Two new peach varieties, Scarletprince and Julyprince, developed by the Agricultural Research Service, are now available to growers and nurserymen. Budwood has been distributed to commercial nurseries for production of trees for the Southeastern United States.

Horticulturist W. R. Okie, at the ARS Southeastern Tree Nut and Fruit Laboratory in Byron, Ga., developed the new varieties to allow growers to have better varieties to fill the market's needs. Peach varieties are planted to ripen at different times to extend the growing season, thus providing a steady supply of fruit to consumers.

Scarletprince ripens in late June or early July at Byron, about the same time as a similar peach, Redglobe, a leading variety. At maturity, the skin surface is 90 percent bright red with an attractive yellow background color. The flesh of this freestone fruit is yellow, with some red in the flesh if allowed to mature on the tree. It is firm, with excellent texture and good flavor.

In addition to the wonderful fruit, the tree, first planted in Byron in 1987, appears to be moderately resistant to bacterial spot disease, though not highly resistant.

Julyprince peach, first planted in Byron in 1993, ripens in early to mid-July at Byron, about three to 10 days after Redglobe. At Byron, the fruit develops a yellow background color early, but can be left firm on the tree another seven to 10 days to increase size and red color. At maturity, the surface is 70-80 percent bright red with an attractive yellow background color. The flesh is yellow with some red coloring near the pit. Julyprince trees are vigorous and productive and appear to be moderately resistant to bacterial spot disease.

For both varieties, the fruit is large — almost 3 inches in diameter— and round. The fruit is also firm and softens slowly while on the tree, allowing it to be picked over a longer period than comparable varieties.

A limited amount of budwood is available for research purposes.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.