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A peach flower, or blossom, is the pink or red bloom of a peach tree, Prunus persica. The trees bloom in the early spring, before they bear fruit. Originally native to China, peach trees also grow in most of the United States and many areas of Europe. Though these trees are often cultivated commercially for their fruit, they are also frequently planted in gardens because of the colorful and visually appealing flowers which cover the trees each spring.
About 1 inch (2.54 cm) in diameter, a peach flower will appear singly or in a pair on a given stem. Flowers do tend to cluster together on branches, however, so one branch may have multiple flowers blooming along it. In some areas, these flowers may bloom as early as February. Peach flowers are extremely susceptible to frost, so even a single late freeze may kill the blooms.
Each peach flower has five wide, oval-shaped petals, surrounding a multitude of thin stamen in the center. When the flower is in full bloom, the petals overlap very little. Peach flowers are usually pink, but vary in shade from a pale near-white to a deep almost-red.
Peach trees reach a maximum size of 15 feet (4.57 m) tall and will have flowers covering their thin branches. Dark green leaves appear after the flowers begin blooming and are thinly oval shaped. They are usually between 3 and 6 inches (7.6–15.2 cm) long. A spreading tree, peach trees are deciduous and require well-draining soil and sunlight.
Often propagated by seed, peach trees can occasionally be propagated by cutting as well. Seedlings are usually placed in a pot and grown in a greenhouse for their first year before being planted outdoors. Peach trees are perennial, so once planted they should bloom and bear fruit each year.
In addition to being visually striking, peach flowers have uses in cosmetics as well. Ground powder from the flower petals is used in some concealing make-ups. The extract obtained from the flowers is sometimes used in moisturizers as well.
The peach flower is the state flower of Delaware, which once lead the United States in the commercial production of peaches. In 1895, in large part because of Delaware's place as leading peach producer, the peach flower was declared the floral emblem of the state, but it was not until 1953 that it was officially named the state flower. Ironically, this official declaration occurred decades after Delaware's peach production dropped dramatically.
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