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Peach Varieties

Peach on branchThere are more than 2,000 varieties of peaches. That’s a lot to choose from.

There is no better way to pick a peach (and spend a day) than taste testing peaches at your local farmers market. There is a favorite peach taste for everybody.

To find the best peach, first take a whiff: a ripe peach should be sweetly fragrant. Next, give the peach a gentle squeeze: a ripe peach won’t be too hard; it should be soft to the squeeze. Keep in mind that the color of a peach tells more about what variety it is than its maturity or ripeness. So don’t assume the best peach has a peachy color; it could be more white or greenish-white than peach colored.

And remember that different peach varieties come to harvest at different times of the summer. So you should be able to find a ripe peach–of one variety or another–from late spring all the way to Halloween.

Once you’ve spent some time getting to know peaches, every visit after will be rewarding.

Peach varieties for the home garden:

Arctic Supreme: large peach with red-over cream skin; white flesh with great flavor. Considered on of the best; clingstone. Midseason harvest.

August Pride: large, round peach with red-blushed yellow skin; yellow flesh with good texture and flavor; freestone from California. Midseason harvest.

Babcock: small to medium-sized fruit with fuzzless blushed skin; white flesh is tender, juicy, and tangy-sweet; semi-freestone from California. Early harvest.

Baby Crawford: small fruit with slightly blushed golden orange skin; yellow flesh with exceptional flavor; freestone. Midseason harvest.

Belle of Georgia: large peach with red over creamy white skin; firm, white flesh; freestone from Georgia. Late harvest.

Bonanza II: large peach with attractive red and yellow skin; deep yellow to orange flesh with good flesh and melting texture, highly aromatic; freestone from California. Genetic dwarf tree. Midseason harvest.

Bonita: medium to large peach with light yellow skin that has a deep red blush; firm, yellow flesh with good flavor; freestone from California. Midseason harvest.

Cardinal: medium fruit with bright red over yellow skin; the flesh is yellow, firm with a melting texture; freestone from Georgia. Early midseason harvest.

Cresthaven: medium to large peach with golden skin overlaid with red; firm, yellow flesh is juicy and resists browning; freestone from Michigan. Late harvest.

Dessert Gold: medium, round fruit with red-blushed yellow skin; yellow flesh; semi-clingstone from California. Early midseason harvest.

Dixie Red: medium-sized peach with red skin and light fuzz; colors before it matures; firm, yellow flesh with moderately good flavor; semi-freestone from Georgia. Early midseason harvest.

Donut (Stark Saturn): medium-size peach-shaped like a donut with a sunken middle; white skin with a red blush; white flesh is mildly sweet; freestone. Early harvest.

Earlihale: medium to large fruit with mostly dark red skin; firm, yellow flesh has good flavor; freestone from Maryland. Midseason harvest.

Early Amber: medium peach with dark red-blushed yellow skin; orange-yellow, medium-firm flesh; freestone from Florida. Early harvest.

Early Elberta (Gleason): large fruit with slightly red-blushed yellow skin; yellow flesh; freestone from Utah. Midseason harvest.

Elberta: large peach with blushed-red deep golden skin; yellow, slightly bitter flesh; freestone from Georgia. Midseason harvest.

El Dorado: medium-size peach with red-blushed yellow skin; yellow flesh is richly flavored; freestone. The tree is a genetic dwarf. Early harvest.

Empress: large peach with pink to red skin; sweet, juicy flesh; from California. The tree is a genetic dwarf. Late harvest.

Eva’s Pride: medium to large peach with yellow skin; yellow flesh is has a fine flavor; freestone. Early harvest.

Fairhaven: medium fruit with red-cheeked and dotted red yellow skin; firm, yellow, juicy flesh with good flavor; freestone from Michigan. Midseason harvest.

Fairtime: large peach with red-blushed skin; firm, yellow flesh with smooth, melting texture and good flavor; freestone from California. Late harvest.

Fantastic Elberta: large peach with brightly blushed-red deep golden skin; yellow, slightly bitter flesh; freestone from California. Midseason harvest.

