Peach trees, Prunus persica, are originally believed to have come from China to the Mideast through the trade routes known to extend to Turkey and Iran (Persia). The peach seeds could be used to plant and grow trees throughout North Africa and Europe and finally were introduced to America in the mid 1500’s. The first appearance of peaches in China may date back to 2000 BC.
Historians believe that peach trees were first introduced into the colonial settlements of the United States by the French explorers in 1562 at territories along the Gulf coastal region near Mobile, Alabama, then by the Spaniards who established Saint Augustine, Florida in 1565 on the Atlantic seaboard. The peach trees were planted from peach seed imported from Europe in an effort to establish a self sustaining, agricultural. fruit tree product to feed the colonists. American Indians spread the planting of the peach trees throughout vast territories by transporting the peach seed to other tribes that lived in the interior regions. This new crop of fruit was fast growing, producing a delicious peach two or three years from planting. The trees were so productive and vigorous that sometimes, widespread impenetrable thickets became established from the peach seeds that fell to the ground from fruit unharvested. The illusion was formed by settlers after 1600 that the peach trees were native to the United States, since they were so widely spread and grew so vigorously everywhere.