Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #158762


item Beckman, Thomas - Tom
item Krewer, G
item Sherman, W

Submitted to: Journal of American Pomological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/8/2004
Publication Date: 4/1/2005
Citation: Beckman, T.G., Krewer, G.W., Sherman, W.B. 2005. Gulfking peach. Journal of American Pomological Society. 59(2):94-96.

Interpretive Summary: Current peach varieties utilized in the early season fresh market peach shipping industry of the southeastern United States are no longer suitable for profitable commercial production. Peach germplasm is needed with superior fruit quality, including non-melting flesh, high soluble solids, balanced acidity and fragrance in addition to desirable traits such as high red blush, yellow-orange ground color, round fruit shape and large size. Gulfking peach was jointly developed and released by the USDA-ARS, the University of Georgia and the University of Florida to provide an attractive, early ripening, non-melting, yellow fleshed peach for the fresh-market shipping industry. Gulfking is adapted to moderate-chilling areas such as the lower coastal plain of the southeastern United States. Gulfking ripens with Flordaking. Best adaptation will be in areas where Flordaking has proven reliable. Trees of Gulfking produce an attractive, sweet tasting, yellow and non-melting flesh fruit intended for the fresh fruit market. It is expected to produce fruit with tree-ripened aroma and taste while retaining firmness for longer shelf life than fruit from conventional melting-flesh cultivars. .

Technical Abstract: Gulfking peach is jointly released for grower trials by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (Byron, GA), Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station and Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. Gulfking was previously tested as AP98-4 and originated from a cross of BY87P285 x UFGold. Gulfking has an estimated winter chilling requirement (hours below 7C) of 350 hours and typically blooms with Flordaking in southwest Georgia. Flowers are large, showy, pink and self-fertile. Gulfking ripens 73-80 days after full bloom, typically with Flordaking peach. Fruit are clingstone when soft ripe. Flesh is non-melting, yellow and contains some red pigment mostly in the exterior half. There is no red in the flesh at the pit. Flesh is firm with good sweetness and does not brown readily on bruised or cut surfaces. Pits are medium small and have little tendency to split even when crop loads are low. Chief advantages of Gulfking are its attractive appearance, eating quality, exceptional firmness and low incidence of split pits. Best adaptation would be for areas and sites where Flordaking has proven reliable in production.