Fay Elberta (Gold Medal): large peach with brightly blushed-red deep golden skin; yellow, slightly bitter flesh; freestone from California. Midseason to late harvest.

Flavorcrest: large round peach with red-blush over yellow skin; firm, yellow flesh has excellent flavor and fine texture; from California. Midseason harvest.

Floridaprince: medium to large peach with red-blushed yellow skin; yellow flesh is good quality; semi-freestone from Florida. Very early harvest.

Fortyniner: large peach with bright-red blushed yellow skin; yellow, fine-textured flesh; freestone from California. Early midseason harvest.

Frost: medium-size fruit with slight red-blushed yellow skin; yellow flesh with tangy flavor; freestone. Midseason to late harvest.

Garden Gold: large fruit with yellow skin and slight red blush; the flesh is yellow with red near pit; from California. The tree is a genetic dwarf. Late harvest.

Gold Dust: small to medium fruit with mottled and streaked red sin; yellow flesh is great quality; freestone from California. Early harvest.

Golden Gem: large fruit with yellow skin; yellow flesh with red pit cavity; firm flesh has excellent flavor; from California. The tree is a genetic dwarf. Early harvest.

Golden Glory: very large fruit with golden skin that is red blushed; the flesh is yellow, juicy and good flavored; from California. The tree is a genetic dwarf. Late harvest.

Golden Jubilee: medium to large peach with mottled bright red skin; yellow flesh is soft with melting texture and good quality; freestone from California. Midseason harvest.

Halehaven: medium to large fruit that is partially red over greenish-yellow skin; yellow, juicy, flavorful flesh; freestone from Michigan. Midseason harvest.

Halford: large fruit with yellow skin; yellow flesh with non-melting texture; clingstone from California; Late harvest.

Halloween: large fruit with red-blushed yellow skin; firm, yellow flesh; freestone from California. Late harvest–about Halloween.

J.H. Hale: very large peach with yellow skin blushed with red and little fuzz; yellow flesh with good flavor and aroma; freestone from Connecticut. Midseason to late harvest.

Halehaven: medium to large peach with red skin; firm, yellow flesh is juicy and good flavored; freestone. Midseason harvest.

Harken: large fruit with yellow skin and red blush; yellow flesh is very sweet; freestone. Midseason harvest.

Honey Babe: small to medium peach with yellow skin and red blush; yellow sweet-flavored flesh; freestone. The tree is a genetic dwarf. Midseason harvest.

Indian Blood Cling (Indian Cling): medium-size fruit with red skin; yellow flesh is streaked with red and richly flavored; good for preserves; clingstone. Late harvest.

Indian Free: large peach with greenish-white skin and red blush; yellow flesh is red-tinged with a deep red pit; rich and aromatic when ripe; freestone. Late midseason harvest.

July Elberta (Kim Elberta): medium round fruit with dull red streaks over greenish-yellow skin. The yellow fruit is firm, fine-grained and very good flavor. Small pit. Good fresh or canned. Developed by Luther Burbank. Freestone from California. Midseason harvest.

Loring: large, round peach with attractive red-blushed skin. Yellow, firm and melting flesh with medium texture, moderately juicy with excellent flavor. Soft when canned or frozen; freestone from Missouri. Midseason harvest.

Madison: medium fruit with bright red over orange skin; orange-yellow flesh that is bright red near pit; firm, fine-textured with rich flavor; non-stringy, non-browning flesh use fresh, frozen or canned; freestone from Virginia. Late harvest.

May Pride: large peach with red skin; yellow flesh is sweet with a slight tang; freestone. Early harvest.

Melba: large fruit with pale yellow skin; white flesh is sweet, juicy with honey flavor; freestone from Texas. Midseason harvest.

Midpride: medium to large peach with red-blushed yellow skin; firm flesh has a distinctive orange flavor; good for canning; freestone from California. Midseason harvest.

Nectar: medium-large fruit with pink to red blush; white flesh is sweet, juicy, and aromatic and excellent flavor; freestone from California. Midseason harvest.

