Prunus persica 'Contender' (Dwarf Peach)
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Prunus persica, commonly referred to as peach, is a type of stonefruit originally native to central and eastern Asia set apart from nectarines by the presence of its telltale peachfuzz, which covers the skin of its fruits. The 'Contender' cultivar was originally developed in North Carolina, and is noted for its profuse fruit bearing and especially hardy cold tolerance, as well as very limited amounts of fuzz on its skin.
Producing glossy green foliage followed by beautiful pink flowers in the early spring, this dwarf variety of 'Contender' is self-pollinating and grows to a manageable 12-15' tall. While 'Contedner' is able to produce fruit by itself, pollination partners may increase harvest size. Cold-hardiness in this species makes it ideal for colder climates, and less suited for warmer ones; 'Contender' requires 1050 hours of exposure to temperatures at or below 45ºF through the course of the winter for flowers to open in the spring.
Following cold winters and successful flower bud development, pollination is followed by mature fruit set by late season, typically mid to late August. 'Contender' peaches are edible and delicious for people, freestone and great for eating raw or preserving, but also attract a number of bees, insects, birds, and wildlife that feed on fallen fruits.