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Stone Fruit Varieties

Although peach production in the State of Florida has been traditionally located in North and Central Florida, late spring freezes in the 1980s caused severe declines in acreage. However, the University of Florida has had a breeding program since the early 1950s, and in cooperation with the University of Georgia and USDA has released over 30 peach, nectarine, and plum varieties.

Site selection is extremely important for peach, nectarine, and plum production. Potential orchard sites should have soil that is well-drained and slightly sloped for cold air drainage. A number of varieties have been developed for North, Central and Southern Florida, and a continued emphasis for the breeding program is to increase the diversity of germplasm for the entire state of Florida.  Varieties are patented through the Florida Foundation Seed Producers (FFSP - http://ffsp.net) and bud wood is made available to those nurseries that purchase licenses.  It is important to buy patented varieties from those nurseries that are licensed. 

Click here for an important message from FFSP.

Peaches and nectarines in Florida must be planted on a rootstock that is resistant to a specific root-knot nematode found only in Florida (Meloidogyne floridensis). Currently, there are three commercially available rootstocks, 'Flordaguard' (a peach rootstock)and 'Sharpe' (a clonal plum rootstock) that are resistant to M. floridensis. 'MP-29' is a third rootstock that is being tested in two locations in Florida and is availalbe for commercial propagation.  'Sharpe' rootstock is recommended for dooryard or backyard orchards, as there has been a slight decrease in fruit size associated with this rootstock.'Flordaguard' trees are visually distinctive with young leaves exhibiting a deep red color.

'Flordaguard' trees are often propagated by seed; however approximately 15-20% of the trees must be culled because of "outcrossing" of the fruit. That is, they will not be genetically true to type and will not contain full resistance to M. floridensis. Clonal propagation (e.g., cuttings) from a true to type 'Flordaguard' tree will result in 100% of the trees that will be resistant to M. floridensis.


Nurseries

A list of nurseries that sell patented peaches, nectarines and plums can be found here:

Stone Fruit Nurseries


Florida Peach Cultivars

CultivarDate ReleasedPatent StatusChill UnitsFruit Development PeriodFlesh Type
UFSun2004Patented10080Non-Melting
UFBest2012Patented10085Non-Melting  
Flordagrande1984Not Patented100100-105Melting
TropicBeauty1988Not Patented15089Melting
Flordaprince1982Not Patented15078Melting
Flordaglo1988Not Patented15078Melting
UFGem2013Patented17580Non-Melting
TropicSnow1989Not Patented20090-97Melting
UFBeauty2002Patented20082Non-Melting
UFGold1996Patented20080Non-Melting
UFOne2008Patented25095Non-Melting
UFO2002Patented250105Non-Melting
Flordabest2009Patented25082Melting
UF20002000Patented30095Non-Melting
UFBlaze2002Patented30080Non-Melting
Flordadawn1989Not Patented30060Melting
UFSharp2006Patented32594Non-Melting
Flordacrest1988Not Patented35075Melting
Gulfking2004Patented35077Non-Melting
Gulfprince2002Patented400110Non-Melting
Gulfcrimson2009Patented40095Non-Melting
Gulfsnow2012Patented400110Non-Melting
Flordaking1978Not Patented45065-70Melting
UFGlo2009Patented45080-85Non-Melting
Gulfcrest2004Patented52570Non-Melting
All melting flesh peach and nectarine cultivars released from the University of Florida breeding program begin with the prefixes "Florda" and "Sun," respectively, with all non-melting peach and nectarine cultivars sharing the prefix, "UF." Joint releases by the University of Florida, the USDA, and the University of Georgia have the prefix, "Gulf."

Adapted from HS1108/HS364: Strategies for Subtropical Peach Production in Florida

Florida Peach Rootstocks

CultivarDate ReleasedPatent StatusChill Units
MP-292012Patented750
Flordaguard1991Not Patented300

Florida Nectarine Varieties

CultivarDate ReleasedPatent StatusChill UnitsFruit Development
Period
Flesh Type
Sunbest2001Patented22583Melting
Sunraycer1993Not Patented25085Melting
UFRoyal2009Patented25085Non-melting
UFQueen1998Patented25078Non-melting
Sunmist1994Patented27580Melting
Suncoast1995Not Patented37577Melting

Adapted from Circular 1440/AG209: New Plants for Florida: Stone Fruit

Florida Plum Varieties

CultivarDate ReleasedPatent StatusChill UnitsFruit Development
Period
Gulfblaze1997Patented25095
Gulfbeauty1997Patented25075
Gulfrose2000Patented27595

Adapted from Circular 1440/AG209: New Plants for Florida: Stone Fruit and Growing Plums in Florida (HS895)