Prunus davidiana

Common Name: David's peach 
Type: Tree
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: China
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Whitish
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zone 4 where it may be grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained, acidic loams in full sun to light shade. Best flowering is in full sun. Foliage appreciates some part afternoon shade in the hot summers of the deep South. Avoid heavy clays and poorly drained wet soils. Prune if needed immediately after flowering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Prunus davidiana, commonly called David's peach, is a deciduous flowering tree that typically grows to 20-30' tall with a rounded habit. It is sometimes ornamentally grown for its showy bloom of single, five-petaled, whitish flowers (to 1" diameter). Flowers appear before the leaves in late winter to early spring (March in St. Louis but often earlier in climates with milder winters). Flowers are followed by globose, furry, yellow fruits (1" diameter) that are tasteless, dry and for all practical purposes inedible. Each fruit has one large seed. Upright branches are clad with slender, lanceolate, sharp-toothed, dark green leaves (2-5" long) which are pale green beneath with reddish veins. This tree has excellent winter hardiness and is sometimes used as a rootstock for edible peaches (Prunus persica). David's peach is native to China.

Genus name from Latin means plum or cherry tree.

Specific epithet honors Jean Pierre Armand David (1826-1900), French Jesuit missionary and naturalist, who collected this species in China and introduced it into France in 1865.

Problems

Flowers may be damaged by cold temperatures in late winter/early spring. Plants may flower better in the southern parts of their growing range than in the northern parts. If fruits appear, they can be somewhat messy. Potential insect pests include Japanese beetle, peach tree borer and aphids. Potential disease problems leaf curl, brown rot, peach scab, bacterial canker and powdery mildew.

Garden Uses

Ornamental flowering tree. Best sited in sunny areas of the landscape where the flowers can be seen and appreciated at the time of bloom. Trees are otherwise neither distinctive nor showy after bloom. This species is not commonly available in commerce.