U of A releases 2 new white-flesh peaches

Dec. 9, 2009
Contact Information:

Dr. John R. Clark, University Professor of Horticulture
479-575-2810, jrclark@uark.edu

By Fred Miller, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas System
479-575-5647 / fmiller@uark.edu

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john clark

CUTLINE FOR BOTH PHOTOS:
Dr. John R. Clark, fruit breeder for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, shows White River, one of five white flesh peaches developed by the U of A for Arkansas growers. Two new peaches, White Diamond and White Cloud, were added to the line-up in 2009.

john clark

VIDEO: Dr. John Clark describes the desirable traits of White Diamond, a white-fleshed peach released from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Two new white-flesh peaches from the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture make it possible for Arkansas growers to pick white peaches continuously from late June through early August.

VIDEO: Dr. John Clark describes the desirable traits of White Diamond, a white-fleshed peach released from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

John R. Clark, Division of Agriculture fruit breeder said white peaches have a distinct flavor that's different from what consumers expect in a yellow peach. White Diamond and White Cloud join earlier white peaches from the U of A, White Rock, White County and White River.

All of these peaches are well adapted for Arkansas’ growing climate and have good resistance to bacterial spot disease, Clark said.

“These five peaches have overlapping picking seasons beginning with White Rock around June 25 and concluding with White Diamond around Aug. 10,” Clark said. “The addition of White Cloud and White Diamond to the white peach lineup gives growers more high-value options to complement their peach season.”

Clark said those are the approximate dates of ripening for trees at the Fruit Research Station near Clarksville. The actual picking seasons for individual growers will vary depending on their location around the state.

Clark said his peach breeding objectives include developing white-flesh, low acid peaches adapted for Arkansas.

White Diamond is a low-acid freestone peach with a sweet white flavor similar to White County, Clark said. It has a firm texture until fully ripe, when it becomes melting. Fruit is medium large, averaging just over 200 grams, or about 7 ounces. Its first harvest date varies from July 24 to Aug. 3 at Clarksville, or about 10 days after first harvest of White River.

White Cloud is a non-melting flesh cling peach with standard acidity and a distinct white peach flavor, Clark said. It has the texture of a processing peach combined with white flesh. The fruit is about the same size as White Diamond and is very firm when fully ripe. Its first harvest date averaged around July 7 over a 9-year period, varying from late June to July 10.

Clark said White Diamond and White Cloud are available in very limited numbers right now from Cumberland Valley Nursery in McMinville, Tenn. It will be more widely available in 2010.

More information about these and other peaches and nectarines from the U of A and a list of licensed propagators is available on the Web:

http://www.aragriculture.org/horticulture/fruits_nuts/nectarine_peach/default.htm