Hey, I'm Desmond Layne, Peach Specialist at Clemson University. Welcome to the Clemson Tiger Peach Network.
Today is June 23, 2011 and we're in our second season of "Everything About Peaches". The series this summer is called "Peach Picks for South Carolina". Every week we are going to be featuring the best cultivars that do extremely well here in "The Tastier Peach" state.
We are here at my variety test block at James Cooley's Farm in Chesnee, SC. Last week we featured Rubyprince which is a yellow-fleshed cultivar that's got excellent taste. It's a traditional southern-type peach. This week, we've got something different. This is Snow Queen. It also goes by the name Karla Rose. It's a white-fleshed nectarine that is known for its excellent taste and aroma. It was developed in 1975 by David Armstrong of Armstrong Nurseries in Ontario, California. The patent is no longer valid so you can freely propagate it.
Mmmmm! Snow Queen is known as a highly aromatic, delicious white-fleshed nectarine. Over the last 5 years, its performance in our trials has been very good. Typically, it is harvested between the middle and the end of June depending on where you are located in the state.
As a nectarine, you need to notice first that Snow Queen has smooth skin. It doesn't have fuzz like a peach. I need to tell you that Snow Queen is not an "absolutely perfect" nectarine but I think it does have a suitable niche and that is for the local roadside or farmer's market where it can be sold as a tree-ripened fruit.
To attain marketable size between 2 1/2 and 3 inches in diameter, trees require aggressive, early thinning. Occasionally, some fruits will have split pits. The way that you can tell that it is a split pit is that it is wider in one dimension than it is in the other dimension. There may also be occasion when the fruit may have some speckling on the surface. We call that russet. Because the fruit are being marketed locally at the roadside as a tree-ripened fruit, that doesn't affect their ability to be marketed.
With those limitations, you might wonder why would I even consider recommending it? There are two primary reasons. The first is that its' got that fabulous aroma and the second is taste! Its' probably the single best nectarine that we have all year long! When you cut through the skin into the flesh you can see that it's a white-flesh type. Its' got beautiful white flesh that melts in your mouth, and it is mostly freestone.
Although Rubyprince was a delicious eating experience last time. Let's see what Snow Queen tastes like... "Mmmm. Now that is a fabulous nectarine!" I've even got juice on my glasses and its' dripping off my arms. That's what you're looking for! Sweet, juicy, aromatic! I need to eat some more of this one, I'm afraid.
Mmmmmm! Why don't you join me next week when we'll feature another "Peach Pick for South Carolina". You know, being a peach specialist is a rough job ... somebody's got to do it!
For more educational videos and information about peaches, you should 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 go to their website at www.growingproduce.com.