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Three New Peaches on the Way

By Tara Weaver-Missick
April 1, 1999

Three new peaches fit for royalty--Sureprince, Autumnprince and Springprince--have been released by the Agricultural Research Service. Horticulturist W. R. Okie with ARS’ Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory in Byron, Ga., developed these new lush beauties. ARS is USDA’s chief scientific research agency.

It takes years until a peach is “groomed” and ready to join the royal court of peaches. They start off as one of thousands of seedlings from parent varieties with desirable traits such as early or late ripening. Then they go through years of field trials until they are released.

Sureprince is an attractive, firm peach that ripens in mid-June just slightly after Juneprince, a popular commercial variety. The chillier the better for this peach: It performs well in the colder parts of Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia. Sureprince is no lightweight contender either, weighing in at about 1/3 pound and about 2 ¼ to 2 ½ inches in diameter, if the trees are thinned properly. Sureprince was so named because it is a reliable cropper. The surface is bright red at maturity with a gleaming yellow flesh on the inside. Sure to melt in your mouth, the fruit has good texture and flavor.

Yellow-fleshed Springprince and Autumnprince, named for the seasons near when they ripen, are both adapted to the Southeastern climate. Close to 2 ¼ inches around, Springprince ripens in late May. It is firm and softens slowly on the tree, allowing it to have good flavor for an early peach.

Autumnprince, close to 3 inches around, ripens in late August to early September when most commercial peaches are finished. It hangs on the tree better than many late peaches, which tend to fall before ripening.

All three new varieties have moderate resistance to bacterial spot, with Sureprince being the most resistant.

Scientific contact: William R. Okie, ARS Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory, Byron, Ga., phone (912) 956-6405, fax (912) 956-2929,