‘Gulfsnow’ Peach

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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory, 21 Dunbar Road, Byron, GA 31008
  • | 2 University of Florida, Department of Horticultural Sciences, 1143 Fifield Hall, Hull Road, Gainesville, FL 32611
  • | 3 University of Georgia, 4604 Research Way, Tifton, GA 31793

‘Gulfsnow’ peach is jointly released for grower trials by the U.S. Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service (Byron, GA), Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station, and Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. The ‘Gulf’ prefix indicates this variety was developed for the lower coastal plain, which is largely the Gulf of Mexico region but also includes a small portion of the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Florida.

Trees of ‘Gulfsnow’ are vigorous, semispreading, and produce an attractive, sweet-tasting, white, and non-melting flesh fruit intended for the fresh fruit market. It is expected to produce fruit with tree-ripened taste while retaining firmness for longer shelf life than fruit from conventional melting-flesh cultivars. ‘Gulfsnow’ is suggested for trial in north Florida and south Georgia.

Origin

‘Gulfsnow’ originated in Attapulgus, GA, from a 2003 cross of AP98-30 × AP99-20W and was selected and propagated in 2006 for testing as AP06-09W at Attapulgus. Both parents are of complex origin (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Lineage of ‘Gulfsnow’.

Citation: HortScience horts 48, 1; 10.21273/HORTSCI.48.1.126

Description

Standards and methods used in this program to evaluate selections have been described (Beckman and Krewer, 1999; Beckman et al., 1995). Trees of ‘Gulfsnow’ are estimated to require 400 chill units (Sherman and Lyrene, 1998) based on full bloom consistently occurring between ‘Flordaking’ peach (350 chill units) and ‘Sunlite’ nectarine (450 chill units) at Attapulgus where full bloom of ‘Gulfsnow’ occurs most seasons in mid-February (Table 1). ‘Gulfsnow’ has fruited acceptably well at Attapulgus where the mean temperature [(mean daily maximum + mean daily minimum)/2] of the coldest month (January) averages 11.4 °C. The Florida model (Sharpe et al., 1990) suggests that a 400 chill unit variety like ‘Gulfsnow’ would fruit well at a location where the coldest month averaged 12 to 14 °C (Sharpe et al., 1990), i.e., in a band starting a little south of Attapulgus to around the latitude of Gainesville, FL, and in colder locations, such as Attapulgus, in the absence of spring frosts. Thus, we expect this new peach to be adapted in areas where ‘Flordaking’ and ‘Sunlite’ have been grown successfully. Fruit ripen in early June at Attapulgus, ≈110 d after full bloom (Table 1) and usually ≈10 d after ‘Gulfcrimson’ peach (Table 2). Trees are vigorous, productive, and without alternate-bearing. Trees set a high number of flower buds, have few blind nodes (Richards et al., 1994), and exhibit little bud failure (bud drop) before bloom (Weinberger, 1967). Fruit thinning is required in the absence of thinning by spring frost to size fruit and prevent limb breakage.

Table 1.

Tree performance and fruit characteristicsz of ‘Gulfsnow’ (Attapulgus, GA, 2006–12).

Table 1.
Table 2.

Tree performance and fruit characteristicsz of ‘Gulfsnow’ and reference cultivars (Attapulgus, GA, 2006–12).

Table 2.

‘Gulfsnow’ fruit have been observed on the original seedling and budded trees since 2006. Fruit are large-sized, round to slightly elongated, and attractive (Fig. 2), averaging ≈185 g (71 mm diameter) when thinned to ≈15 cm apart. Buttons have not been observed in fruit of ‘Gulfsnow’ Commercially ripe fruit exhibit 50% to 60% red over a cream ground color. Fruit shape is round with a recessed tip. In some years, the cream white flesh contains red pigment flecks in the outer flesh, particularly on the sun-exposed side of the fruit, but there is little or no red in the flesh at the pit (the pit itself is red). Flesh texture is smooth, without strings, but is clingy to the pit even when fully ripe. Flesh is firm with good sweetness (10 to 12 °Brix) and does not brown readily on bruised or cut surfaces. Pits are medium-sized and have not been observed to split even when croploads were light.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Typical fruit of ‘Gulfsnow’.

Citation: HortScience horts 48, 1; 10.21273/HORTSCI.48.1.126

Leaf petioles have small globose glands. Flowers are showy and pink. Anthers are yellow and pollen is bright yellow and abundant. Leaves have shown no bacterial spot [Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni (Smith) Vauterin et al.] in test plantings where known susceptible genotypes show typical symptoms.

