The varieties of Peaches
As mentioned before, there are countless varieties of peaches that can be classified according to their earliness and to the colour of their flesh: usually there are yellow flesh peaches, white flesh peaches, nectarines (recognizable for their “smooth skin”), percoche peaches, merendelle peaches and saturnine or tabacchiera peaches. .
In general, the smooth skin and the free stone (non-adherent to the flesh) or not (clingstone – adherent to the flesh) of the peach differ the very peach, with white or yellow flesh, from other varieties of peaches produced by the species Prunus persica. Almost all the varieties of peaches ripe between the first and the second decade of May until the end of September for the later cultivars.
Cultivars or varieties of peaches, according to the species to which they belong and to the fruit and vegetable product provided, are divided in:
In the sector of fruit species that are widespread the most in Italy and in Europe, the peach tree has always had a wide creativity, regarding the number of new varieties of peaches that each year are suggested to fruit growers, producers of peaches, fruit and vegetable companies that deal with peaches and of operators of the trade of peaches (importers of peaches, exporters of peaches, wholesalers of peaches and retailers of peaches): this situation of wide production of new varieties of peaches arises some problems both to the world of research, for the difficulties encountered while trying to value in advance the “new varieties” before they are included in the nursery catalogues, and to the world of producers, as it creates disorientation among producers of peaches and the operators of the trade of peaches when they have to choose the ideal varieties to answer the program requirements of the new installations that they have to do. This intense dynamism of new varieties of peaches that have been introduced in the fruit and vegetable sector has modified the “old selection of varieties”, with important changes in the pomological and trading features of the new varieties of peaches. The modifications concern above all the colour of the skin, which changed from a more or less red to a very intense and uniform red, the flavour and the flesh, which tends to “flatten” compared to that typical of the yellow flesh and white flesh of the “old cultivars”, and the texture of the fruit, which is firm or very firm in the new varieties of peaches, both when ripening on the tree and after the harvesting.
These changes concerned the varieties of peaches for the fresh consumption and the nectarines, but not the varieties of peaches assigned to the industrial processing, which are more tied to specific technological requirements of the mechanical and chemical means used to process the fruits.
Among the varieties of PEACHES FOR THE FRESH CONSUMPTION, there are white flesh varieties and yellow flesh varieties and lastly the varieties of nectarines.
- YELLOW FLESH PEACHES: they are freestone or clingstone varieties of peaches with a juicy and flavoured flesh and a velvet skin.
The most popular varieties of yellow flesh peaches are:
- FLAVORCREST: variety of peaches with medium-small fruits; they have an average weight of about 155 gr. each; the fruits are round and have an orange skin covered with an intense red for the 75% of the surface, and a yellow flesh with a good and fruity flavour. Ripening: beginning of June.
- MAYCREST: variety of peaches with medium-small fruits; they have an average weight of about 110 gr. each; the fruits are round more protruding at the apex and have a red skin and a yellowish flesh, firm and adherent to the stone, with a good flavour. Ripening: end of May.
- SPRINGCREST: variety of peaches with medium-large fruits that have an average weight of about 165 gr. each; the fruits are round or round-oblate, with a yellow skin covered by an intense red for the 85% of the surface, and an orange flesh, firm and freestone. Ripening: end of May.
- SPRING LADY: early variety of peaches with medium-large fruits that have an average weight of about 165 gr. each; the fruits are round or round-oblate, with a yellow skin covered by an intense red for the 85% of the surface, and an orange flesh, firm and freestone. Ripening: end of May.
- ELEGANT LADY: variety of peaches with medium fruits that have an average weight of 195 gr. each; the fruits are round-elongated and have an orange turning red skin and an intense yellow flesh, firm and freestone. Ripening: end of June-beginning of July.
- MARIA LUISA: variety of peaches with a yellow and firm flesh. Ripening: end of June.
- AZURITE ®: recent variety of peaches created by R. Monteux – Caillet (France), very productive with regular and large fruits. It is a cultivar with yellow and firm flesh and a very balanced, slightly acidic flavour. The skin is bright red, uniform on all the surface. Ripening: second decade of July.
- CORALINE ®: variety of peaches created by R. Monteux – Caillet (France). The fruits are round, regular and have a very coloured and attractive skin. The flesh is firm, yellow, with a good, slightly acidic flavour. It a cultivar that has a great productive potential also thanks to the large and tasty fruits. Ripening: first decade of July.
