The scientific name Prunus persica, along with the word "peach" itself and its cognates in many European languages, derives from an early European belief that peaches were native to Persia(Iran). According to Modern Botanical Consensus, Peaches have been originated from China, and introduced to Persia and Mediterranean region along the Silk Road before Christian times. Peaches are grown in the temperate zone of all the continents of the world. In India, peach cultivation is confined to mid-hill zones of Himalayas extending from Jammu & Kashmir to Khasi hills at an altitude of 1500-200 m above sea level. Low chilling peach cultivars are also grown in sizeable area in sub-mountainous regions of western part of the country i.e. Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and western U.P. It is also grown on a limited scale in hills of South India & Northeastern region of the country. Peaches remain the "Queen" of fruits and rank second to the apple among deciduous tree fruits in production and value. Peaches are grown both for fresh market and processing purposes.
Peaches are usually classified into one of two categories viz. freestone (with loose and easily removed pit) and clingstone (the stone is enmeshed fruit's flesh). Freestones are mostly sold fresh, while clingstone for canning, freezing and making preserves. Being a highly perishable fruit, it is difficult to distant transport and prolonged storage. Poor quality fruits are used in wine or brandy making. The consumption of peach fruit juice is also increasing rapidly in the form of nectars, fruit drinks and breakfast drinks. The quality of peaches is related to the optimum maturity, as half ripe fruits give better quality of canned product. The cultivar Golden Bush is best suited for canning purpose followed by Foster and Crawford's Early but Prince of Wales and Hales unfit for this purpose. Peach kernel oil is used in food, cosmetics &and Pharmaceutical preparations as apricot kernel oil. The cake contains 7.9 percent nitrogen, is used as a fertilizer or cattle feed. Peach flowers and leaves are plugative and anthelmintic. Fresh peaches are low-calorie source of beta carotene and vitamin C content. They contain fiber, especially pectin, soluble fiber that is instrumental in lowering high blood cholesterol. A medium-size peach contains only 35 calories. Canned and frozen peaches are higher in calories than the fresh. Peach do well in wet and humid climate with cold winter and dry summer. Varieties which need more cold for breaking dormancy are commonly cultivated in hills of Uttarakhand, J&K and Himachal Pradesh. In its soil requirement, light sandy soil is considered best. Peaches havegreat diversity, hence can be grown in plains(Shan-e-Punjab, Florda prince, Florda red, Early Grand, Saharan Prabhat, Sharabti etc) as well as in hills (July Elberta, Red haven, Elberta etc).Deep fertile loam or sandy loam with good drainage also favours peaches.