New Haven: large peach with red-blushed yellow skin; yellow flesh good quality; freestone. Midseason to late harvest.

O’Henry: large fruit with red-blushed yellow skin; yellow flesh is streaked red and has fine flavor; freestone. Midseason harvest.

Orange Cling (Miller Cling): large fruit with red-blushed skin; deep yellow flesh has a firm texture, good for canning; clingstone from California. Midseason to late harvest.

Pix Zee: large peach with red-blushed yellow skin; yellow flesh has good flavor; freestone. The tree is a genetic dwarf. Early to midseason harvest.

Polly: medium peach with red-blush white skin; white flesh is juicy and aromatic; freestone from Iowa. Midseason harvest.

Q 1-8: medium size peach with yellow skin and red blush; white flesh is sweet and flavorful; semi-freestone. Early harvest.

Red Baron: large fruit with yellow skin; yellow flesh is sweet and richly flavored; freestone. Midseason to late harvest.

Redhaven: medium fruit with brilliant red over yellow skin; yellow flesh is juicy, sweet, and fine-grained; great fresh or canned; semi-freestone from Michigan. Early to midseason harvest.

Redskin: medium peach with yellow skin and abundant deep red blush; yellow, firm somewhat fibrous flesh; use fresh, canned or frozen; freestone from Maryland. Midseason harvest.

Redtop: large peach, the skin is almost fully blushed red over yellow; yellow flesh is firm and fine-grained; good fresh, canned or frozen; freestone from California. Midseason harvest.

Redwing: medium fruit with red over yellowish skin that colors before maturity; white, firm, juicy, sweet flesh that is lightly perfumed; freestone from California. Early harvest.

Reliance: medium fruit with dark red over yellow skin; firm, yellow flesh with good flavor; freestone from New Hampshire. Early to midseason harvest.

Rio Grande: medium to large peach with a red blush over yellow skin; firm, yellow flesh with a medium-fine texture that is juicy with delicate flavor; freestone from Florida. Early harvest.

Rio Oso Gem: large fruit with bright red skin; firm, yellow flesh is fine-textured great for eating out of hand; freestone from California. Midseason to late harvest.

Roza: large, round peach with a medium red blush; very firm, yellow flesh with excellent flavor, good fresh or canned; from Washington. Midseason harvest.

Rubidoux: large fruit with blushed dull red over yellow-red stripes; firm, yellow flesh is moderately juicy with so-so flavor; freestone from California. Midseason to late harvest.

Santa Barbara: large peach with red-blushed yellow skin; yellow flesh has excellent flavor; use fresh; freestone. Midseason harvest.

Snow Beauty: large red-skinned fruit; white flesh is one of best flavored white-fleshed peaches; freestone. Midseason harvest.

Southern Flame: large peach with red-blushed yellow sin; yellow flesh is firm, crisp, and melting, aromatic; good for eating fresh; from California. The tree is a genetic dwarf. Midseason harvest.

Southern Rose: medium-size peach with yellow skin and red blush; yellow flesh is fair flavored; freestone. The tree is a genetic dwarf. Midseason harvest.

Southern Sweet: medium fruit with yellow and red skin; yellow flesh has good flavor; from California. The tree is a genetic dwarf. Early harvest.

Springtime: small to medium peach with pointed end; blushed skin that colors bright red at maturity; white flesh can be soft and watery; semi-freestone from California. Early harvest.

Strawberry Cling: large peach with creamy white, mottled red skin; the flesh is white, juicy, and richly flavored; good for canning; clingstone from California. Late harvest.

Strawberry Free: medium fruit with light, pink-blushed skin; firm, white flesh with excellent flavor; freestone from California. Early harvest.

Summerset: large round fruit with attractive blush over yellow skin; firm, yellow flesh is good for canning or freezing, fair fresh; freestone from California. Late harvest.

Suncrest: large, round fruit with bright red over yellow skin; firm, yellow flesh is melting with good texture; good flavor for fresh use or canning; freestone from California. Midseason harvest.

