pdf 13 pages
Prunus persica: Peach from the University of Florida pdf



The University of Florida has developed high-quality, low-chilling, early-maturing peach and nectarine cultivars that can be grown fromthe panhandle of Florida to as far south as Immokalee. Low-chilling cultivars can grow and produce fruit under Florida conditions that are much warmer in winter than in northern states. Furthermore, ripening of these cultivars during April and May ensures an early spring market window for tree-ripe fresh fruit in Florida before peaches and nectarines from other southeastern states and California come to market. 1

Origin

The peach (Prunus persica) is a deciduous tree native to the region of Northwest China between the Tarim Basin and the north slopes of the Kunlun Shan mountains, where it was first domesticated and cultivated. 4
The specific epithet persica refers to its widespread cultivation in Persia, whence it was transplanted to Europe. 5

Description
Peach trees vary in their growth habit, and often a combination of tree vigor, flower type, and leaf structure can be used to identify cultivars. Trees can have semi-spreading (e.g., ‘UFOne’) or semi-upright growth (e.g., ‘Flordaprince’) and can be either very vigorous (e.g., ‘UFSun’) or moderately vigorous (e.g., ‘Sunbest’) in canopy growth. 3

Flowers
Flowers on certain peach cultivars can be showy, with large, pink petals; flowers on other cultivars are non-showy, with smaller, redder petals (Fig. 2). Leaf glands at the base of the leaf near the petiole can also be used in the identification process. 3

Peach blossoms Prunus persica flower habit
Fig. 5 Fig. 6

Leaves
Leaf glands may be absent (eglandular), or they may be globose (round) or reniform (kidney-shaped) (Fig. 7). 3

Melting vs Non-Melting
Peaches are typically available in two different flesh types, melting and non-melting. Melting-flesh cultivars are typical of those popular at farm stands and u-pick operations in which the fruit are picked tree ripe. They typically do not ship very well as they approach physiological ripeness because of their tendency to bruise easily. Melting-flesh cultivars are typical of those popular at farm stands and u-pick operations in which the fruit are picked tree ripe. They typically do not ship very well as they approach physiological ripeness because of their tendency to bruise easily. Melting-flesh cultivars are typical of those popular at farm stands and u-pick operations in which the fruit are picked tree ripe. They typically do not ship very well as they approach physiological ripeness because of their tendency to bruise easily. The UF program focuses on breeding non-melting-flesh peaches that are firm even
when ripe.  1

Clingstone vs Freestone
Clingstone and freestone are two terms that describe the relative tendency of the flesh to adhere to the pit. In a clingstone peach, the flesh adheres to the pit so that the pit cannot be easily extracted from the flesh when the fruit is sliced in half. All non-melting-flesh peach cultivars released by the University of Florida are clingstone or semi-clingstone (the flesh of semi-clingstone peaches becomes easier to separate from the pits as the fruit ripen). Peach fruit with flesh that separates easily from the pit are described as freestone. Typically, melting-flesh peach cultivars are semi-freestone or freestone; however it is possible to have a melting-flesh, clingstone peach. Although there is some variation in the degree of flesh adherence (e.g., semi-freestone or semi-clingstone), no non-melting-flesh, freestone peach cultivars are available. 1

Florida Peach and Nectarine Varieties from the University of Florida pdf 19 pages
Cultivars for Central and South Florida
Peach Growth Stages from Michigan State University and University of Georgia pdf 4 pages

Pollination
All peaches are self-pollinating.

Propagation
The rootstock, ‘Flordaguard’is currently recommended for Florida. This rootstock can be used for all stone fruit grown in Florida and is resistant to Meloidogyne floridensis (peach root-knot nematode) and other root-knot nematodes.
Newer rootstocks ‘MP-29’ and ‘Sharpe’ show promise. 1
Other Florida peach rootstocks used in the past but no longer recommended are ‘Nemaguard’, ‘Nemared’, an Okinawa’ because they are susceptible to the peach rootknot nematode. 1

Rootstocks for Florida Stone Fruit from the University of Florida pdf 5 pages
Peach Propagation from the University of Georgia and University of Tennessee pdf 4 pages

Planting
Peach and nectarine trees can be planted as bare-root plants during the dormant season, or from containers (1–2 gallon) in late January or early February as soon as the soil can be adequately worked. Trees that are 2 ½–4 feet tall establish faster than smaller trees. 1