- GRENAT ®: late variety of peaches of French origins, created by R. Monteux – Caillet (France). Fruits are beautiful, regular and large; their skin is bright red on all the surface. The flesh is firm, yellow and fleshy, with a sweet and flavoured taste. Ripening: between the third decade of July and the first decade of August.
- PLAGOLD ®: very early variety of peaches with yellow flesh. It is native to Spain, obtained by crossbreeding Planasa with Cartaya (Huelva). The round-flat fruit has a surface ridge with sunken apex and a large and not deep peduncle hollow. The skin is light yellow covered with red on the 95 % of the surface. The flesh, clingstone, is very firm and fibrous. The fruit can weigh up to about 130 gr., tastes good and has a sugar’s content around 10° Brix. Very interesting variety for its appearance and for the fruit size.
- SAGITTARIA ®: variety of peaches obtained by crossbreeding Royal Glory with Flordstar by O. Insero of the “Istituto Sperimentale per la Frutticoltura” section of Caserta. The fruit weight varies around 150 -170 gr, it is symmetrical, round in both sections; the apex is slightly hollowed or round and the ridge is superficial. It is clingstone with a skin quite smooth, yellow and covered with an intense red spread over about all the surface. The flesh is firm, yellow with red veins, clingstone. It is an early variety, very interesting for its colour, the shape, the size of the fruits and the organoleptic characteristics.
- SOLE 2 ASTRO 2 ®: Italian variety of peaches obtained by A. Nicotra and L. Moser from the “Istituto Sperimentale di Frutticoltura" in Rome. Fruits are medium and weigh about 140-150 gr, are round, symmetrical with a slightly prominent and a superficial ridge. The skin in quite velvet, clingstone, light yellow covered with a bright red on the 80 % of the surface. The flesh is yellow and medium firm, clingstone and tastes good.
- VELVETSISTERS® CIVV305 : yellow peach with large fruits, red on the 90% of the surface on a yellow-orange background. The flesh is very firm, very good and freestone. The production level is high both in the Northern plains of Italy and in the South of Italy. The harvesting and therefore the ripening can be longer compared to other varieties such as “Rome Star” (19 days after Redhaven)
- RUBIRED: variety of peaches with large fruits, that have a yellow and red skin, a yellow and firm flesh that tastes good.
- REDHAVEN: it is the most known and widespread variety of peaches , very appreciated for the high and constant production, the preservability and the resistance during transports. The fruits are particularly attractive, medium with a yellow skin covered with wide red stains or stripes. These peaches are round, red on the 60% of the surface and with a yellow-orange flesh, very firm, tasty, freestone when ripe. Ripening: 15/20th of July.
- GLOHAVEN: variety of peaches obtained in Michigan in 1963. It is a very vigorous variety of peaches with a high level of production. Fruits are tasty and have a yellow flesh slightly red, freestone and firm; they are symmetrical and elongated. The skin is usually blushed on the 60-80% of the surface. Ripening: July 27-30th.
- SPRINGBELLE: late variety of peaches native to Italy, not very vigorous and productive. The fruits are medium-large, round-oblate, intense red and very attractive. These peaches have a very firm flesh, medium tasty. Ripening: first days of July.
- ROYAL GEM: variety of peaches native to California, with a medium vigorous tree, usually rising, with medium early blooming and productive. The fruits are medium-large or large (average weight 196 gr), round or slightly flat, completely covered with a very attractive dark red colour. These peaches have a yellow-orange flesh, very firm, semi-freestone, acidic, not very velvet and with a small stone. Ripening: mid-July.
- ROYAL GLORY: variety of peaches with an early or medium-early tree, vigorous and semi-rising, very productive and with a relatively early blooming. The fruits are medium large or large, round, not too much velvet and have a very beautiful intense red colour. Their flesh is intense yellow (which tends to become speckled when overripe), very firm, with a nicely sweet taste even though slightly acidic. Altogether it is an excellent variety of peaches for the production level and the beauty of the fruits. Ripening: beginning of August.
- CRESTHAVEN: variety of peaches native to America, vigorous and productive. The fruits are large, round and blushed or striped with red on a yellow background, not very velvet. These peaches have a yellow, medium firm flesh, very tasty. Ripening mid-August.
