36 Types of Peaches (Their Characteristics & Photos)

Peaches are botanically classified as Prunus persica and are considered “stone fruits,” and are closely related to apricots, plums, cherries and almonds. Peaches are native to China, where the earliest evidence of peach domestication is traced to the Zhejiang Province in the southeastern area of the country. They then spread to other parts of the world, including the Mediterranean countries and later to other parts of Europe. Today, major producers of peaches include China, Italy, Spain, and the United States.

There are hundreds of varieties of peaches, including heirloom varieties and hybrid crosses. Peaches come in two different types, yellow-fleshed or white-fleshed and are identified as either clingstone, freestone, and semi-freestone. The fruits mature from green to yellow and then orange with deep red blushing on the side facing the sun.

Peaches with white flesh typically are very sweet with little acidity, while yellow-fleshed peaches typically have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness, though this also varies greatly. Both colors often have some red on their skins. Low-acid, white-fleshed peaches are the most popular kinds in China, Japan, and neighbouring Asian countries, while Europeans and North Americans have historically favoured the acidic, yellow-fleshed cultivars.

Peach trees are deciduous with are relatively short-lived as compared with some other fruit trees. In orchards they are usually replanted after 8 to 10 years, although in other regions trees may produce satisfactorily for 20 to 25 years or more depending on their resistance to diseases, pests, and winter damage. These trees are intolerant of severe cold and cannot be grown successfully where temperatures normally fall to −23 °C (−9 °F).

Peach trees are self-fertile, they can produce fruit with just one tree, although it can take three to four years before they do so. The tree produces flowers arranged singly or in groups of two or three at the nodes along the shoots of the previous season’s growth. The flowers have five petals, usually pink but occasionally white, five sepals, and three whorls of stamens borne on the outer rim of the hypanthium that forms the base of the flower.

Peach trees require full sun and well-drained, sandy soil that is slightly acidic. They are pruned annually to prevent them from becoming too tall, with the upright shoots pruned back to outgrowing laterals to produce a spreading tree and keep it open to sunlight. They are prone to a disease called leaf curl, which usually does not directly affect the fruit, but does reduce the crop yield by partially defoliating the tree.

Peaches can be sliced for fruit salads or tossed green salads or used for canapes or hors d’oeurves. They can be blended into smoothies or milkshakes, or juiced for beverages, cocktails, vinaigrettes or dressings. They are also ideal for baking, grilling and processing into jams, syrups, ice creams or preserved in syrup. Their most common use is for baking into desserts like cakes, pies, tarts and galettes.

Peaches are an excellent source of vitamin A, B-complex vitamins thiamin, riboflavin and niacin, potassium, iron and phosphorus. They are also a good source of fiber, calcium, vitamins C, E, and K and a small amount of protein and sodium. Wild Peach varieties are found to be more nutrient-dense than cultivated ones.

Peach trees do best in USDA Zones 4 to 10, but they especially thrive in Zones 6 to 8. Most varieties prefer temperate climates where winters are wet, and summers are hot and dry, and require adequate summer watering, pruning and fruit thinning. Peaches are available in most temperate regions where it doesn’t get too hot or too cold. Peaches are available year-round, with a peak season during the summer months.

List of Peaches

  • Early Amber
  • Golden Jubilee
  • Lucky 13
  • Nectar
  • September Snow
  • July Prince
  • Arctic Supreme
  • Donut/Saturn Peach
  • Blushingstar Peach
  • Cresthaven Peach
  • Melba Peach
  • Tropic Snow Peach
  • Red Haven Peach
  • Elberta Peach
  • Empress Peach
  • Honey Babe Peach
  • Polly Peach
  • Veteran Peach
  • Loring Peach
  • Babcock Peach
  • Florida Dawn Peach
  • Dixie Red Peach
  • Coronet Peach
  • White Lady Peach
  • Spring Snow Peach
  • Baby Gold Peach
  • Indian Blood Peach
  • Belle of Georgia Peach
  • Hale Haven Peach
  • Angelus Peach
  • Rubyprince Peach
  • O’Henry Peach
  • Raritan Rose Peach
  • Suncrest Peach
  • Harrow Diamond Peach
  • Indian Free Peach