Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Prunus persica ‘Early Double-Blossom China’

A Prunus persica (L.) Batsch. cultivar. I have found no specific reference to this peach, but see Prunus persica (L.) Batsch. var. flore pleno

Horticultural & Botanical History

In the early Victorian era the double-flowered peach was usually grown for its blossom rather than its fruit although older varieties did bear edible fruit. A highly ornamental variety was introduced to England by Robert Fortune in 1845. This had fruit useless for dessert or culinary purposes, but could not be the variety referred to here as this was recorded for the first time in 1843.

Pomona Franconia figures ‘Double Fleur de Pêcher’, which is probably the old double-flowered peach [Pomona Franconica  Vol.2, peaches t.3/1801]. This is the illustration used here.


History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues as ‘Early double-blossom China’ [Peach no.4/1843].


Macarthur used a double China peach in his hybridisation work, which strongly suggests that he grew a form with at least passable fruit. However, Macarthur’s own comments on his first generation crosses suggest that the Double China bore indifferent fruit at best. ‘The three varieties of peach in no. 5 case are surely worth your notice so as to give them a fair trial.  The Camden superb is a splendid fruit larger than the Red Magdalen or Royal George, and of higher flavour.  It is a hybrid between the Red Magdalen and the double flowering Chinese.  Of the other two No. 13 is the most shewy looking, ripening to a deep purple, but No. 14 is the best.  These Nos. take more after the Chinese than the other but are very superior to the Chinese in size and flavour.  If they succeed as well in England as they do here they can scarcely fail to be highly approved of.  All three are second generation from the crossed fruit stones, the first having completely taken after the Chinese male parent.’ [MP A2933-1, p.185]. Macarthur bred these by pollinating either ‘Red Magdalen’ or ‘Royal George’ with the double China peach and then growing seed from the subsequent progeny.

Published Jun 03, 2010 - 02:27 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2011 - 04:46 PM

Figured is a flowering shoot with young leaves and bright pink very double flowers. Pomona Franconica vol.2, peaches t.3, 1801.

Prunus persica ‘Double-Blossom Peach’ | Pomona Franconica vol.2, peaches t.3/1801 | Pomologische Bibliothek


Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, presumably China

Common Name

Double Blossom Peach

Name in the Camden Park Record

Early double-blossom China

Confidence level low