- FAYETTE: variety of peaches native to California, with a tree of medium development and a good productivity. Fruits have a good size, their skin is yellow with red stains. The flesh is yellow and nicely flavoured, very firm and suitable to handling. Ripening: beginning of September.
- LATE ZULIANI: variety of peaches with large fruits that are round and have a yellow-greenish skin blushed with an intense red. Their flesh is white, very firm, freestone and very tasty. This variety of peaches is usually used to prepare peaches in syrup.
- DIXIRED: very vigorous and productive variety of peaches even though not always constant. Fruits are medium-large, ovoid, regular, marble red, with a yellow skin widely striped with intense red and a firm, semi-freestone when ripe, yellow flesh with some red veins under the skin. Ripening: end of June.
- FLAMINIA: variety of peaches with very large fruits, round or sub-round, intense yellow, blushed with bright red. Their flesh is yellow, firm and tasty. It is a very late variety of peaches, ripening around the September 20th.
- HALE: variety of peaches from a medium vigorous tree. Fruits are large, usually round, with a yellow skin medium velvet, blushed with red and quite thick. Their flesh is intense yellow, sometimes with some light red veins, quite red next to the stone, freestone, very firm flesh with a medium texture and tasty. Ripening: August 12th.
- LIZBETH: yellow flesh variety of peaches whose fruits have a good size and texture. Fruits are medium, round, intense red. Their flesh is yellow with red veins, very firm and tasty.
- SUNCREST: yellow flesh variety of peaches native to America, obtained in 1974 by crossbreeding Gold Dust with Alanor. Fruits are usually large, round and slightly asymmetrical. Their flesh is very firm and they are suitable to be stored in refrigerators. Fruits are freestone with a bright red blush and red veins next to the stone. Their taste is excellent. Ripening: August 8-12th.
- WHITE FLESH PEACHES: varieties of peaches with a thready flesh, freestone or clingstone.
The most popular varieties of white flesh peaches are:
- MAY FLOWER PEACH: variety of peaches native to the United States popular since 1860, it is known also with the name "Fiore di maggio” in Italian or Early Wonder. Fruits are small and round, their skin is red–yellow and the flesh is white; it is sweet and keeps for a short time. It ripes from the 1st to the 10th of June.
- RED IRIS PEACH: variety of peaches with a constant production, whose tree is medium vigorous. Fruits are medium and round; their skin is light green- whitish, blushed with red. The flesh is white, with red veins, quite firm and tasty. Ripening: between the first and the second decade of July.
- MARIA BIANCA: white flesh variety of peaches obtained in Florence in 1980, by crossbreeding Dew Hale with Michelini by Prof. E. Bellini. The tree is very vigorous with a high production level. Fruits are light red on the 60-70% of the surface, they are quite large and very tasty. The peaches are freestone. Ripening: end of July-beginning of August. This variety of peaches is very appreciated for its taste qualities and for the uniform and quite large size of the fruits in conjunction with the ripening period.
- M.DELIZIA: very productive variety of peaches, with medium fruits that weigh on average about 175 gr each; fruits are round, light red, with white, firm and freestone flesh and a very good flavour. Ripening: July.
- MICHELINI: variety of peaches with unknown origins, cultivated since 1930. The tree is medium vigorous and quite productive. It is an excellent variety of peaches with white flesh, very good for the fruit size and the taste. Fruits are large and round (180-200 gr), with red skin on a cream-white background. The flesh is white striped with red next to the stone, flavoured, melting and freestone; these peaches are sweet, but do not keep very long. Ripening: August 20-30th.
- PLAWHITE ®: variety of peaches native to Spain obtained by crossbreeding Planasa with Cartaya (Huelva). The fruit is round-flat with hollowed apex and superficial ridge. The skin is red on the 90% of the surface that has a white-greenish background. The flesh is white and green next to the stone. The texture is melting and very fine. The fruit, whose weight is of about 125 gr, is good and flavoured, with a sugar content around 10-11° Brix. It is attractive and early as to ripening; it is also suitable for industrial processing.
- ROSA DELL€™OVEST or ROSA DEL WEST(Western rose): variety of peaches native to Italy, vigorous and regularly productive, popular and appreciated for the fruit size and for the taste. The blooming is very early. Fruits are round, large (average weight 192 gr.) , with slightly hollowed apex and superficial ridge. The skin is quite velvet, light green and blushed with red on the 50-70% of the surface. The flesh is white, with some red veins next to the stone, quite firm, good, juicy and freestone. Ripening: end of July-beginning of August.
