Looking for Peach Varieties Guide - Characteristics, harvest dates, and uses for eating, home canning, freezing and preserving- which peaches to pick and why! in 2018? Scroll down this page and follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above.
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Out of the hundreds of varieties of peaches, each can be classified as clingstone, freestone, or semi-freestone / semi-clingstone. That refers to how firmly the flesh attaches to the pit. Freestone types are obviously the easiest to work with! As to flavor; the most important factor is fresh-picked. Almost any variety, when allowed to ripen on the tree, will taste better than anything from the grocery store. Peaches do not ripen (become more sweet) once picked, they simply soften (due to emzymes and bacterial action).
Freestone: As its name implies, the stone is easily removed from this variety, making it a good choice for eating fresh. Harvest begins in late May and continues to October. This is the type most commonly found in your local grocery store. They tend to be larger than clingstones, with a firmer, less juicy texture, yet still sweet. They are excellent for home canning, freezing and baking purposes.
Semi-freestone: This newer type is a hybrid of the clingstone and freestone. It is good for general purposes, both fresh and canned. Also called semi-clingstone.
Clingstone: These are so named because the flesh clings stubbornly to the stone or pit. In the Northern hemisphere, this type is the first to be harvested, ripening May through August. The flesh is yellow, with bright red touches closest to the stone. They have a soft texture, and are juicier and sweeter -- perfect for desserts. This is the preferred variety for jellies, jams, and canning. Although clingstones are tasty eaten fresh, they are seldom found in the local market. The commercial industry uses clingstones for peaches canned in various levels of syrup.
Yellow - Most peaches have a yellow flesh which can range from a light yellow to an orange yellow or even streaked with red. Other yellow-fleshed peach varieties are primarily yellow but become red closer to the pit. Examples of yellow-fleshed peaches include cultivars such as "eLBERTA", "Autumn Gold," "Earligrande," "O'Henry," "Suncrest" and "Tropi-berta."
White - White-fleshed peaches are usually a variant of Asian peach trees. The flavor is almost identical, although many people say they taste sweeter. The skins are typically similar to yellow-flesh peaches, with yellow or red skins. Common white peach tree cultivars are "Babcock," "Nectar," "Belle of Georgia," and "Arctic Supreme."
Donut Peaches - A relatively new group of peaches have flatter or saucer-shaped peaches that are shaped more like a doughnut. Donut peaches usually have a small clingstone pit. They taste good, but their flavor is no better than most other peaches; just marketing hype.
Nectarines are a genetic mutation of
peaches that produced a skin without the fuzz. Essentially, that is the
only difference. Nectarine may have yellow or white flesh and clingstone or
freestone pits. Common nectarine varieties include "Arctic Rose," "Harko"
and "Panamint." Dwarf nectarine cultivars include "Nectar Babe" and
Alphabetized List below
Of course, there are many seasonal variations, weather plays an effect, micro climates at the farm, so ALWAYS contact the farm early to find out when the peaches will be ripe at the specific farm that interests you!
|Arctic Supreme||Large||Clingstone||White||red-over cream||Late-Midseason||Excellent||Self-pollinating|
|August Pride||Large||Freestone||Yellow||red-blushed yellow skin||Midseason||Chilling Requirement less than 300 hours below 45°F|
|Babcock||Small to medium||Semi-freestone||White||Early season.||Tart-sweet.||Self-pollinating. Chilling Requirement 250-300 hours below 45°F|
|Baby Crawford||Small||Freestone||Yellow||slightly blushed golden orange skin||Midseason||Excellent|
|Belle of Georgia||Large||Freestone||White||red over creamy white skin||Late season||Very good||Heirloom variety|
|Bonanza II||Large||Freestone||Yellow||red over creamy white skin||Mid- season||Very good||The fruit is improved from the original ‘Bonanza'. The peach is the most adaptable of all fruit trees for home gardens|
|Bonita||Medium to large||Freestone||Yellow||light yellow skin with a deep red blush||Mid- season||Excellent||sub-acidic|
|Cardinal||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||bright red over yellow skin||Early-midseason||Very good|
|Cary Mac||Large||Freestone||Yellow||Yellow skin||Midseason||Very good|
|Contender -||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||Orange||Mid-season||Very good||Very hardy variety, perfect for northern gardens, Disease-resistant to bacterial spot. Cold-hardy. Self-pollinating.|
|Cresthaven||Medium to large||Freestone||Yellow||golden skin||Late season||Good||The firm flesh is juicy and resists browning.|
