The Peach (Prunus persica) is a tree native to China that bears a juicy fruit of the same name. It is a small deciduous tree growing to 5–10 m tall. The leaves are lanceolate, 7–15 cm long and 2–3 cm broad. 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 is a drupe, with a single large seed encased in hard wood (called the "stone" or "pit"), yellow or whitish flesh, a delicate aroma, and a velvety skin. Peaches, along with cherries, plums and apricots, are stone fruits (drupes).
The scientific name persica derives from an early European belief that peaches were native to Persia (now Iran). The modern botanical consensus is that they originate in China, and were introduced to Persia and the Mediterranean region along the Silk Road in early historical times, probably by about 2000 BC (Huxley et al. 1992).