Tips, suture bulge, split pits, red around pit, good taste and flavor
Plant Patent #17780, 2007.
The North Carolina Agricultural Research Service announces the release of the peach cultivar ‘Carolina Gold’ for trial by growers and nurserymen.
‘Carolina Gold’ was selected at Jackson Springs, NC in 1998 by D.J. Werner and L. Snelling. It originated from the 1995 cross of ‘Biscoe’ x NC-C5S-067. NC-C5S-067 originated from a 1988 cross of ‘Encore’ x ‘Calanda San Miguel 2383’. ‘Calanda San Miquel 2383’ is yellow flesh, clingstone peach grown as a seed propagated land race in Spain. ‘Calanda San Miquel 2383’ was chosen as a parent based on its high quality fruit, late ripening time, and late time of flowering in the spring. ‘Biscoe’ is a high quality peach released by the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service in 1968. ‘Encore’ is a late ripening, cold-hardy peach cultivar that was introduced in 1980 by Rutgers University. ‘Carolina Gold’ was tested in trials at the Sandhills Research Station in Jackson Springs, NC.
‘Carolina Gold’ ripens about August 1, about a week after ‘Biscoe’. ‘Carolina Gold’ flowers 1-2 days before ‘Contender’, making it one of the latest flowering commercial peach cultivars commercially available; the chilling requirement to satisfy dormancy is about 1050 hours below 4C. Late flowering reduces the risk of freeze injury to flower buds in late winter and early spring. ‘Carolina Gold’ has cropped consistently over 6 years of testing.
Fruit of ‘Carolina Gold’ are very large, with many fruit commonly attaining three inches in diameter when properly thinned. Because of its moderate to high flower bud number, heavy thinning is required in years of little natural fruit thinning from freeze events. Fruit are round and have shown no tendency to produce a tip over the six years of evaluation.
‘Carolina Gold’ fruit are yellow fleshed. Flesh color and quality (texture, flavor, and aroma) are excellent. Fruit flesh is resistant to oxidative browning. Fruit are firm, similar to ‘Contender’. The exterior of the fruit is covered with about equal amounts of a bright red overcolor and a golden yellow ground color. Foliage of ‘Carolina Gold’ is relatively resistant to bacterial spot disease incited by Xanthomonas campestris pv. pruni. Fruit have shown no evidence of infection in 6 years of observation.
Trees of ‘Carolina Gold’ show a growth rate typical of most commercial cultivars. Flowers are pink and non-showy. Pollen is abundant, and trees are self-fertile. Leaf glands are reniform.
In summary, ‘Carolina Gold’ will provide growers with a consistent cropping, mid to late season late-ripening cultivar with excellent flesh quality for a late-season peach. Its late flowering and high flower bud number should make it an appropriate choice for growers in North Carolina. ‘Carolina Gold’ is one of the few commercial cultivars of peach that was derived in part from germplasm outside of the ‘Chinese Cling’ genetic base. Thus, this cultivar will serve to broaden the genetic base of commercial peach production in the U.S., and it will serve as an important source of germplasm for breeders elsewhere.
The name ‘Carolina Gold’ is suggested for this selection because of the attractive golden yellow ground color on the surface of the fruit, and to indicate its origin in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Agricultural Research Service is planning to negotiate a non-exclusive license agreement for production and marketing of ‘Carolina Gold’. Nurserymen having an interest in ‘Carolina Gold’ will be given the opportunity to be licensed by the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service for production and marketing.
Evaluations are based on a 1-8 scale (6=OK,7=Commercially acceptable, 8=Excellent)
Size is in inches
Shape: round is assumed, T=tip, P=point, S=suture, OB=oblate, OV=ovate
Blush: presented as percentage of ground color cover with red or similar
Freeness: 3=early cling, 8=completely free
Status: 0=discard, 1=keep
Notes: SOS=soft on suture, SOT=soft on tip, RIF=red in flesh, GAS=green around stem
RAP=red around pit, GGC=green ground color, sz=size, wh=white, yt=young tree, CCT=concave tip
Bloom date is when approx. 90% of blooms are open (full bloom)
The description of each variety of peach or nectarine fruit under each group is in different formats as this information is collected from varied sources and hence is not consistent