|Desert Gold||Medium||Clingstone||Yellow||red-blushed yellow skin||Early season||Good||very low chilling hours required (200).|
|Dixie Red||Medium||Semi-clingstone||Yellow||red skin and light fuzz||Early midseason||Good|
|Earlihale||Very large||Freestone||Yellow||dark red skin.||Midseason||Good||The tree requires a pollinizer.|
|Early Amber||Medium||Freestone||orange-yellow||dark red-blushed yellow skin||Early||Flesh is medium-firm.|
|Early Elberta||See Improved Elberta below.|
|Elberta||Large||Freestone||Yellow||Golden yellow fruit blushed with red||Midseason||Excellent||Firm, rich, sweet, yellow flesh. Excellent for fresh eating and canning. Hardy and productive. Low (850) chilling hours needed. Self-fertile. Popularly grown in Georgia.|
|El Dorado||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||red-blushed yellow skin||Early season||Excellent||Medium size peach with; yellow flesh is rich flavored. Full-size peaches from a miniature tree!|
|Empress||Large||Freestone||Yellow||pink to red skin||Late season||Excellent||Large peach with . Yellow flesh is sweet and juicy.|
|Eva's Pride||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||Early midseason||Good||Medium to large peach with yellow skin; yellow flesh. Good flavor.|
|Fairhaven||medium to large||Freestone||Yellow||yellow with red cheek (sides)||Midseason||Good||The fruit are round. The flesh is yellow, with red at the pit, very firm, and moderately fine textured. Fairhaven is freestone, resists browning, and has a good flavor, traits that make it ideal for freezing and canning. typically, mid-August.|
|Fairtime||Large||Freestone||Yellow||pale red-blushed skin.||Late season||Good|
|Fantasia (Nectarine)||Large||Freestone||Yellow||red skin||Midseason||Excellent||Excellent firmness.|
|Fantastic Elberta||Large||Freestone||Yellow||blushed-red deep golden skin||Midseason||Good||Large peach with slightly tangy flesh.|
|Fay Elberta||Large||Freestone||Yellow||red skin||Midseason to late season||Good||Slightly tart flesh.|
|Flaming Fury||Very large||Freestone||Yellow||blushed-red deep golden skin||Midseason||Good|
|Flavorcrest||Large||Freestone||Yellow||red-blush over yellow skin||Midseason||Excellent||Firm, yellow flesh has fine texture..|
|Flordaking||Large||Clingstone||Yellow||red blush over yellow skin||Early season||Good|
|Florida Prince||Medium||Semi-clingstone||Yellow||Yellow||Very Early season||Good||Medium to large peach. Brightly colored with a crisp, sweet flavor balance.|
|Fortyniner||Large||Freestone||Yellow||red blushed yellow skin||Midseason||Good|
|Frost||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||red-blushed yellow skin||Midseason to late season||Good||tangy flavor.|
|GaLa||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||reddish blush skin||Midseason||Good||Cold hardy freestone is juicy and ideal for eating, canning or freezing.|
|Galaxy (donut)||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||Yellow skin||Midseason||Very good|
|Garden Gold||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||Yellow skin||Midseason||Good||Tree is genetic dwarf. Ripe 2 weeks after Elberta, more vigorous than other miniatures.|
|Garnet Beauty||Medium||Clingstone||Yellow||Yellow skin||Early season||Good|
|Glohaven||Large||Freestone||Yellow||Yellow||Midseason||Good||Brightly colored, smooth (almost without fuzz) skin. Firm flesh. Superior for canning and freezing. 850 hours. Self-fertile. Later bloom, less susceptible to frost damage.|
|Gold Dust||Small to medium||semi-Freestone||Yellow||mottled and streaked red skin||Early season||Excellent||550 Chilling hrs. Self-pollinating|
|Golden Glory||Very large||Freestone||Yellow||golden skin with red blush||Late season||Very good||Tree is genetic dwarf. Has the largest fruited of any of the genetic dwarf peaches or nectarines, excellent yellow fleshed, freestone peach. Hardy to USDA Zone 6.|
|Golden Jubilee||Medium to large||Freestone||Yellow||bright red skin||Midseason||Good||Cold hardy.|
|Halehaven||Medium to large||Freestone||Yellow||partially red over greenish yellow skin||Midseason||Very good|
|Halford||Large||Clingstone||Yellow||Yellow||Late season||OK||Flesh is soft. Commercially used for canning.|
|Halloween||Large||Freestone||Yellow||red-blushed yellow skin||Late season||Good||Large fruit with firm flesh. Tough to grow in backyards. Usually harvested around Halloween, hence the name|
|Harken||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||red skin||early mid-season||Very good||Ripens a few days after Redhaven . Sweet, flavorful fruit, non-browning flesh. One of the highest-rated peaches for Western Washington. Dessert/cooking/freezing. 800 hours. Self-fertile.|
|Medium||Clingstone||Yellow||Red skin||Midseason||Excellent||Nectarine with good quality and excellent flavor. One of the highest scoring nectarines in DWN fruit tastings. Cold hardy Canadian variety that is tolerant of bacterial spot and brown rot.|
