Ajuntament de Barcelona

Prunus persica

Miramar Garden and Camí dels Cims

    Catalan name: 
    Presseguer
    Spanish name: 
    Melocotonero
    English name: 
    Peach tree
    Botanical synonyms: 
    Amygdalus persica, Persica laevis, Persica vulgaris
    Species characteristics
    Family: 
    Rosaceae
    Origin: 
    Asia
    Habitat: 
    Mild weather areas
    Characteristics: 

    Deciduous tree up to 6 m tall, although it is not unusual that it remains as a shrub, with ashish very smooth bark, which comes off in sheets. The smooth and hairless branches are green on the sunny side.

    The leaves, 7.5-15 cm long and 2-3.5 wide, are simple and lanceolate. Their apex is very acute and their margin is finely jagged. The upper side is bright green and the petiole, 1-1.5 cm long, has 2-4 glands near the limb.

    The pink to red flowers, 2-3.5 cm in diameter, appear, usually solitary and occasionally in pairs, before than the leaves.

    The fruits are globose velvety drupes, 5-7.5 cm in diameter, with a more or less marked longitudinal groove. The skin colour varies from yellow to reddish and the flesh one from whitish to yellow, depending on the varieties. The stone, which contains a single seed, is a very hard shell with winding grooves.

    Flowering time: 
    February-April
    Fruiting time: 
    Summer
    Uses and properties: 

    Consumption of its fruit is the main reason for harvesting Peach Trees. They are very popular as a fruit and as an ingredient for melmelades, juices and sweets.

    History and curiosities: 

    The scientific name, Prunus persica, consists of the genus name Prunus, coming from the Latin prunus, “plum tree”, and the Latin term persicus, “Persian, from Persia”, in allusion to the place through which the species introduced in Europe. The peach tree arrived to Europe as a fruit tree in Roman times; the Romans improved its fruits by means of several crosses.

    In East, from where it is native, the peach tree takes part of the traditional culture. According the Japanese legends, Momotarô, one of the more well-known and appreciated semihistorical heros, was born inside a huge peach floating downstream. In China, the peaches symbolise the longevity and the immortality: according the legends, every 6,000 years the immortals consumed immortality peaches in a feast and it is common to find peaches in pictures to show a long life.

    For further information: 

    LÓPEZ GONZÁLEZ, Ginés A. Los árboles y arbustos de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. (2 vol.) Madrid: Mundi-Prensa, 2001

    http://www.asturnatura.com