Yellow, melting flesh, clingstone nectarine released from Univ. of Arkansas in 2002. Plant Patent #12622. Resistant to bacterial spot. The new and distinct variety of nectarine originated from a hand pollinated cross of Arkansas Nectarine Selection 172 (non-patented).times.Arkansas Nectarine Selection 176 (non-patented) made in 1977 at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Fruit Substation at Clarksville, Ark. The parent plants used in this hybridization have not been named and released and are unavailable in commerce.
Plants and fruit of this new variety differ phenotypically from its parents. The new variety is earlier ripening and possesses larger fruit size, better flavor, and more attractive fruit than the parent Arkansas Selection 172, and is earlier ripening, more productive, and has better flavor, more colorful fruit and greater disease resistance than the parent Arkansas Selection 176. Both the parents and the instant variety are the genus and species Prunus persica. The new variety ripens its fruit very early, before either of the parent nectarines and before most extant nectarine cultivars.
The seeds resulting from this controlled hybridization were germinated in a greenhouse in the spring of 1978 and planted in a field on the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station in Clarksville, Ark. The seedlings fruited during the summer of 1980 and one, designated Arkansas 236, was selected for its very early ripening, attractive fruit shape and color, good fruit quality, and resistance to bacterial spot. During 1980, the original plant selection was propagated asexually, at the above noted location, by budding onto standard peach rootstock variety `Lovell` (non-patented) and a test plot of two plants was established. Subsequently, larger test plantings have been established with asexually multiplied plants at two additional locations in Arkansas (Clarksville and Hope, Ark.).
The new variety has been asexually multiplied several times since 1980 at this location by budding onto `Lovel` peach rootstock and no incompatibility with peach rootstocks has occurred following budding. During all asexual multiplication, the characteristics of the original plant have been maintained and no aberrant phenotypes have appeared.
Plants of the new variety are vigorous and productive, and trees are standard in size, well branched and symmetrical with an upright growth habit, comparable to other nectarine or peach trees (Prunus persica). Trees express a high level of resistance to both foliar and fruit infection of bacterial spot [Xanthomonas campestris pv. pruni (Smith) Dye]. The new variety consistently is more resistant to bacterial spot than are the standard nectarine varieties `Redgold` (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 1,329) and `Summer Beaut` (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 4,309). The new variety blooms in the spring with `Summer Beaut` and 1 to 2 days later than `Redgold`. No winter cold injury has been observed on wood or buds of the new variety in Arkansas tests where minimum temperatures have reached -23.degree. C. Chilling requirement to break dormancy is estimated to be 750 hours below 7.degree. C.
Fruit of the new variety ripens very early, averaging 4 weeks earlier than `Summer Beaut`, 6 weeks before `Redgold`, and 3 weeks before the reference peach variety, `Redhaven` (non-patented). Average ripening date is June 9 in west-central Arkansas. Despite the very early ripening, fruit of the new variety rarely has split pits, a serious fruit disorder common in most early ripening peaches and nectarines. Fruit yields have been good and have averaged equal to or higher than the comparison nectarine varieties `Redgold` and `Summer Beaut` in all test comparisons.
The fruit is round in shape, without a prominent tip or bulging suture. Fruits are attractive with 80% bright red, 20% yellow skin color. Fruit finish is good with no blemishes. The fruit skin is tender and occasionally cracks on fully ripe fruit following rainfall. The flesh of the fruit is bright yellow in color and has little red pigment in the flesh. Flesh is melting in texture but is firm and retains firmness well after maturity. Fruit is medium, averaging 109.6 g, and careful management of crop load is required to produce good fruit size.
The fresh fruit rates good in flavor, and is exceptionable favorful for a very early ripening nectarine. Fruits average 10.7% soluble solids and receive high scores in taste panels for flavor. The flavor is sweet and mildly subacid, with a distinct nectarine aroma.
The distinctive features of the new variety are its very early ripening, attractive flavorful firm fruits, good plant vigor and productivity, and its high level of resistance to bacterial spot.
The new variety has been named the `WESTBROOK` cultivar.
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
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