Pruning
Pruning is necessary to form a well-shaped, strong tree and to maximize production of high-quality fruit. The predominant system in Florida is an open-center or open-vase system with three to five scaffolds covering 360° (Fig. 7). When planted, trees can be cut back to a single stem 15–20 inches high. This encourages lateral branching and various shoots from which scaffold branches can be selected. Remove or cut back other shoots and remove all low-growing suckers, including those from the rootstock when growth begins in February and March. 3

Pruning and Thinning Videos From University of Florida Fruitscapes ext. link
Pruning Peaches and Nectarines from the Clemson Cooperative Extension pdf
Pruning and Thinning the Peach Tree for Best Results from the University of Florida
Peach Girdling from the University of Georgia and Auburn University pdf 3 pages

Thinning
To improve fruit size and early ripening, thinning should be done as early as possible. Thinning fruit by hand is time and labor intensive, but can produce the best results. Fruit should be thinned before pit hardening, leaving about one fruit on average every 6–10 inches along the branch. Pit hardening can be determined by slicing young fruit in half to determine if the pit has begun to harden, usually before they are about the size of a marble or nickel. In many cases, 60%–70% of the fruit must be removed to achieve good fruit size and quality. 3

Peach Thinning from the Clemson University and Dept. of Horticulture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University pdf 6 pages
Training and Pruning Florida Peaches, Nectarines and Plums from the University of Florida pdf

Fertilizing
The type of fertilizer you choose may be chemical or organic. Make sure that the fertilizer contains iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, copper and boron. These minor elements are very important to plants and most soils are low in these elements. 7

Irrigation
Both bare-root and containerized trees should be watered at planting to reduce transplant shock. Newly planted trees should receive 2–3 gallons of water for every inch of trunk diameter. Bare-root trees are dormant at planting, have no leaves, and usually require little if any water at planting, except on very sandy soils. 1
Bearing trees must be irrigated to increase fruit size and yield and support tree growth. Suggested irrigation rates are 1–2 inches every 10 days and more frequently in sandy soils, especially during the dry season. 1

Pest Page

Disease Page

Food Uses 

Peach Melba Dried unbleached peaches from Gothenburg, Sweden Peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream at City Hall Diner
Fig. 15 Fig. 16 Fig. 17
Pêche rôtie à la pistache accompagnée d'une boule de glace à la pistache Soupe de pêche et rosé du Luberon Peach steamed bun, Narita-city,Japan
Fig. 18 Fig. 19 Fig. 20

Fig. 15. The Peach Melba (French: pêche Melba) is a dessert of peaches and raspberry sauce with vanilla ice cream. The dish was invented in 1892 or 1893 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London, to honour the Australian soprano Nellie Melba. 6
Fig. 16. Dried unbleached peaches from Gothenburg, Sweden
Fig. 17. Peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream at City Hall Diner
Fig. 18. Pêche rôtie à la pistache accompagnée d'une boule de glace à la pistache. (grilled peach with pistachio ice cream)
Fig. 19. Soupe de pêche et rosé du Luberon (peach soup and rose wine from Luberon Fr.)
Fig. 20. Peach steamed bun, Narita-city, Japan

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Peaches from the University of Florida pdf

General
Peaches are considered a climacteric fruit, which means that fruit are able to continue ripening after they are harvested, although the sugar level and therefore perceived sweetness will not increase. 1

Chill Hour Accumulation in Florida
Fig. 21

Fig. 21. Chill Hour Accumulation in Florida. Below 45ºF (7.2 ºC) through February 10th
There are many sources from which to gather this data, including the Florida Automated Weather Network FAWN. The state of Florida has several zones with different chill unit accumulations (Fig. 13) to aid in selecting a peach cultivar. 1

Further Reading
University of Florida Stone Fruit Breeding Program ext. link
Information on Peaches from Just Fruits & Exotics
Peach, Persimmon and Blueberry Power Point Presentation by Gary England Sumter County Extension pdf 63 pages
Peach Botanical Art


