Peach, common name for a deciduous orchard tree of the rose family, and for the fruit of this tree. The tree, which botanists believe is native to China, is cultivated throughout warm temperate and subtropical regions of the world. In the peach fruit, the stone is covered with a fleshy substance that is juicy, melting, and of fine flavor when matured and mellowed. The peach tree is of moderate height, more or less spreading according to variety, and, when left to itself, deep-rooted. The popular division of fruit varieties into clingstones and freestonesreferring to the relative tendency of the flesh to cling to the stone. The nearly 300 varieties of peaches grown in America have been classified into five races, each with outstanding characteristics, ripening season, and uses.The peach is not a long-lived tree, seldom living 30 years, and the life of a commercial orchard is usually 7 to 9 years. Scientific classification: The peach belongs to the family Rosaceae. It is classified as Prunus persica.
Nectarine, common name for a tree, a variety of the common peach, and for its smooth-skinned fleshy fruit. The fruit differs from the peach in skin texture, aroma, and flavor but closely resembles it in color and in size and shape of seed. Scientific classification: The nectarine belongs to the family Rosaceae. It is classified as Prunus persica variety nucipersica.