|Harmony||Large||Freestone||yellow changing to bright red-orange at the stem end||orange skin with dark red cheek||Midseason||Good||Large, round fruit from Canada.|
|Honey Babe||Small to medium||Freestone||Yellow with red blush||Yellow skin||Midseason||Excellent||Sweet flavored flesh. Excellent choice for home orchard. 400 hours or less. Tree is genetic dwarf.|
|Improved Elberta||Large||Freestone||Yellow||Yellow skin with a red blush||Midseason||Excellent||Introduced in 1907, also is known as Early Elberta, Gleason Elberta, Lemon Elberta, and Stark Early Elberta. . The flesh is firm and resists bruising. Fruit are good fresh, canned, or frozen, and they have a tangy flavor that's better than Elberta's. It is one of the few yellow varieties that ripen satisfactorily even when picked slightly green|
|Indian Blood Cling||Medium||Clingstone||Yellow streaked with red||Red skin||Late season||Good||Richly flavored; good for preserves; Heirloom, brought over to Mexico by the Spanish in the 1500s. The skin resembles a beet: scarlet, tough, stringy, meaty, although pleasantly flavored and brisk.|
|Indian Free||Large||Freestone||Yellow red-tinged with deep red pit||greenish white skin with a red blush||Late Midseason||Excellent||The all-time highest rated peach at Dave Wilson Nursery fruit tastings. Tart until fully ripe, then highly aromatic with a rich, distinctive flavor. Highly resistant to peach leaf curl..|
|J.H. Hale||Very large||Freestone||Yellow||golden skin with a bright red blush||Midseason to late season||Very good||Sweet, firm flesh. Requires pollination from another variety. Great for shipping and canning. A very popular late peach. 850 hours. Another peach or nectarine needed to pollinate.|
|July Elberta||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||red streaks over greenish yellow skin||Midseason||Very good||Firm, fine grained and very good flavor. Good fresh or canned.|
|June Gold||Medium||Clingstone||Yellow||Yellow||Early season||Good|
|Loring||Large||Freestone||Yellow||Yellow||Midseason||Very good||Large easy to pick peach, with a sweet flavor similar to the Harvester. This peach is great for eating, freezing, and canning. Midseason (mid- to late August)|
|Madison||Medium||Freestone||Orange-yellow and bright red near pit||bright red over orange skin||Late season||Good||Flesh that is firm, fine textured with rich flavor; non-stringy, non-browning flesh use fresh, frozen or canned.|
|May Pride||Large||Freestone||Yellow||Red skin||Early season||Good||Flesh is sweet with a slight tang.|
|Midpride||Medium to large||Freestone||Yellow||Yellow skin with red blush||Midseason||Good||The firm flesh has a distinctive orange flavor. It is good for canning.|
|Nectar||Medium to large||Freestone||White||pink to red blush||Midseason||Excellent||Sweet, juicy, and aromatic and excellent flavor.|
|Newhaven||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||Yellow||Early Season||Very good||Similar to Redhaven, but a bit smaller and less acidic. Good for freezing and canning, too. Freestone. Ripens in late July. Self-pollinating|
|O'Henry||Large||Freestone||Yellow||red-blushed yellow skin||Midseason||Excellent|
|Pineapple Nectarine||Large||Clingstone||Yellow||red-blush skin||Late season||Good||Traditional English nectarine. Its flavor is somewhat reminiscent of a pineapple. It is very sweet, but with the characteristic tang of a good peach or nectarine.|
|Pix Zee||Large||Freestone||Yellow||red-blushed yellow skin||Early to Midseason||Good||The tree is a genetic dwarf.|
|Polly||Medium||Freestone||White||red-blush white skin||Midseason||Excellent||A winter hardy heirloom peach variety; withstands temperatures to -20 degrees F. . Very sweet, tender, juicy, white flesh.|
|Red Baron||Large||Freestone||Yellow||yellow skin||Midseason to late season||Good||Flesh is sweet and very good flavor|
|Redglobe||Very large||Freestone||Yellow||Golden skin with red blush||Midseason||Excellent||Excellent sweet flavor. Red Goble is one of the most attractive peaches of the season. Excellent for fresh eating, canning, or freezing. 850 hours. Self-fertile.|
|Redgold||Large||Freestone||Yellow||Reddish skin||Midseason||Good||High-quality, firm flesh with good flavor. (early August ripening)|
|Red Haven||Medium||Semi-freestone||Yellow||Golden-yellow skin with red blush||Early to Midseason||Excellent||Non-browning, sweet yellow flesh is firm and smooth textured. Excellent for canning, freezing, and fresh eating. Redhaven is the standard by which all early peaches are judged. The tree is vigorous and early bearing. 950 hours. Self-fertile.|
|Reliance||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||Yellow skin||Midseason||Excellent||Late blooming, which makes it cold hardy and frost hardy; yet produces early season. Sweet, flavorful yellow freestone. Best choice for climates having severe cold in winter and spring. Harvest 2-3 weeks before Elberta. Showy bloom. 1000 hours. Self-fruitful.|
