Peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch]: an alien species of the Italian vascular flora.
Plant species distribution on Earth is a consequence of geographical biotic or abiotic barriers. Since its appearance on Earth, man has largely affected the presence of organisms in nature and for many of them he has been a voluntary and/or accidentally diffusion agent. This is particularly true for agricultural crops. This has represented a major threat for biodiversity conservation. Peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch, Rosaceae Juss.], a phanerophyte-scapose native of western China, in Italy was probably introduced in the 1st century AD and today is widely cultivated. To quantify the dynamics of its naturalization and its current distribution in Italy and in the Campania region (Southern Italy), research was carried out in the national and regional floristic literature and by field surveys. At the present, this archaeophyte is reported in all the Italian regions, except the Apulia. In Campania its first finding in the wild occurred in 1955 near Mount Alburno (Salerno province). Recently, it was found in natural areas on the Vesuvius Grand Cone. At the present this species is reported for the provinces of Caserta, Naples, and Salerno and is considered as a casual alien plant of the Italian vascular flora.