List of Growers and Vendors


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Bibliography

1 Olmstead, Mercy, Chaparro, Jose, Andersen, Pete, Williamson, Jeff and Ferguson,James. "Florida Peach and Nectarine Varieties". edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is Circ. 1159, a publication of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension First published November 1995 under the title, "Peaches and Nectarines for Central and North Florida." Revised May 2013 and June 2016. Web. 16 Feb. 2017.
2 Gilman, Edard F and Watson, Dennis G. "Prunus persica: Peach." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is ENH-672, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date Nov. 1993. Revised Dec. 2006. Reviewed Feb. 2014. Web. 27 Dec. 2016.
3 Olmstead, M., Chaparro, J., Williamson, J.G., Rouse, R., Mizell, R., Harmon, R. and Ferguson, J. "Florida Subtropical Peaches: Production Practices." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is HS1109, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Publication date July 2007. Revised Aug. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.
4 Faust, M.; Timon, B. L. (2010). "Origin and Dissemination of Peach". Horticultural Reviews. p. 331. doi:10.1002/9780470650585.ch10. ISBN 978-0-470-65058-5. wikipedia.org. Web. 28 Dec. 2016.
5 "Peach." wikipedia.org. Web. 28 Dec. 2016.
6 Avey, Tori. "Opera, Escoffier, and Peaches: The Story Behind the Peach Melba", 22, Aug. 2012.  29 Dec. 2016. commons.wikimedia.org. Web. 29 Dec. 2016.
7 Gilbert, Cowley, Brandy. "Peach, Plum and Nectarines." justfruitsandexotics.com. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
8 Boning, Charles R. Florida's Best Fruiting Plants- Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs, and Vines. Pineapple Press, Inc. sarasota, Florida. Print.
9 "Prunus persica synonyms."The Plant List (2010). Version 1. theplantlist.org. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.

Photographs

Fig. 1 Tropic Beauty' peach. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.
Fig. 2 Showy (a) and non-showy (b) peach flowers. N.d. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 4 Sept. 2014.
Fig. 3,5 Fir0002/Flagstaffotos. Bee Pollinating a Peach Flower. 2008. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC-BY-NC-3.0, GFDL-1.2.). Web. 4 Sept. 2014.
Fig. 4
LaBar, Martin. Flowering peach branch between rows of trees. 2015. flickr.com. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 6,8 Hodge, Walter. Prunus persica. Wunderlin, R. P., B. F. Hansen, A. R. Franck, and F. B. Essig. Atlas of Florida Plants. USF Herbarium Slide Collection.  florida.plantatlas.usf.edu. Web. 28 Dec. 2016.
Fig. 7 Eglandular (a), globose (b) and reniform (c) leaf glands on peach leaves. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu.  Web. 16 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 9 'UFO' peach. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 18 Sept. 2014. Web. 28 Dec. 2016.
Fig. 10
Fir0002/Flagstaffotos. White peach and its cross section isolated on a white background. 2009. 
commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC-BY-NC-3.0) and GFDL-1.2Web. 16 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 11 Hurst, Steve. Peach stones. USDA, NRCS. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA. plants.usda.gov. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.

Fig. 12 Containerized peach tree in a 3-gallon container ready for planting. Remove some soil from roots to improve root contact with field soil. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 18 Sept. 2014. Web. 28 Dec. 2016.
Fig. 13
Peach tree pruned to an open center. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 14 Russell, Lee. Hauling crates of peaches from the orchard to the shipping shed. 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. commons.wikimedia.org. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 15 Sproule, Robbie. Peach Melba. 2005. 
commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 16 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 16 Stenudd, Josefine. Dried unbleached peaches from Gothenburg, Sweden. 2007. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 28 Dec. 2016.
Fig. 17 Daily, Ralph. Peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream at City Hall Diner. 2008. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 28 Dec. 2016.
Fig. 18 DocteurCosmos. Pêche rôtie à la pistache accompagnée d'une boule de glace à la pistache. 2011. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 9 Feb. 2017.
Fig. 19 JPS68. Soupe de pêche et rosé du Luberon. 2013. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 9 Feb. 2017.
Fig. 20 katorisi. Peach steamed bun, Narita-city,Japan. 2009. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 9 Feb. 2017.
Fig. 21 Chill Hour Accumulation in Florida (Below 45F[7.2C] through February 10th). N.d. Outline map courtesy of the Florida State Historical Society. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas
** Information provided is not intended to be used as a guide for treatment of medical conditions.

Published Feb. 2013 LR. Last update 16 Feb. 2017 LR
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