Sunhaven: medium peach with bright red over gold skin; juicy, fine-grained yellow skin with rich, sweet flavor; semi-clingstone from Michigan. Early to midseason harvest.

Tropi-berta: large fruit with red-blushed skin; yellow flesh is firm with wine-red blush, juicy and good flavored; freestone from California. Midseason to late harvest.

Tropic Snow: medium size peach with red skin; white flesh has excellent flavor; freestone. Early harvest.

Ventura: small oblong peach with yellow with a wine-red blush; firm, yellow flesh is slightly acid; freestone from California. Midseason harvest.

Veteran: medium fruit with slightly red-blushed yellow skin; yellow flesh is firm and juicy but coarse-grained; freestone from Canada. Midseason harvest.

White Heath Cling: medium to large peach with creamy white skin that is blushed red; white, juicy flesh with distinctive flavor; good for canning; clingstone from Maryland. Late harvest.

Also of interest:

How to Grow Peaches and Nectarines

Peaches: Kitchen Basics

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43 Comments

  1. I have several peach tress that came off my grandmother’s old farm. The peaches are small greenish yellow with red swirls,very sweet. The older people always called them canalope peaches. You can drop a seed on the ground and it will grow. My bother and sister are in to their sixties and said they were around the farm as long as they can remember. Any ideas on what type of peach this might be?

  2. Charles also writes that this peach grows to just 6 feet tall. He says you can drop the seed and it will grow. This would make it a genetic dwarf. ‘Bonanza’ is a well-flavored genetic dwarf. ‘Honey Babe’ is one of the best flavored genetic dwarf peaches–but the fruit is large to 3 inches in diameter. Both of these trees originated in California. If this tree were a grafted tree, I would guess it might be a ‘Babcock’ or ‘Gold Dust.’ Both of these trees also originated in California. Here’s a suggestion: contact the cooperative extension closest to the farm where these peaches originated. Ask to speak to an fruit orchard specialist. This person may know the history of peach growing in the area around the farm and may know the varieties grown most commonly in the region. When you are trying to identitfy an heirloom peach (a variety that has been around for more than 50 years) here are the clues needed to help identification: color and size of the fruit; does the flesh cling to the pit or not; size of the tree at maturity; is it grafted or not; when does it fruit in its season, early or late; where is the tree growing, state and region. You might also check to see if there is an heirloom fruit growers’ association nearby; they also could help with identification.

  3. Peach season started! I have some medium-sized peaches coming from 2 peach trees in the front yard. They are sooooo delicious. I think they are Dixi-Red because they get nice and red and are sort of tangy and sweet. I also have a peach tree in the backyard that bear small peaches. They turn yellow and are extremely sweet and not tangy like the frontyard ones. I personally prefer the tangy ones. I have no idea what kind of peaches those are.

    • Hello.It’s possible to buy from you some old varieties of seeds /kernels?I want only old types.Can you inform me about the price?Thanks!

      • yes i was trying to get some of those dwarf trees that grew from seed myself..id also pay something or reimburse shipping..i live in an urban area so id need genetic dwarf peach trees..

        • Visit a garden center or nursery near where you live for a list of peach tree varieties that grow well in your region. In the first months of each year, you will be able to purchase bare root trees that will be less expensive than container trees that become available in late spring and summer. A bare root tree will be 2 to 3 years old and with proper planting and care your tree will fruit in the next year or two.

  4. Nearly all peaches are self-pollinating. For the tree to fruit, the flowers must be protected on the tree until they form fruit, then the fruit must be protected until harvest. I suspect that your early flowering peach tree falls victim to wind or rain which rob the tree of blossoms before fruit set, or the fruit is unable to stay on the tree until harvest for one reason or another–perhaps weather or birds. Protecting the tree from the elements is your very best bet. This may be difficult to do given its size. An alternative would be to replace your early blooming peach with a later blooming peach–one that blooms after the unsettled weather of early spring. Elberta is a later blooming peach. There are a few peaches that produce sterile pollen and need a second peach or nectarine for pollinization–they are Hale, Indian Free, and Indian Blood Cling.

