According to observations of naturalists and beekeepers.
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Desert peach is restricted to eastern California and western and central Nevada. In California, its range extends from Modoc and Lassen counties in the north, along the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada to Kern and Inyo counties in the south. In the Great Basin Desert of western and central Nevada, desert peach occurs as far east as Eureka and Nye counties.
Desert peach is a clonal, deciduous, many-branched shrub. Aboveground stems are connected by an extensive network of rhizomes, and lignotubers occur at the base of most shrubs. Desert peach clones can be several acres in size. Shrubs are typically 3 to 7 feet (2-3 m) tall, but heights of 10 feet (3 m) are possible. Desert peach branching is often wide and loose, and there are many short, stiff, spiny lateral branches. Aboveground stems are short-lived. From a large clone in the Medell Flats area of western Nevada, the maximum number of stem growth rings was 8.
Leaves are simple, often bundled, and arranged alternately. Tips are pointed, and margins have minute teeth. Leaf-blades measure 0.4 to 1 inch (1-3 cm) long, 3 to 7 mm wide, and can be summer deciduous. Solitary flowers are most common, but clusters of up to 5 are reported. Flower diameters measure 0.5 to 0.9 inches (1.2-2.2 cm). Desert peach produces mostly round drupes that measure a little over 0.4 inches (1 cm) and typically have dry and/or thin pulp. Kay and others report that fruit fleshiness depends on moisture availability. In years of above-average moisture, fruits are fleshy and split to expose the stone seed, but if moisture is average or below, fruits are described as "mummified" and the fruit flesh dries on the stone. Desert peach seeds are heart-shaped stones with a thick, hard coat that opens along a suture. Seeds are typically 1 cm long and wide.
Desert peach flowers appear slightly earlier or at the same time as the leaves. Flowers appear sometime from March to July throughout the desert peach range, though the timing of flower development can differ by as much as a month among individual clones growing in the same area.