|Redskin||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||Yellow skin with deep red blush||Midseason||Very good||Multipurpose, great used fresh, canned or frozen.|
|Redtop||Large||Freestone||Yellow||Yellow with a red blush||Midseason||Very good||Good used fresh, canned or frozen.|
|Rio Grande||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||red blush over yellow skin||Early season||Very good||Juicy with delicate flavor.|
|Rio Oso Gem||Large||Freestone||Yellow||bright red skin||Midseason to late season||Excellent||an old favorite heirloom, with rich sweet flavor. Excellent for eating fresh, Desserts / Pies, Canning|
|Roza||Large||Yellow||medium red blush||Midseason||Excellent||Good fresh or canned|
|Rubidoux||Large||Freestone||Yellow||Red over golden yellow-red stripes||Midseason to late season||Fair|
|Ruby Prince||Medium||Clingstone||Yellow||Yellow skin||Early season||Good|
|Santa Barbara||Large||Freestone||Yellow, red near pit||red-blushed yellow skin||Midseason||Excellent||Excellent fresh|
|Snow Beauty||Large||Freestone||White||red-skin||Midseason||Excellent||Considered one of best flavored white-fleshed peaches.|
|Southern Flame||Large||Freestone||White||red-blushed yellow skin||Midseason||Good||Flesh is firm, crisp, and smooth. Good for eating fresh;. Tree is genetic dwarf.|
|Southern Rose||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||yellow skin and red blush||Midseason||Fair||Tree is genetic dwarf.|
|Southern Sweet||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||yellow and red skin||Early season||Good||Tree is genetic dwarf.|
||Small-medium||Clingstone||White||Reddish with green ground color||Midseason||Good||Melting flesh, Standard Acid|
|Stark Saturn donut||Medium||Freestone||White||white skin with red blush||Early season||Good||medium-sized donut peach. Flesh is low acid, mildly sweet.|
|Strawberry Cling||Large||Clingstone||White||white, mottled red skin||Late season||Excellent||flesh is juicy, and excellently flavored; good for canning.|
|Strawberry Free||Medium||Freestone||White||white, pink-blushed skin||Early season||Excellent|
|Summerset||Large||Freestone||Yellow||blush over yellow skin||Late season||Fair||Good for canning or freezing, fair fresh.|
|Suncrest||Large||Freestone||deep red||deep red on yellow||Midseason||Good||The flesh is firm with good texture and flavor. Good for fresh use or canning.|
|Sun Haven||Medium||Clingstone||Yellow||bright red over gold skin||Early to Midseason||Good||Rich, sweet flavor. Typically in mid- to late August. flesh resists browning. A perfect peach for pies.|
|Sunhigh||Medium||Freestone||Yellow||Bright red skin||Midseason||Excellent||The flesh comes off the pit easily. A large oval-shaped easy to pick peach, with a sweet flavor similar to the Loring. This peach is great for eating, freezing, and canning. Considered one of the best varieties for canning or freezing.|
|Tropi-berta||Large||Freestone||Yellow with red blush||red-blushed skin||Midseason to late season||Good|
|Tropic Snow||Medium||Freestone||White||Pale white with red skin.||Early season||Excellent||One of the best white peaches for warm climates. The fruit is very juicy, mildly aromatic and has a bright flavor that is sweet and a slightly tart.|
|Ventura||Small||Freestone||Yellow||Yellow with red blush||Midseason||Good||Small oblong peach, flesh is slightly acid.|
|Veteran||Medium to large||semi-freestone to freestone||Yellow||Yellow||Midseason||Fair||Round-oblate
shape (flattened on the end)
Soft flesh, and . Fruit peel easily without
scalding and have a rich flavor when canned, but fresh eating quality is
only fair. Bruises easily, so better for U-pick operations and home gardens. (late August).
|White Heath Cling||Medium to large||Clingstone||White||White skin with a light red blush||Late season||Good||& Juicy flesh with good distinctive flavor; good for canning. Reliable and hardy for cold climates.|
|White Nectar||Large||Freestone||White||white skin with red blush||Early season||Excellent|
|White Lady||Large||Freestone||White||white skin with red blush||Early season||Excellent||Among the best of the low acid, high sugar, fresh market white fleshed peaches|
Home Canning Kits
This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used
to make everything from peachesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and
spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts
for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a
plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball
Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll
never need anything else except jars and lids (and the jars are reusable).
To see more canners, of
different styles, makes and prices, click here!
Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.
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