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Peach

Prunus persica

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Peach trees is decidious fruit trees. The single, large seed is red-brown, oval shaped, and is surrounded by a wood-like husk. Peaches, along with cherries, plums and apricots, are stone fruits (drupes). There are various heirloom varieties, including the Indian peach, which arrives in late summer. 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 acidity, while yellow-fleshed peaches typically have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness, though this also varies greatly. Both colors often have some red on their skin. The ancient Chinese believed the peach to possess more vitality than any other tree because their blossoms appear before leaves sprout. 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 are a common ingredient used in traditional Chinese medicine to dispel blood stasis, counter inflammation and reduce allergies. Many famous artists have painted still life with peach fruits placed in prominence. Caravaggio, Vicenzo Campi, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Henri Jean Fantin-Latour, Severin Roesen, Peter Paul Rubens, Van Gogh are among the many influential artists who painted peaches and peach trees in various settings.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Fruiting time
Spring, Summer

Harvesting

Harvest when fully ripe, meaning that there is no green left on the fruit. They should come off the tree with a slight twist. Fruits found on the top and outside of the tree usually ripen first. Be careful when picking because some varieties bruise easily.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds in earl Spring to produce seedlings.
Cuttings
Graft cultivars on the growing seedling to produce fruit in the future of the same cultivar.

Special features

Geography

Origin
China Circa 2000 BC
Natural climate
Temperate Interior

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
Peach kernels are used in traditional Chinese medicine to dispel blood stasis, counter inflammation and reduce allergies.
Edible
Fruits

Personality

Family
Rosaceae
Flower colour
Shades of pink to white
Scent
Mild

Problems

Peach trees are prone to leaf curl, which reduces the crop yield by partially defoliating the tree. Several fungicides can be used to combat the disease, including Bordeaux mixture and other copper-based fungicides.

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