Desert Peach

Prunus andersonii

Desert Peach

Color: Pink

Common name: Desert Peach

Latin name: Prunus andersonii

Family: ROSACEAE

Height: < 6.5 feet

Description: Prunus andersonii has tangling branches that narrow to spiny-tipped twigs. The shrub is deciduous. The inflorescence is a solitary flower or pair of flowers. Each flower has usually five concave pink petals each just under a centimeter long, with many whiskerlike stamens at the center. Flowers bloom before or at the same time as the leaves grow. The fruit is a fuzzy reddish-orange drupe around a centimeter wide. The fruits are fleshy is years with ample moisture, and dry in drought years. The seed is a heart-shaped stone.

Leaf: Serrated, lance-shaped to oval leaves occur in clusters, each leaf measuring up to 3 centimeters long.

Range: High Sierra Nevada (e slope), Great Basin Floristic Province, n Desert Mountains (Last Chance Range)

Habitat: Rocky slopes, flats, scrub, coniferous forest

Elevation: 900–2600 m.

Flowering time: Mar–Apr

Notes: Many rodent species collect and eat the fruits and cache the seeds. Among Native American groups, the Paiute used this plant for making tea and medicinal remedies, and the Cahuilla considered the fruit a delicacy. Prunus andersonii, a dicot, is a tree or shrub that is native to California and is found only slightly beyond California borders. This photo was taken on May 7, 2006 in Walker Pass, Kern County, California.

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Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.

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