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The flowers are produced in early spring before the leaves; they are solitary or paired, 2.5–3 cm diameter, pink, with five petals.
The fruit has yellow or whitish flesh, a delicate aroma, and a skin that is either velvety (peaches) or smooth (nectarines) in different cultivars.
In contrast to peaches, whose fruits present the characteristic fuzz on the skin, nectarines are characterized by the absence of fruit-skin trichomes (fuzz-less fruit); genetic studies suggest nectarines are produced due to a recessive allele, whereas peaches are produced from a dominant allele for fuzzy skin.
Prunus persica grows to 4–10 m (13–33 ft) tall and 6 in. The leaves are lanceolate, 7–16 cm (2.8–6.3 in) long, 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) broad, pinnately veined.
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 Mountains, where it was first domesticated and cultivated.
It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach or a nectarine.
Peaches and nectarines are the same species, even though they are regarded commercially as different fruits.
Peaches were mentioned in Chinese writings as far back as the 10th century BC and were a favored fruit of kings and emperors.
The history of cultivation of peaches in China has been extensively reviewed citing numerous original manuscripts dating back to 1100 BC.
The oldest archaeological peach stones are from the Kuahuqiao site.
Archaeologists point to the Yangtze River Valley as the place where the early selection for favorable peach varieties probably took place.