- S. ANNA BALDUCCI: variety of peaches quite vigorous, whose fruits are medium, round with a quite velvet skin that is light green, blushed with pale red. Their flesh is white, more greenish next to the stone. Ripening: July 15th.
- SPRINGTIME: variety of peaches quite small, with a white-greenish skin veined with red. Their flesh is white, quite tasty and not very firm.
- NECTARINES: varieties of peaches that can have white or yellow flesh; they are usually called nectarines. Their fruits have smooth and reddish skin, they can be freestone and clingstone.
Among the nectarines, the most known and widespread varieties are:
- ALMA®: very productive variety of nectarines created by D. Montanari. Fruits are very large and the skin is widely red. The flesh is very firm and nicely tasting, slightly acidic. It is considered a promising cultivar for its ripening period, between the third decade of July and the first decade of August, and for its organoleptic characteristics.
- AMBERSISTERS S®-005: variety of yellow nectarines with very large fruits that are bright red on all the surface. They are round or slightly ovoid. The flesh is very firm, good-tasting and balanced as to acids and sugars. They are clingstone and keep very well.
- INDIPENDENCE: variety of nectarines native to California, medium vigorous and very productive. Fruits are medium, ovoid, with a small umbo, almost completely bright red. Their flesh is yellow, widely veined with red, very firm, not very tasty. Ripening: mid-July.
- DIAMOND BRIGHT (c.o.v.)®: variety of nectarines created by the Americans N.G and L.G. Bradford. The fruit skin is bright red and very attractive. Fruits are regular, firm and quite large. The flesh is tasty, flavoured and good.
- DIAMOND RAY (c.o.v.)®: variety of nectarines created in the United States by N.G and L.G. Bradford. It is a very productive cultivar, with excellent characteristics; fruits are round and red on almost all the surface. The flesh is tasty, nicely acidic and firm.
- ORION: variety of nectarines, whose tree has a medium ripening period, is rustic, medium vigorous and has a very high production level. Fruits are large or very large, round, very regular, light bright red. Their flesh is yellow, veined with red next to the stone, firm, freestone and very tasty.
- VAGA-LOGGIA DURACINA: very popular and precious variety of nectarines, with medium fruits, hollowed next to the peduncle, round at the top, characterized by the bright smooth skin and by the straw-yellow bottom. These nectarines have a yellow flesh, very firm, juicy an delicate when ripe and a sweet and flavoured taste. It differs from the other common nectarines as it lacks from that hint of acidity that characterizes these varieties of peaches.
- ALBERGES: variety of nectarines, freestone and white fleshed. The fruit is very large, with a white bottom, veined with a hint of flesh-red. The flesh is white and mild, non-acidic.
- MADDALENA BIANCA: very rare variety of nectarines native to Italy. Fruit are medium and irregular, hollowed at the bottom, ovoid at the top, where the fruit ends with a protrusion. The skin is thin, speckled on a side and stained with a bright red on a white-yellowish background. The flesh is white, mild, juicy and very flavoured.
- PESCA CAROTA (CARROT PEACH): large variety of nectarines, round and characterized by a slight ridge on a side, which continues from the bottom to the top. The skin, quite transparent, is velvet and has whitish dense hair, which softens the ruddy red of the juice and makes it grey. The flesh, naturally mellow, is quite delicate, but a little acidic. The stone, which is big, is dark red, and completely free from the flesh.
- BIG BANG® Maillara* : early variety of nectarines with a huge blooming, productive and characterized by large fruits. The plant is quite vigorous.
- RITA STAR® Bratastar* : variety of nectarines, whose tree is vigorous and very productive. Fruits are medium-small but very tasty.
- AMBRA: vigorous variety of nectarines, with a huge and early blooming, very productive. The fruits are excellent according to the early ripening period. The taste is medium.
- STARK RED GOLD: variety of nectarines with large tasty fruits and a good production level.
- MARIA AURELIA: variety of nectarines similar to the one above. Not very sensible to taphrina deformans.
- SWEET RED: medium vigorous variety of nectarines , with a great production level and very tasty fruits.
