In praise of Rich May peach

After waiting through most of fall, through winter and then through most of spring, there is no fruit in my orchard that brings me more pleasure than the peaches from Flavor May. Yeah, here in the northeast, even a typical spring will split most of its pits and complicate eating, as does its serious clling nature. And the fruit tends to be small and the crop sparse, but I suspect that both of those helps it ripen so much earlier than peaches next in line and part of why it just plain tastes better than the varieties that ripen a week to two later. Most home growers cannot even use a full crop of peaches from a mature tree anyway.

Desiree and Harrrow Diamond are ripening now and don’t have near the deep orange and sweet flesh of Flavor May- most of their pits are also split. I should also add that a few varieties of peaches and all nectarines were wiped out by a very hard frost (19F) at the end of March in most of the orchards I manage. Most trees of Flavor May I manage gave a crop, even though it is a CA peach. Earnie’s Choice didn’t, and it was bred nearby.


For east coast what would you recommend in the early to super early category? Sounds like you have a few. I was punished a little myself with a surprise inch of snow in April.

is this maybe called something else by nurseries? I can’t find “flavor may” anywhere but zaiger has things like “rich may” and bradford has “ivory may” etc. - curious because super early peaches are a schedule gap I’m trying to fill

Good super early peaches are really difficult to find. Thank you for the strong recommendation Alan! Extra points for success on the east coast and dodging spring frosts as well. I am interested if they are sold under other names, as Michael has inquired?

Its called Rich May and Flavor Rich. For years now Alan uses a nickname. He got it wrong once and it sticks. Always makes me smile :slight_smile:


Aging is a humbling experience, it only gets harder to memorize the labels of things and forget about easily remembering phone numbers. I edited the topic so it might be of use to those seeking the peach I’m talking about. I believe it is also sold under another name- it is long off patent, I’m told.

The question about other early peaches is one I’m asking myself. Some years Harrow Diamond has been good but even though it benefits from over a week of more time to develop flavor, it hasn’t as much as Rich May. Desiree even less. The only thing I’ve found is very hard to get now, which is the Carene nectarine (please tell me that’s the right name) which I have harvested here at over 25 brix. I didn’t realize at first it was a low acid nect because when I first started growing it, my main experience with low-acid fruit was the White Lady peach, which I don’t particularly like. I would if you could crank up the brix a few points.

Carene seems easier here than other low-acid, high brix nectarines I’ve grown but is even smaller than Flavor May, not that I care. I’m not selling them.

As far as nectarines, a little later, Avalon ripens and is highly flavored and not hard to grow here based on preliminary evaluation. I’ve a lot more experience with Silver Gem, a very nice early white Nect that comes in a week or more before Redhaven.

Tomcot is my earliest cot and comes in almost as early as Rich May- My Early Blush cot died this year and never really gave me a good crop but at a better site nearby it has been pretty consistent and pretty good if spring gets some heat and sun. It is considerably earlier than Tomcot.

You are sweet, but misnomer is not the same as a nick name. I conflated the two things it is called.


Any of your clients has it? Can you get a couple of scions of it? I can’t find it at any US nursery.

Yes and maybe. Contact me next March.

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Vaughn Nursery in TN carries it under Flavorich. (Flavor Rich). To me, Vaughn is one of the best, if not the best nursery to buy bare root peach trees considering quality, price and varieties.


Hi Tippy,

How an you confirm that? I checked Vaughn’s website and they don’t seem to carry any nectarines. Flavorich is a peach and what I expressed interest in above is Carene nectarine.

She never said they carried Carene or quoted your comment about it. I assume she was referring to the main subject of this thread- don’t you?

It is probably useful for members to be informed about Vaughn’s extensive selection at low prices, although I prefer larger trees if I can get them. My understanding is they sell small stuff under .5" diameter. That costs me an extra year over trees >.75", as a general rule of thumb- depending, in part, on the extent of roots attached.

Her message was in response to my previous message, perhaps by mistake. I didn’t pay attention to the original topic of the post, as many topics get diverted to side discussions.

Of course you did nothing wrong- I just thought I’d point out the obvious. This forum is very liberal about allowing conversations to wander a bit, and I, as much as anyone, am grateful.

My bad. I thought you looked for Flavorich.

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I ordered 3 peach trees from them and paid for the largest size ones at $10 each which is very fair. The ‘trees’ they shipped to me were about the size of the Degroot in the boxes at tractor supply. I also planted a Redhaven Degroot from Tractor Supply at the same time and its doing pretty good. All of mine from them were a shade over a pencil sized.

Im tempted to try again… as they are so cheap… but so far im 0-3.