Hough, L. F. Formerly, Department of Horticulture and Forestry, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Bailey, Catherine H. Formerly, Department of Horticulture, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
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A smooth-skinned, fuzzless form of peach, Prunus persica var. nectarina. The nectarine (see illustration) probably was brought to the Middle East from Central Asia by Alexander the Great. The nectarine's lack of pubescence is a simple recessive genetic characteristic. Classically, the fruits were thought of as being somewhat smaller, softer, and richer in flavor compared to the peach. More recently developed cultivars, however, approximate fresh-market peaches in size and firmness, but they are not usually superior in flavor. Propagation and cultivation are the same as for the peach; however, because of its susceptibility to brown rot (Sclerotinia fructicola) in humid growing areas, the nectarine is grown primarily in irrigated peach-growing areas where atmospheric humidity is low. See also: Fruit; Fruit, tree; Peach; Rosales
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