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Peach fruit tree flower

Peach fruit tree flower


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Peach fruit tree flower

Peach fruit tree flower is a kind of small, fragrant flowering tree of the family Rosaceae, native to the temperate and tropical world. All plants in the genus Prunus are known as the peach family (Rosaceae), so they may also be referred to as the peach family tree or the peach family flowers. The original flowers are usually red or pink and grow as a catkin. The term peach tree flower is now applied to all members of the genus, while peach is more specifically used for the American species. Other uses include peach tree, peach tree blossom, peach blossom, and pea tree.

There are several varieties of peach family tree flowers. Several of these, such as the Japanese flowering peach (Prunus x salicifolia) and the Japanese apricot (Prunus mume), are more commonly seen in Japan and China. The wild European pea tree (P. avium) of the family Rosaceae is probably the most widespread species in Europe, and the most common flowering tree in much of England and Europe.

Peach family tree flowers are used as food and medicine in many cultures. The fruit, which is the mature fruit of the peach family tree flower, is considered a delicacy in some areas. Some flowers are eaten as snacks, and the petals are commonly used in potpourri. In traditional Chinese medicine, peach family tree flowers are used as an anti-inflammatory and to promote healthy blood circulation.

Etymology and history

Prunus is a Latin word for "wild" or "cultivated". In classical times it was used as a generic term for all wild and cultivated members of the Rosaceae. The ancient Greeks and Romans called Prunus "persica", meaning "peach tree" in Greek, and "Persica" in Latin. The botanical name of the American peach, Prunus persica, was given in the 19th century, when the species was first described in the scientific literature. However, several other Prunus species were already known and common in Greek and Roman times, such as Prunus amygdalus (in Chinese, "Persica", meaning peach tree, in English), Prunus divaricata (in Chinese, "Persica", meaning peach tree, in English), Prunus padus (in Chinese, "Persica", meaning peach tree, in English), Prunus salicifolia (in Chinese, "Persica", meaning peach tree, in English), Prunus stiptica (in Chinese, "Persica", meaning peach tree, in English), Prunus subhirtella (in Chinese, "Persica", meaning peach tree, in English) and Prunus yedoensis (in Chinese, "Persica", meaning peach tree, in English).

Taxonomy

Prunus was named as the type genus of the subfamily Pruninae of the flowering plant family Rosaceae, in 1826, by Sir William Jackson Hooker, based on the discovery of fossil specimens. The species now included in Prunus are included in the subgenus Prunus, consisting of seven sections. The name of Prunus as an abbreviation of "Persica", meaning "peach tree", dates back to the classical Greek and Roman writers, where it was used for the peach tree and its fruit.

The genus Prunus is polyphyletic and currently classified in two infra-generic groups:

Prunoideae, which includes the ancient species of Prunus and consists of 13 sections and around 500 species, including the widely cultivated trees, and Prunus subg. Prunus

Amygdaloideae, which includes the modern species of Prunus and consists of 16 sections and around 100 species, including many dwarf species, and Prunus subg. Sprengeri

The number of species is estimated as about 25,000, with a possible total of 50,000 species.

Characteristics

A number of characteristics distinguish the species within the genus Prunus from those within other genera of Rosaceae. Among these, the fruit of Prunus, in contrast to the berries of most other species, is typically considered edible. The most important of these characteristics are the flesh of the fruit, which contains high levels of polyphenols, and the leaves and branches, which lack chlorophyll. The flowers are often brightly colored, attracting pollinators such as bees. They are also typically smaller than the flowers of most other species, with individual flowers often less than a centimeter in diameter.

Selected species

There are more than 2,600 species of Prunus, of which around 700 species are cultivated. Species that are cultivated often do not appear in the wild.

Taxonomy

The first species of Prunus to be described and illustrated were in the two volumes of Carl Linnaeus's Species Plantarum, the original 11-volume work which was the starting point for modern taxonomy. It is not certain if he had made note of the existence of the genus Prunus at the time, although he had made botanical notes on plants from Linnaeus's native country of Sweden. The first species to be described was Prunus lusitanica, now considered to be the naturalised species P. avium, in volume four of Species Plantarum. His other Prunus species described in the two volumes which followed that publication were subsequently combined into Prunus, a monograph he had never published, which was printed in 1753.

A second genus was added, subgenus Prunus, in 1768, containing the group now termed Amygdaloideae.

Two years later, William Aiton published his book on the subject of Perennials in Great Britain, which listed Prunus as having 14 species native to Britain, although it is unclear if he had observed these species for himself or if he had been told of them by others.

In 1811, the second edition of the third edition of Aiton's book, Flora of Great Britain, which had been republished in 1810, was published. Within the book, the genera Prunus and Amygdalus were once again lumped together. Prunus became the first name, and Amygdalus the second.

In 1816, the first edition of the Enumé of Living Plants was published, containing species from all over the world. The first Prunus species to be described in the book was Prunus avium.

This species name Prunus avium was used, as was the species name Rosa odorata, in the first edition of the Supplementum florum.

The year 1817 saw the first edition of the Enumé of Perennials. Prunus, whose first name had been changed to Amygdalus, was given its current name, but still did not have the specific name Prunus avium. The final edition of the Supplementum florum appeared in 1838.

At this point, the name Prunus avium was still used to describe the species that Aiton had identified in Britain, although the scientific name Amygdalus was used in the species described by Linnaeus, the species described by Scopoli, and the species described by Smith. Prunus was used in Europe, with Amygdalus in North America.

The species name Amygdalus quinquefolia had been used in Linnaeus' Species Plantarum (1753). This species name was used again in the species described by Scopoli in Icones Plant


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