Plant Patent #12641 to University of Arkansas (May 21, 2002). 1. A new and distinct variety of nectarine tree, substantially as illustrated and described, characterized by its very early fruit maturity, very firm non-melting flesh texture, high yields, excellent tree vigor, and attractive fruits with good flavor.
The new and distinct variety of nectarine tree originated from a hand pollinated cross of Arkansas Nectarine Selection 178 (non-patented).times.Arkansas Nectarine Selection 232 (non-patented) made in 1984 at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Fruit Substation at Clarksville, Ark. The parent plants used in this hybridation 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 produces larger fruits, with better flavor, and more vigorous and productive trees than the parent Arkansas Nectarine Selection 178, and is earlier ripening, more vigorous, more productive, and produces larger fruits than the parent Arkansas Nectarine Selection 232. Both the parents and the instant variety are the genus and species Prunus persica.
The seeds resulting from this controlled hybridization were germinated in a greenhouse in the spring of 1985 and planted in a field on the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station in Clarksville, Ark. The seedlings fruited during the summer of 1989 and one, designated Arkansas 417, was selected for its very early ripening, attractive fruits, firm fruit texture, and good fruit quality. During 1989, 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 (propagated at the same location by budding) at two additional locations in Arkansas (Clarksville, and Hope, Ark.).
The new variety has been asexually multiplied by budding several times at this same location since 1989 by budding onto `Lovell` peach rootstock and no incompatibility with this peach rootstock 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. Trees are standard in size in comparison to other nectarine or peach trees (Prunus persica), well branched and symmetrical with an upright growth habit. Plants and fruit are moderately tolerant to peach bacterial spot, incited by Xanthomonas campestris pv. pruni (Smith) Dye. The new variety blooms in the spring an average of 3 days earlier than the `Redgold` (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 1,329) and `Summer Beaut` (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 4,093) varieties. No winter injury has been observed on wood or buds of the new variety in Arkansas test 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 28 days earlier than the `Redgold` variety, 18 days earlier than the `Summer Beaut` variety, and 9 days earlier than the reference peach variety `Redhaven` (non-patented). Average ripening date is June 24 in central Arkansas. Fruits are very firm at maturity and fruit quality is retained well on the tree after maturity for 5 to 7 days. Fruit yields are very good, and the new variety outyielded the `Redgold` and `Summer Beaut` varieties in all replicated test plantings in Arkansas. Yields are consistent from year to year.
The fruit of the new variety is round in shape, with light, bright red skin color over yellow ground color. Fruit size is medium, averaging 125.1 g, and is slightly smaller than the `Redgold` and `Summer Beaut` varieties. Careful management of crop load is required to enhance fruit size. The fruit is non-melting in texture and very firm at maturity, rating much more firm than the `Redgold` and `Summer Beaut` varieties. Storage ability of fresh fruit of the new variety is superior to both the `Redgold` and `Summer Beaut` varieties in that it is has firmer flesh at maturity resulting in longer storage capability. Fruit cracking has not been observed on the instant variety. The flesh of the fruit is a uniform yellow color with no red pigment present. The fresh fruit rates good in flavor and is especially good for a very early ripening nectarine. The flavor is sweet and mildly subacid, wtih a mild nectarine aroma. The soluble solids concentration averages 12.2% and exceeds 15.0% in some years.
The distinctive features of the new variety are its very early fruit ripening, very firm non-melting flesh texture, high yields, excellent tree vigor, and attractive fruits with good flavor.
The new variety has been named the `ARRINGTON` 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