Hey, I’m Desmond Layne, Peach Specialist at Clemson University. Welcome to the Clemson Tiger Peach Network.
Welcome back to “Everything About Peaches”. Today is September 2, 2011. We’re out here at my variety test block at James Cooley’s farm in Chesnee, South Carolina where today it is supposed to be 98F! 98 degrees and we’re in September! Well, we have hot summers here in South Carolina. Anyway, last time, we featured Augustprince which is a late-season, yellow fleshed cultivar that has melting flesh and that traditional acidic tang to it. The next cultivar in succession after Augustprince that we are looking at today is Flameprince.
In our Clemson University research trials over the last several years, the performance of Flameprince has been excellent. Flameprince was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture in Byron, Georgia. The breeder was Dr. Dick Okie. Flameprince ripens about the same time typically as O’Henry which puts it in middle to the last part of August depending on where you are located in the state.
Flameprince is a yellow fleshed, melting flesh type and its also a freestone. It has that traditional acidic tang that we associate with a Southern peach. It was released to the public in 1993 and because it is a public release, you can freely propagate it.
Flameprince is a very nice late-season peach. It hangs well on the tree and does not drop prematurely. Its got a very nice, uniform round shape. It has an excellent color. Its got a nice yellow background with a red overcolor or blush. It doesn’t get solid red like some other cultivars such as O’Henry and the fact that there is this yellow background, it makes it easier to determine when it is ready to be harvested. Another difference between Flameprince and O’Henry is that O’Henry is very susceptible to bacterial spot disease here in the Southeast which is a problem for us. Flameprince is moderately tolerant to bacterial spot disease so its really a better choice for us in that timeframe.
Flameprince has very good size. It averages 3 inches in diameter or larger and that’s what we’re looking for this time of the year. When you cut through the skin into the flesh you can see that its got beautiful yellow flesh. There may be a few streaks of red pigmentation in the flesh or around the pit and that’s not a problem. Those are anthocyanin pigments which are antioxidants which is an added health benefit for you.
If you remember last time, we tasted Augustprince. Well, lets see how Flameprince tastes this week! Mmmmm! Now, that’s a good peach! Look at the juice! Sweet, juicy, tangy. We’ve still got good tasting peaches here and it’s the second week of September! You might be saying, peach season is over – well it really isn’t over yet. Even if you’re running out of peaches, you don’t have to despair. There are lots of things you can do with Flameprince the other late-season varieties that we’ve got. You can take them home and you can can them, you can freeze them, you can dehydrate them. You can make ice cream. You can make cobbler. You can make smoothies. You can store them and save them in the freezer or in a can. Then you’ve got stuff to enjoy all winter long. That’s what you should do!
Why don’t you join us next week when we’ll feature our next “Peach Pick for South Carolina”. You know the amazing thing about being a peach specialist here in “the Tastier Peach State” is that we’ve got about 18 weeks of peaches. Its awesome!
To get my latest information on peaches, you can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PeachDoctor. For more educational videos and information about peaches, you can visit my “Everything About Peaches” website at www.clemson.edu/peach. And if you would like to read my columns for the American Fruit Grower magazine, you can visit their website at www.growingproduce.com.