Rosaceae (Rose) Family
Leaves are lance-shaped; finely saw-toothed with sides often curved up from midvein. Leaf stalks are short with glands near the tip; shiny green above; paler beneath. Crushed foliage has a strong odor and bitter taste.
Flowers are about 1-1/4 inch wide; five rounded pink petals that are usually single and nearly stalkless. Flowers occur in early spring before the leaves appear.
Fruit is a fleshy pulp surrounding a hard pitted stone; nearly round and grooved with fine velvety hairs covering the skin. The pulp which matures in the summer and is edible.
The peach is a native of China, which has naturalized locally in the eastern United States and California, mostly in the southeast. Peach has been grown as a fruit tree since ancient times. Numerous cultivated varieties include Freestone peaches, with pulp separating from the stone; Clingseed, with pulp adhering to the stone, and smaller, hairless fruits known as Nectarines. Spanish colonists introduced the Peach to Florida, and American Indians then planted it widely.