Peaches, nectarines, and apricots look very similar at first sight. For example, they are fruits that look about the same on the outside, because they have about the same shape. They also all have a pit. In addition, these fruits originally all come from the same region. What are the differences and similarities between these different fruits? How can you better recognize them and where do the fruits come from?
Differences Between Peaches, Nectarine, And Apricots
The peaches are also called ‘prunus persist. The Romans also called the peach the ‘Persian apple’ because the product was transported via Persia.
Peaches are about 7 centimeters in diameter.
The pit of a peach contains all kinds of holes and slots. This makes the structure of the kernel feel coarser than, for example, the kernel of apricot.
Peaches are generally orange-ish. These fruits have a skin that is fluffier than the skin of apricots and nectarines. Peaches feel soft.
Nectarines are also called ‘prunus persica nucipersica’. This fruit is very similar to the peach because the genome of a peach is almost the same. The small differences are due to a specific gene mutation in the shell.
Nectarines are often the same size as peaches. They also have a diameter of about 7 centimeters.
The pit of a nectarine has the same properties as the pit of a peach. This has slots and a coarse structure. The only difference is that the kernel of a nectarine is not directly attached to the flesh.
Nectarines have very smooth skin. This makes them shine in the sunlight. The skin is red and yellow in color. Nectarines can be distinguished from peaches by the skin.
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The scientific name for the apricot is ‘prunus armeiaca’.
Apricots are smaller than peaches and nectarines. They can reach a diameter of about 4 to 5 centimeters.
The apricot has a pit that looks quite even. This pit feels softer than the pit of a peach or nectarine. When an apricot is ripe, you can easily remove the pulp from the pit.
Apricots usually have a yellow or orange color.
Prune And Harvest
Trees that grow apricots flower as early as March, while trees with peaches and nectarines don’t start flowering until late March/early April at the earliest. Nectarines are picked sometime between May and September, while peaches can be picked over a longer period of time, from April to mid-October. Apricots are only picked from mid-May to mid-August.
After picking, the areas that have already had fruit are pruned. This is done because the following year usually no more fruit grows here. However, pruning ensures that new tree shoots can arise on which fruit can eventually grow.
Fungal Infections After Pruning
The fruit trees that have just been pruned are very susceptible to fungal infections. In addition, the pruning residues can act as a source of infection. Because of this, it is strongly recommended to cover the areas that have just been pruned with so-called wound balm or grafting wax. It takes time for the spots to recover.
Despite the various differences, there are several similarities. Apricot trees, peach trees, and nectarine trees can all grow to about 10 feet in height. Because these trees can grow quite tall, tools are often needed to pick the fruit. The fruits all have a similar sweet taste.
The fruits originally come from the east, namely from China. They belong to the ‘stone fruits’. Peaches, nectarines, and apricots were already sold in Europe before the birth of Christ. The Romans who lived at this time traded food.
They transported the fruit via Iran (Persia) to countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Because of their origin, the products need a warm temperature to grow. The gene mutations that cause a peach to become a nectarine happen spontaneously in nature, but can also occur during cultivation. In addition, there are now nurseries that are specifically aimed at cultivating nectarines. In total, there are no less than thousands of different varieties of peaches and nectarines.
All three fruits above contain a wooden kernel. These kernels contain a toxic substance, namely cyanide. The kernel is not edible, because the poison can cause thyroid problems and there is even a chance of contracting cyanide poisoning.