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Peach and Nectarine

Rosaceae Prunus persica (L.) Batsch

Source: Magness et al. 1971

Peaches and nectarines are relatively large fruits with large, deeply ridged stones. Fruit 2 to 3.5 inches diameter. Peach fruits are pubescent throughout the growing season, and are usually brushed by machine prior to marketing to remove most of the pubescence. Nectarines have a smooth, plum-like peel. Nectarines have apparently originated from peaches by mutation. Trees of the two kinds are indistinguishable and are relatively small, usually held to under 15 feet by pruning. Both peaches and nectarines may be freestone - pit relatively free of the flesh - or clingstone - pit adheres to flesh. Many varieties, especially of peaches, are grown in the U.S., varying in season of ripening and climatic adaptation.


peach Season, bloom to harvest: 75-150 days, mostly 100-120 days.

Production in U.S.: About 1.800.000 tons.

Use: Fresh market, canned, dried, marmalade, baby food.

Part of fruit consumed: Mainly flesh only. Peel included in dried fruit


nectarine Season, bloom to harvest: Same as peach.

Production in U.S.: About 70,000 tons.

Use: Mainly fresh eating.

Part of fruit consumed: All except stone.

(Pictures: J. Janick) Last update February 18, 1999 by ch