Dr. Dick Okie of the USDA Fruit and Nut Investigation Laboratory at Byron, Georgia has officially released three new yellow-fleshed peach varieties for trial evaluation in the Southeast. The new releases include Springprince, Sureprince and Autumnprince, and range in ripening date from early to very late. Portions of Dr. Okie's descriptions are provided below.
All three selections are being evaluated in the peach variety test at the Chilton Area Horticultural Substation in Thorsby. However, trees of these selections in the test are quite young (have fruited no more than 1 or 2 years) and judgements made on performance at this date are rather premature. Hopefully, all may have a place in the Alabama peach industry and provide additional choices for varieties in their specific harvest periods.
SPRINGPRINCE: The earliest ripening of the three varieties is Springprince, which was tested as BY82P5972. It originated as an open-pollinated seedling of Springcrest. It is described as producing a very firm peach ripening with Springcrest that is well adapted to the Southeast. Springprince ripens with Springcrest and Empress or about 49 days before Elberta. Fruits are medium to large (2 1/4") in diameter when adequately thinned and generally very round. Fruit are considered very firm and ripen slowly on the tree. Red blush on surface is 80 to 90% bright red with an attractive yellow ground color and little pubescence. Flesh is yellow with some red in the pit cavity. It is a clingstone with non-melting flesh and good flavor for the early season.
Trees are considered vigorous and productive. Leaf glands are globose. Bacterial spot susceptibility appears to be moderate (like Springcrest). Flowers are large with showy pink petals and are self-fruitful. It appears that the chilling requirement is near 650 hrs (below 45F) similar to Springcrest.
SUREPRINCE: Sureprince, tested as BY81P1216, is being released to provide a firm peach ripening about with Sentinel or slightly after Juneprince. It is late flowering and considered better adapted to the higher chilling area of the Southeast. Sureprince originated as an F2 seedling of Dixieland X Durbin nectarine.
Ripening period at Byron, Georgia is about 35 days before Elberta. Fruit set tends to be heavy and early thinning is needed to attain optimum size. Fruit size tends to be smaller than Juneprince but the higher chilling requirement makes it a more reliable cropper. Fruits are round and medium-large (about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2") in diameter. They have 80 to 90% red blush, attractive ground color and little pubescence. The semi-freestone fruit has yellow flesh with red in the pit cavity. The flesh is firm but melting type with good flavor.
Trees are vigorous and productive. Leaves have no glands. Resistance to bacterial spot is moderate (like Redhaven). Flowers have large, showy pink petals and are self-fruitful. Chilling requirement is estimated at 900-950 hrs (below 45F).
AUTUMNPRINCE: Autumnprince, tested as BY85P325 is being released to provide an attractive, very late ripening peach adapted to the Southeast. It resulted from a cross of O'Henry X BY79P670 (this selection has germplasm from Sunland and Summerprince).
Autumnprince ripens at Byron, Georgia in late August-early September, some 6 to 7 weeks after Elberta (or 7 to 10 days after Parade). Fruits are round, large (2 1/2 to 3" diameter) when adequately thinned, very firm and soften slowly on the tree (like O'Henry). When ripe, fruits have a 50-60% dull red blush, yellow ground color and little pubescence. The flesh is yellow with some red in the pit cavity. Fruits are freestone with slightly dry but melting texture and very good flavor. Fruits are much less prone to preharvest drop compared to other late varieties.
Trees are vigorous and productive. Leaf glands are reniform. Bacterial spot resistance is considered moderate. Flowers have large, showy pink petals and are self-fertile. The variety requires an estimated 750-800 hours of chilling (below 45F) and flowers with Parade.
GULFPRINCE: The USDA jointly with the University of Georgia and the University of Florida announced the release of the peach cultivar Gulfprince, previously tested as FL93-14C. This is a seedling of Aztecgold x Oro A and was selected at the University of Florida.
Gulfprince is a non-melting peach that ripens approximately 1 week after June Gold in southern Georgia. Fruit are large, (2 1/2" to 2 3/4") with 45 to 50 percent red blush over a deep yellow to orange ground color. Fruit flesh is yellow and contains some red pigment mostly in the exterior half. There is no red at the pit. Pits are medium small and have little tendency to split even when crop loads are low.
Trees are vigorous, semi-spreading and require summer pruning to promote
strong fruiting wood in the lower half of the tree. High number of
flower buds are set and fruit thinning is required for proper sizing.
Blossoms are showy and pink. Gulfprince blooms with Flordaking peach,
requiring about 400 hours of chilling (below 45F). Trees do not appear
to be susceptible to bacterial spot.