The sweet smell of peaches wafts through the air from a Georgia orchard, tickling the noses of passersby. In the distance, lush trees blaze with radiant red and yellow peaches. Fruits grown here are the crème de la crème of peach aristocrats. They're the work of horticulturist William R. Okie and others at the ARS Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory in Byron, Georgia.
Those orchards now include three newly released, sure-to-be-popular, ARS-developed peaches: Sureprince, Autumnprince, and Springprince. Sureprince is an attractive, firm peach that ripens in mid-June slightly after Juneprince, a popular commercial variety. It performs well in the colder parts of Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia. Sureprince is no lightweight, weighing in at about one-third of a pound. Sure to melt in your mouth, the fruit has good texture and flavor.
Springprince and Autumnprince are both adapted to southeastern climates. Springprince ripens in late May, is very firm, and softens slowly on the tree, allowing it to have a very good flavor for an early peach. Autumnprince ripens in late August to early September, when most commercial peaches are finished.
All three varieties have moderate resistance to bacterial spot, with Sureprince being the most resistant.—By Tara Weaver-Missick, Agricultural Research Service Information Staff.
William R. Okie is at the USDA-ARS Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory, 21 Dunbar Rd., Byron, GA 31008; phone (912) 956-6405, fax (912) 956-2929.
"Three New Peaches on the Way" was published in the April 1999 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.