[NAFEX] Peach Identification
ROBERT W JUDY A HARTMAN
hartmansfruit at msn.com
Thu Jun 5 00:57:40 EDT 2008
I see and hear a term that is used from time to time that I am not sure what it means and I hope you can help me out. I see or hear the term like "second leaf" in regards to a tree. Does that mean that the tree is one year old from grafting and starting its second year of growth? In your e-mail today you used the term "fifth leaf". Here again would that mean it is four years old and starting its fifth growing season from grafting? This same terminology was used when we went to Italy and I wasn't sure what they meant by that there either.
----- Original Message -----
From: Don Yellman<mailto:don.yellman at webformation.com>
To: North American Fruit Explorers<mailto:nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 8:08 PM
Subject: [NAFEX] Peach Identification
Your description matches a peach called "Flat Wonderful", and I have one in its 5th leaf. Source of my tree was Gurney's, though it may be sold by other nurseries as well. I am quite sure this is a relatively new variety, developed at Rutgers University.
Peento peaches are usually notably smaller than the round types, but Wonderful can produce pretty good size peaches on a healthy tree when properly thinned. (I saw some Peentos at Safeway the other day at $2.99 a pound that were about 1/5 the size that my tree produces.) The most unusual feature of the fruit is its texture, which resembles that of the older canning peaches grown in California, and is often described as "rubbery". I don't like that rubbery word for this peach, which I prefer to describe as firm. Flavor is excellent, and the firm texture makes this peach particularly useful for applications such as fruit salads. I often peel the larger peach varieties, but never peel Wonderful because it doesn't seem necessary due to it smooth skin. The firm texture might also make it useful for commercial growers, since it should be highly resistant to bruising from handling. The stone, which is a small thing in the middle of the doughnut, comes free easily. This pea
ch ripens in Northern Virginia in early to mid August.
Wonderful is the most beautiful of more than a dozen peach varieties I have grown. Blossoms are large and a very deep, purplish pink, and the early leaves are dark purple, shading to green later in the season. My tree is very vigorous and healthy, and shows no inclination to disease, though the tree is still young and perhaps it's a little early to make that call. This is a good year for my tree, and it is full of rapidly-growing peaches even after rigorous thinning. I am bagging them now in shoe store try-on footies, as I do with all my peaches.
I don't know where in its genetics this peach picked up the purple leaves and dark blossoms. There is a peach rootstock called "Rutgers Purple Leaf", and I speculated that the colors might come from the rootstock, but that doesn't make much sense either. Whatever the case, I am very pleased with my Flat Wonderful tree, and would recommend it highly for anyone who would like a peach with these characteristics, as well as extraordinary spring beauty.
Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
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