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[R] Prunus persicae Miller (Rosaceae).
Fr: PÍcher; Ge: Pfirsichbaum; Pt: Pessegueiro; Sp: Melocotonero; It: Pesco.
- Fruit tree, 2 to 5 m in height, with pink flowers that open early, cultivation is concentrated in southern regions.
- The fruit (peach), primarily consumed fresh, is an almost symmetricaldrupe (*) . Harvesting, done manually, occurs in summer; the fragile fruits are quickly placed in cold rooms.
- The principal European producers are Italy, Greece, Spain and France.
- There are many varieties, including yellow-fleshed and white-fleshed peaches. Also differentiated are true peaches, with a downy skin, and two nectarine varieties: smooth skin and clinging stone, or smooth skin and free stone.
- Peach trees are cultivated in areas exposed to wind, usually in European vineyards, or on trellises. An orchard can produce for 15 to 20 years.
- Propagation occurs by seeds or by vegetative reproduction. The graft is placed on root stocks that are either peach, prune or a peach-almond hybrid.
- Knowledge of the phenological stages permits a more logical approach to pest and disease management (*) .
Diseases: the most formidable are peach leaf curl (Taphrina deformans), Fusicoccum amygdali, brown rot (Monilia laxa, M. fructigena) and bacterial dieback (Pseudomonas syringae), plum pox virus (viral diseases that are transmitted by aphids), also cankers (primarily Cytospora cincta and secondarily C. leucostoma) which become important in northern zones. With respect to plum pox virus, only certified plants are recommended for use.
- Principal European pests: the most important pests are common to all fruit trees with pips and stones. The most damaging remain the oriental peach moth (Cydia molesta) as well as aphids: peach-potato aphid (Myzus persicae), peach leafroll aphid (Myzus varians), black peach aphid (Brachycaudus prunicola), mealy plum aphid (Hyalopterus pruni), and black peach aphid (Brachycaudus persicae).
Peritelus sphaeroides (Germar) (Col., Curculionidae) and the brown leaf weevil, Phyllobius oblongus (L.) (same family) attack the leaves.
Also, the peach twig borer (Anarsia lineatella) attacks the young growth and the fruit. The peach thrips (Thrips meridionalis) attacks the flowers.

[R] Images

* Peach-tree twig (Minost C.)
a: leaf narrow, elongate (10-15 cm), dentate and with short petiole; b: flower; c: peach.

* Phenological stages of peach-tree (Minost C.)
A: winter bud; B: swelling; C: calyx is appearent; D: corolla is appearent; E: stamina are appearent; F: fool bloom; G: petals are falling; H: setting; I: young fruit.

To read this page in French

HYPPZ on line: Species (scientific names), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.

HYP3 : HYPP Phytopathology.

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