Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Varieties of Freestone Peaches

...
Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Peaches are one of the oldest and best-selling fruits in the country. Since they were first cultivated in China centuries ago, they have evolved from cling to freestone varieties, the former type having a pit that adheres to the flesh of the fruit and the latter which readily releases the seed for easy eating and slicing of the body. There are numerous freestone varieties with different characteristics and harvest times.

Most Popular Varieties

Based on its beauty, extraordinary rich, sweet taste and extended shelf life, Elegant Lady is the top freestone peach variety. O’Henry peaches are second in popularity and known for their large size and scarlet streak that runs close to the pit of the fruit.

First on the Market

The earliest type of freestone peach to appear in supermarkets, sometimes as early as April, is the reliably tasty Redtop. Crest peaches are also harvested early and fall into the relatively new category of semi-freestone based on pits that gently cling to the peach flesh but can be twisted for easy removal.

  • Peaches are one of the oldest and best-selling fruits in the country.
  • Crest peaches are also harvested early and fall into the relatively new category of semi-freestone based on pits that gently cling to the peach flesh but can be twisted for easy removal.

Later Harvests

The Crest family of freestone peaches, which includes Queen Crest, May Crest and Ray Crest, start to show up in produce departments and at farmers’ markets in the first week of May. Crests are known for their brilliant red and yellow colors and outstanding flavor. A week or so later, you will find Spring Lady peaches for sale, the first in the Lady peach family. Rich Lady and June Lady varieties are harvested several days behind Spring Ladies. All the Ladies have deep red peels and juicy, succulent flavors. In August, Fairtime peaches become available, and Carnival peaches, the latest harvested of the season, are marketed in late September and early October. Fairtime and Carnival peaches have good flavors and textures that make them preferable for freezing.

  • The Crest family of freestone peaches, which includes Queen Crest, May Crest and Ray Crest, start to show up in produce departments and at farmers’ markets in the first week of May.
  • Crests are known for their brilliant red and yellow colors and outstanding flavor.

New Varieties

Peach growers crossed the top-ranked Elegant Lady and O’Henry varieties to develop the Summer Lady. White peaches are quickly growing in popularity. Babcock, currently the most sought-after white peach variety, includes 10 to 12 subvarieties. Sugar Giant and White Lady, two of the newest white peach types, are predicted to be heavy competition for the Babcocks.

Peach Shopping

If you shop for peaches outside the domestic season from April to early October, the peaches you find for sale will most likely be Chilean imports, such as Springcrest, O’Henry, Merrill, Flavorcrest, Gemfree and Elegant Land. Seek out peaches labeled "tree ripened" or "well mature," as these have been allowed to mature on the trees before harvesting. Buy peaches stored in open bins at room temperature in the market.

  • Peach growers crossed the top-ranked Elegant Lady and O’Henry varieties to develop the Summer Lady.
  • If you shop for peaches outside the domestic season from April to early October, the peaches you find for sale will most likely be Chilean imports, such as Springcrest, O’Henry, Merrill, Flavorcrest, Gemfree and Elegant Land.

Related Articles

Fruit Trees in Maryland
Fruit Trees in Maryland
What Are the Types of Peaches in Georgia?
What Are the Types of Peaches in Georgia?
List of Types of Peach Trees
List of Types of Peach Trees
What Are the Different Types of Peaches?
What Are the Different Types of Peaches?
Fruit Trees That Prosper in Alabama
Fruit Trees That Prosper in Alabama
Which are the Best Pear Trees?
Which are the Best Pear Trees?
Varieties of Sour Cherry Trees
Varieties of Sour Cherry Trees
Types of Fruit Trees in the Northeast
Types of Fruit Trees in the Northeast
List of Self-Pollinating Cherry Trees
List of Self-Pollinating Cherry Trees
The Best Peach Tree Varieties
The Best Peach Tree Varieties
Different Types of Sweet Corn
Different Types of Sweet Corn
The Best Fruit Trees to Grow in Central Texas
The Best Fruit Trees to Grow in Central Texas
Fruit and Nut Trees in Washington
Fruit and Nut Trees in Washington
How to Take Care of Peach Trees
How to Take Care of Peach Trees
How to Identify Peach Tree Varieties
How to Identify Peach Tree Varieties
The History of Turley Winesap Apple Trees
The History of Turley Winesap Apple Trees
Fruit Trees That Grow in Wisconsin
Fruit Trees That Grow in Wisconsin
Varieties of Grapefruit Trees
Varieties of Grapefruit Trees
The Best Vegetables to Grow in Missouri
The Best Vegetables to Grow in Missouri
Garden Guides
×