Division of Agriculture releases new peach, 2 nectarines

Oct. 31, 2012
Contact Information:

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

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

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Two new nectarines and a new peach are the latest releases from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture fruit breeding program aimed at providing growers a diverse line of products that appeal to consumers.
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VIDEO: Dr. John R. Clark, University Professor of Horticulture, describes the appealing attributes of Amoore Sweet, a unique nectarine from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjwpOIGshb8.

VIDEO: Dr. John R. Clark describes the desirable characteristics of Bowden, a new nectarine from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture fruiting breeding program. See http://youtu.be/xBLZNiPsY_g.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture has released two new nectarine varieties and a new peach.

Fruit breeder John Clark said the new fruit varieties expand the product choices available to Arkansas growers. They are adapted to the state’s growing conditions and resistant to bacterial spot, which Clark said is an important trait for fruits grown in the South.

The nectarines, Bowden and Amoore Sweet, ripen in early July, have firm flesh and can be stored up to three weeks. Their improved handling characteristics help extend marketing range and time, Clark said.

Bowden is the first white flesh nectarine from the Division of Agriculture breeding program, Clark said. “It has a really nice flavor in a non-melting, cling nectarine with standard acidity,” he said. It ripens about July 4.

Clark said Bowden was named for Henry Bowden, a long-time employee of the Division of Agriculture who began his career at the Southwest Research and Extension Center, served as resident director at the Strawberry Research Station in White County and later at the Fruit Research Station near Clarksville, and finally served as an area horticulture agent based out of White County.

Amoore Sweet is the first low-acid nectarine from the Arkansas program, Clark said. It has yellow, non-melting flesh, is very sweet and ripens about July 6.

“It has an unusual flavor and eating experience, described as mango-like,” Clark said. “It expands the flavor profile of our nectarine varieties and is the sweetest of our nectarines and peaches.”

Amoore Sweet is named for James N. Moore, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, who started the division’s fruit breeding program in 1964.

Clark said Souvenirs is the first fresh market yellow flesh peach from the Arkansas breeding program.

Early peach breeding concentrated on processing peaches for the canning industry. The Division of Agriculture’s first fresh market peach was released in 2000, but until Souvenirs, all fresh market peaches have been white flesh peaches.

Souvenirs ripens about July 6, Clark said. It has low acidity and semi-freestone to freestone flesh. It has exceptional skin color with 90 percent blush — the reddish color that consumers greatly desire, he said. It also has a slow melting flesh that remains firm longer on the tree, but ultimately melts in the mouth.

Clark said one of the goals of the fruit breeding program is to develop an abundant catalog of Arkansas-adapted plants with resistance to area pathogens and a diversity of colors, flavors and other desirable traits for local markets.

Bowden, Amoore Sweet and Souvenirs are available now in limited numbers from Cumberland Valley Nursery in McMinnville, Tenn. Information about Division of Agriculture fruit varieties is available on the Web: http://www.aragriculture.org/horticulture/fruits_nuts/default.htm.