Report of the 38th Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, p. 102 (1869)
On the Specific Identity of the Almond and the Peach.
Dr. Karl Koch.

The author stated that he had travelled over the mountains of the Caucasus, Armenia, some parts of Persia and Asia Minor, during four years, for the purpose of studying the origin of our fruit-trees. Although the author could not assert that he had found them perfectly wild or run wild, he nevertheless had collected much interesting material. The author believes that our pears and apples, cherries, most plums, also peaches and apricots, are not natives of Europe. Only certain bad varieties of plums have their origin from Prunus insititia, the tree which grows in a wild condition in the woods of Europe. After discussing the wild stock of our cherries and pears, the author stated that apricots do not grow wild in Oriental countries, but may perhaps come from China and Japan, as also the peaches. In the east of Persia, however, a peach-shrub grows, which is intermediate between the almond and the peach-trees. For some time naturalists and gardeners have asserted that there is no difference between almond and peach-trees; that the latter is merely a variety in which the dry rind of the almond has become fleshy, and where at the same time the stone has acquired a rough surface. Botanists say also that the petioles of the almond-tree have at the superior end small glands, which are absent in the peach. But the nectarine, which is but a smooth-skinned peach, exhibits these same glands. The flowers are not readily distinguishable of peach and almond. On the shores of the Rhine a double-flowered variety grows, as to which it is not certainly known whether it is peach or almond. In England and France also there is a plant which is well known as the peach-almond, and which is a constant variety. This plant occasionally produces a branch bearing good peaches, but, as a rule, its fruit is intermediate in character. The property of atavism seems to prove the derivation of the peach from the almond; for occasionally a sound peach-tree will produce a branch bearing almond-like fruit.