  5. My brother-in-law’s neighbor has a peach tree in his backyard with a red flesh peach. He says they are delicious.
    Can u please help me with a name’ I’d like to get 1 or 2 for my backyard. ty

    • Here are several peach varieties that will do well in California: Autumn Gold, Babcock, Earligrande, Fairtime, Fay Elberta, Forty-Niner, Indian Blood, La Feliciana, Loring, Nectar, O’Henry, Redhaven, Rio Oso Gem, Springcrest, Suncrest, Veteran. Check in your region of the state to see what is popular; some low-chill peaches do better along the coast and in Southern California.

  6. We discovered an old tree with pink flowers (feb) in the wooded lot next to our home. This was farmland at one time; now new homes are being built on this acreage. The tree is 10 to 12 feet high and has alot of limbs growing from the ground. I looked it up and discovered it is a Angel peach tree. What kind of peaches does it produce? Is this a wild peach and is it edible? Thanks Doris.

    • The Angel peach (Prunus persica) is what is called a donut peach that is the fruit is shaped somewhat like a donut. The tree will grow to about 8 feet tall and have a span of about 8 feet as well. The spring flush of pink flowers will be followed in the summer by very sweet and juicy yellow fleshed fruit. Take a short branch with leaves and flowers or leaves and fruit to the state cooperative extension near you for certain identification.

  7. My sons father in law has a peach tree where the skin is green in color and the flesh is also green. Very sweet and really juicy. They only last a couple days before they turn soft and mushy. Trying to find out what type it is and where to buy one.

    • Green-skinned peach with green flesh that is sweet tasting. My short answer is: the peach you describe may be a heritage or heirloom peach–that is an old-timer not in general cultivation. Identifying this peach may take some local investigative work: contact the cooperative extension in your area or the master gardeners; ask them if there is heirloom or heritage fruit-growers association in your area–then contact the group to see if one of the growers might recognize or be able to identify the peach. Perhaps a local nursery can help or if you have many peach trees growing in your area, a local peach farmer might be able to help. There are some old Italian variety peaches that have nearly green skin, but not green flesh. Here are a few peaches and nectarines with greenish skin, but they aren’t exactly what you describe: Redwing Peach has 75% redskin over greenish yellow skin; Stanwick Nectarine has a greenish-white skin. At the risk of being insulting, let me just add that the Green Gauge plum fits perfectly your description.

  8. I grew up in the 50’s & 60’s in SW Penna. with it’s hilly terrain. My grandparents had several acres they bought that had s few peach trees on it. These trees were rather small maybe 8′-10′ tall bearing small (slightly smaller than a baseball) white fleshed, freestone peaches with a blush of red. They were extremely sweet and somewhat dry. My grandmother always referred to them as “Butter Peaches”. The trees have long since died out and I’d like to replace them if I can figure out what variety they really are. Any idea what it is??

    • White-fleshed peaches are typically very sweet with little acidity–thus the moniker “butter peach.” Two classic white peach varieties are “Babcock” and “Belle of Georgia.” Check with the local cooperative extension or an heirloom fruit growing club to see what white peach varieties were planted in your region in the past. Chances are the peach you are looking for is an heirloom or heritage fruit.

    • Ask fruit growers at your nearby farmers’ market if they know who is growing the O’Henry peach. You can also be in touch with the local chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers association–look for their website; they may also be able to put you in touch with an O’Henry grower.

    • Peach varieties for North Texas as recommended by the fruit growers at Texas A&M include (cultivars categorized by period of the growing season in which they ripen):
      Very Early: Bicentennial
      Early: Sentinel, Ranger, Harvester
      Mid-Season: Redglobe, Milam, Majestic, Denman, Loring, Belle of Georgia (white flesh)
      Late: Dixiland, Redskin, Jefferson
      Very Late: Frank, Fayette, Ouachita Gold

      Rootstock to request: ‘Lovell’ for alkaline clay soils, ‘Nemaguard’ for acid sandy soils

      Planting dates:
      bare root: January 1 – February 15
      containerized: January 1 – March 31

      Dwarf peaches (they grow full-sized fruit–the tree is dwarf) include the cultivars: Bonanza II and Early Golden Glory.