- CALDESI 2010
- CALDESI 2000
- CALDESI 2020
- CALDESI 85
- STARK RED GOLD
- SUPER STAR
- SPRING RED
- SUPER CRIMSON,
- MARIA EMILIA,
- EARLY STAR,
- MAY GRAND.
- "PERCOCHE" PEACHES: "percoche" peaches are a type of fresh fruit that has recently reached popularity. Fruits are medium and velvet, yellow or slightly red. Their flesh is homogeneous, not melting, firm, with small stone and not sharp at the ends. It is a variety of peaches, particularly suitable for the industrial processing, rich in sugars and with invigorating effects; percoche are also rich in calcium, with a detoxifying and mineralizing effect. As they are easily digestive and rich in fibres, the consumption of percoche has positive effects for the sight, the skin, the intestine function and the general body condition.
Among the widespread varieties of percoche the most popular are:
- ANDROSS: vigorous and productive variety of peaches, whose fruits are medium-large. Their skin is yellow-orange or light orange. The flesh is light yellow, fine, very firm. Ripening: first 15 days of August.
- ADRIATICA: variety of peaches from a medium ripening tree, whose fruits are medium, round, symmetrical with a round apex and a superficial or slightly hollowed ridge. The skin is light green and light yellow and blushed (20-30% red and light red). The flesh is yellow, firm and tasty.
- ROMEA: variety of peaches suitable for the industrial processing; this variety of peaches is productive. The fruits are round and very tasty.
- "PLATICARPA" PEACHES: the "platicarpa” peaches or flat peaches (saturnine or “tabacchiere”) are a variety of peaches with flat fruits. Peaches with this shape are not a novelty: in some area they are known since decades (may be since centuries), however, recently a great interest has arisen for this kind or fresh fruit, both from a productive and trading point of view. The world fruit and vegetable markets, in fact, show a sensible increase in the interest for the production of peaches “platicarpa", that usually have high organoleptic characteristics, are easy to consume, to package and to transport and trade on the fruit and vegetable market. The success is also linked to a variety innovation and genetic improvement process that has developed in recent years, creating, in the last years, better varieties as to some characteristics that limited their diffusion in the past. The old varieties, in fact, have faults such as the constant presence of cracking at the bottom of the fruit, with the consequent loss of juice, the detachment of pieces of skin and flesh during harvesting because of the peduncle and a low productivity. The “platicarpa” peaches are small and flat fruits, with a red-white skin and a white flesh; their taste is sweet but do not keep very much. Ripening: July 20-30th.
Among the platicarpa peaches(saturnines or tabacchiere), the most known and widespread varieties are:
- PINK RING (Platicarpa) ®: variety of peaches obtained through a crossbreeding at the CRA-FRF of Forlì. It is a flat cultivar, with a yellow flesh and excellent organoleptic characteristics. The fruits are regular and large (130gr.) and have a slightly asymmetrical valve, a hollowed apex and e rounded ridge. The skin has a white background, blushed with red and marbled for the 60-70% of the surface. The flesh is white with red veins next to the stone, firm and crisp, very sweet and low in acidity. These characteristics concretize in a very palatable taste. The stone is flat and very small Ripening: mid-July.
- SWEET RING (Platicarpa) ®: variety of peaches obtained through a crossbreeding at the CRA-FRF OF fORLì. It is the most early cultivar of flat peaches, with excellent organoleptic and aesthetical characteristics. The flesh is yellow, with hints of red under the skin, which is yellow too, blushed with intense red on the 70- 80% of the surface. The fruit is flat, not sensible to cracking, to russetting and to the skinning of the peduncle hollow. Fruits are medium (90 g), valves are asymmetrical, the apex is hollowed and the ridge is rounded. Excellent organoleptic characteristics with medium-high sweetness, low acidity, which concretize in a very palatable taste. The ripening varies according to the area of cultivation between the first and the third decade of June.
Nowadays there are really many companies that produce peaches, certified companies for the production of peaches, producers of peaches, companies that produce organic peaches, companies that deal with the trade of peaches (packaging of fruit and vegetable products, fourth range peaches), retailers of peaches, wholesalers of peaches, importers of peaches and exporters of peaches. All the above-mentioned varieties of peaches increased competition among all the operators of the fruit and vegetable sector that deal with peaches, enhancing the prestige of the variety of peaches produced and their yield on the international fruit and vegetable market.