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On April 18, 2006 the Alabama Legislature designated the peach (Rosacea, genus Prunus, Species P. persica,) to be the official state tree fruit of Alabama. (The blackberry is the state fruit, adopted in 1949. There are thirty to forty varieties of peaches grown commercially throughout Alabama, harvested from early May to early September.) California produces more peaches than all other states combined. South Carolina follows at distant second, followed by Georgia, followed by New Jersey.
peach belongs to the family Rosaceae, a large family of herbs, shrubs, and
trees distributed over most of the earth, and for plants of the genus Rosa, the true roses.
The peach appears to have originated in China, where it was mentioned in literature several
centuries before Christ. It was introduced into Persia before Christian times and was spread
by the Romans throughout Europe. Several of its horticultural varieties were brought by the
Spanish to North America, where it became naturalized as far north as Pennsylvania by the late
17th century. The numerous varieties of peaches under cultivation are generally distinguished
as clingstone or freestone.
Thirty to forty varieties of peaches are grown commercially throughout Alabama. The harvest season begins in South Alabama in early May and is completed in North Alabama in early September. Alabama producers harvest their peaches riper than many southeastern producers who ship them long distances. Because fruits are more mature when picked, they tend to have the full flavor of the variety grown. Freshly harvested fruits are available not only in grocery stores but also at roadside outlets and pick-your-own operations.
Sources: Acts of Alabama 2006, HB205.
The law designating the peach as the official Alabama state tree fruit is found in the Unannotated Code of Alabama 1975, Title 1, Chapter 2, Section 1-2-37
Title 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS.
Chapter 2 - STATE SYMBOLS AND HONORS.
Section 1-2-37 - State tree fruit.
Universal Citation: AL Code § 1-2-37 (2013)
State tree fruit.
The Peach, Rosaceae, genus Prunus, species P. persica, is hereby designated as the official state tree fruit of Alabama.
(Act 2006-520, p. 1208, §1.)
Taxonomic Hierarchy: Peach
Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Family: Rosaceae - Rose family
Genus; Prunus L. - plum
Species: Prunus persica (L.) Batsch - peach