      Planting dates:
      bare root: January 1 – February 15
      containerized: January 1 – March 31

    • Yes, there are flowering peaches and fruiting peaches. Two very showy flowering peaches (no fruit) are Peppermint and White Icicle. You can find flowering peaches at several nurseries online.

    • Good growing peach varieties for Illinois are ‘Biscoe,’ ‘Challenger,’ ‘Contender,’ ‘Earliglow,’ ‘Encore,’ ‘Flamin’ Fury,’ ‘Harmony,’ ‘Madison,’ ‘Red Rose,’ ‘Redhaven,’ and ‘Saturn.’ Of those, ‘Saturn’ is truly a sweet peach–and easy to grow.

  9. I just moved into an old part of Pasadena CA. There is an 8′ or so peach tree here that looks neglected and is very raggedy and leggy. the abundant peaches are dark red with a fuzz that is almost annoyingly coarse. Sweet fruit. Cling pits about 1″ at the long part. Would they be larger if the tree was pruned and cared for or is this an old CA variety? They don’t seem to fit your descriptions. Check at a local nursery to see if there is an heirloom or old-time fruit tree growing club in your area. A member may be able to identify the variety of peach you have.

    • It is hard to know how old your peach tree is, but feeding the soil around it and pruning are likely to help. Spread aged compost or a commercial planting mix around the base of the tree out to the drip-line; you can’t add too much aged compost. All you add will help. Prune the tree by removing any dead, broken or diseased branches. Remove any water sprouts or suckers growing from branches. Remove all old gray wood that has no or few leaves. Open the center of the tree to as much air and sunlight as possible. Leave 18 to 24 inch fruiting shoots–that is new growth from last season.

  10. A friend speaks of a Alberta peach. I’ve told her peaches only refer to Elberta peaches. She insists there is an Alberta variety.Can you set the record straight. Thanks. Marsha in Texas

    • Peaches may grow in Alberta, however, peach growers–that is commercial fruit tree nurseries–do not offer for sale peach trees called Alberta. Elberta peaches, however, are easily available from fruit tree growers. In regards to growing peaches in Alberta, the winters are colder there than peaches like; peaches in Alberta are best grown in containers and protected in a greenhouse during the winter.

    • There is not, to my knowledge, a peach variety called Raggedy Ann. However you can find “raggedy” peaches in cans. “Raggedy” is a term used by commercial canning operations for bits and piece of ripe peaches that are so ripe that they are falling apart and can not be canned whole. They are sold as “raggedy” peaches. For example, Margaret Holmes brand sells raggedy Georgia freestone peaches. These are freestone peaches from Georgia that are raggedy. These very ripe peaches would be very sweet. Now, if you have met a person growing Raggedy Ann peaches (not likely) ask that person for a cutting and you may be able to root the cutting. A second alternative would be to contact an heirloom peach growing group near where you live and ask them if they know of this peach variety.

  11. Do you happen to know if the peach variety called “black boy” (originating from New Zealand) requires a pollinator? It is very similar to the Indian blood and Indian cling peaches. I currently have one each of suncrest, redhaven, and Polly white that are planted on the other side of the property from the black boy peach. Reading this post, I’m concerned that the black boy peach may require a pollinator as it’s quite similar to the Indian cling. (I’m estimating distance separating it from the other trees to be maybe 100-150 yards. )

  12. Hi, I would like a dwarf peach that has good flavor for southeast Pennsylvania. I read your article and noted all the genetic dwarfs you mentioned. What are your top picks of yellow flesh dwarfs? Thank you!

    • Grow low chill peaches in Zone 9B. Here are a few ‘Bonita,’ ‘Eva’s Pride,’ ‘Florida Prince,’ ‘Gulf Queen,’ ‘May Pride,’ ‘Mid Pride’ and ‘Ventura.’ These require 150 or fewer chilling hours. Check at a nearby garden center for more suggestions; a garden center near you will stock peaches that grow in your zone.

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