The peach, Prunus persica, is a deciduous tree, native to North-West China, in the region between the Tarim basin and the north slopes of the Kunlun Shan mountains, where it was first domesticated and cultivated.It bears an edible juicy fruit also called a peach. The species name persica refers to its widespread cultivation in Persia, whence it was transplanted to Europe. It belongs to the genus Prunuswhich includes the cherry and plum, in the family Rosaceae. The peach is classified with the almond in the subgenus Amygdalus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated seed shell.
Peaches and nectarines are the same species, even though they are regarded commercially as different fruits. Nectarines have an orange center and no fuzz, while peaches have white centers and very fuzzy skin; genetic studies suggest nectarines are produced due to a recessive allele, whereas peaches are produced from a dominant allele for fuzzy skin.
China is the world's largest producer of peaches and nectarines.