Comparable in size to ‘Gulfcrimson’ (Krewer et al., 2008) and significantly larger than ‘June Gold’ or ‘Karla Rose’ nectarine, ‘Gulfsnow’ has no white-fleshed peach competition in its ripening window. ‘Karla Rose’ is a white-fleshed nectarine but has found acceptance only in the U-pick and local sales markets as a result of its small size, poor appearance, and inadequate firmness for shipping. ‘Gulfsnow’s’ most evident weakness is its variable cropping history (Table 1). However, in only two of the seven seasons it has been observed, 2007 (on one-year-old topworked trees) and 2009, did it not have a commercially usable crop. ‘Gulfsnow’ has displayed good fruit shape, appearance, eating quality, firmness, and a very low incidence of split pits. Although it has significantly less red skin blush than ‘Gulfcrimson’, it has been, nonetheless, judged to be equally attractive as a result of its cream ground color and exceptionally round shape.

Availability

A plant patent has been filed for ‘Gulfsnow’ and a propagation agreement is available through Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc., P.O. Box 110200, Gainesville, FL 32611–0200. Budwood is indexed free of Prunus Necrotic Ringspot Virus and Prune Dwarf Virus.

Literature Cited

  • Beckman, T.G. & Krewer, G.W. 1999 Postharvest characteristics of moderate-chill peach varieties Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 112 236 241

  • Beckman, T.G., Krewer, G., Sherman, W.B. & Okie, W.R. 1995 Breeding moderate chill peaches for the lower coastal plain Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 108 345 348

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  • Gomez, K.A. & Gomez, A.A. 1984 Statistical procedures for agricultural research. Wiley, New York, NY

  • Krewer, G.W., Beckman, T.G., Chaparro, J.X. & Sherman, W.B. 2008 ‘Gulfcrimson’ peach HortScience 43 1596 1597

  • Richards, G.D., Porter, G.W., Rodriquez, J. & Sherman, W.B. 1994 Incidence of blind nodes in low-chill peach and nectarine germplasm Fruit Var. J. 48 199 202

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    • Export Citation
  • SAS Institute, Inc 2003 SAS for Windows. Version 9.1. SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC

  • Sharpe, R.H., Sherman, W.B. & Martsolf, J.D. 1990 Peach cultivars in Florida and their chilling requirements Acta Hort. 279 191 197

  • Sherman, W.B. & Lyrene, P.M. 1997 UFGold Peach. Fruit Var. J. 51 76 77

  • Sherman, W.B. & Lyrene, P.M. 1998 Bloom time in low-chill peaches Fruit Var. J. 52 226 228

  • Weinberger, J.H. 1967 Studies on flower bud drop in peaches Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 91 78 83

Contributor Notes

Research Horticulturist.

Assistant Professor.

Associate Professor.

To whom reprint requests should be addressed; e-mail tom.beckman@ars.usda.gov.

  • Beckman, T.G. & Krewer, G.W. 1999 Postharvest characteristics of moderate-chill peach varieties Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 112 236 241

  • Beckman, T.G., Krewer, G., Sherman, W.B. & Okie, W.R. 1995 Breeding moderate chill peaches for the lower coastal plain Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 108 345 348

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gomez, K.A. & Gomez, A.A. 1984 Statistical procedures for agricultural research. Wiley, New York, NY

  • Krewer, G.W., Beckman, T.G., Chaparro, J.X. & Sherman, W.B. 2008 ‘Gulfcrimson’ peach HortScience 43 1596 1597

  • Richards, G.D., Porter, G.W., Rodriquez, J. & Sherman, W.B. 1994 Incidence of blind nodes in low-chill peach and nectarine germplasm Fruit Var. J. 48 199 202

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SAS Institute, Inc 2003 SAS for Windows. Version 9.1. SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC

  • Sharpe, R.H., Sherman, W.B. & Martsolf, J.D. 1990 Peach cultivars in Florida and their chilling requirements Acta Hort. 279 191 197

  • Sherman, W.B. & Lyrene, P.M. 1997 UFGold Peach. Fruit Var. J. 51 76 77

  • Sherman, W.B. & Lyrene, P.M. 1998 Bloom time in low-chill peaches Fruit Var. J. 52 226 228

  • Weinberger, J.H. 1967 Studies on flower bud drop in peaches Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 91 78 83

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