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“P” is for Peaches

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“P” is for Peaches. State Fruit. The peach (prunus persica, Rosaceae) is a temperate-zone stone fruit that is grown widely around the world. Peaches originated in China then migrated to ancient Persia and from there to Europe. In the 1600s the Spaniards introduced peaches to North America. By 1700, there were several noted accounts of peach cultivation in South Carolina. The native Indians cultivated them and preserved them by drying and pressing them into cakes. By 1850 peaches were being grown commercially. In the twenty-first century, peaches were the most widely grown commercial fruit crop in South Carolina with an annual value of $67 million. South Carolina ranks as the number-two peach producer in the United States after California. In 1984, the General Assembly designated the peach as the official state fruit of South Carolina.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.