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Peach Varieties

Yellow Flesh, White Flesh, Freestone, Clingstone, and Donut


There is no better way to pick a peach (and spend a day) than tasting peaches at your local farmers market. More than 300 varieties are grown in North America alone, but the main thing to know about a peach is whether it's yellow or white flesh and clingstone, freestone, or semi-freestone.

See the difference between the major categories of peaches below, learn how to choose and store peaches in All About Peaches, and then check out Local Foods Peach Recipes for ways to use them.

Yellow Flesh Peaches

Photo © Molly Watson
Most peaches in the U.S. are yellow-fleshed. They tend to have more of an acid tang than white-flesh peaches.

White Flesh Peaches

Photo © Molly Watson
Favored in Asia and increasingly available in the U.S., white-flesh peaches are very sweet with low acidity. They also tend to have a smoother texture than yellow-fleshed peaches.

Clingstone Peaches

Clingstone peaches have flesh that clings to their pits. They are softer, sweeter, and juicier than freestone peaches and hence sought after for canning and preserving (commercially canned peaches are all clingstones). They are great for baking. One advantage of shopping for peaches at farmers markets is that you can sometimes find clingstones. Most grocery stores only carry freestones.

The clingstone peach season ranges from May to August.

Freestone Peaches

Freestones peaches' flesh does not stick to their pits, so they are preferred for eating out-of-hand. They tend to be larger and less juicy than clingstones. They bake and preserve well, too.

Freestone peaches come in many varieties with seasons ranging from May to October.

Semi-Freestone Peaches

A hybrid of clingstone and freestones that attempts to combine the easy eating and pitting properties of freestones with the juicy sweetness of clingstones.

Donut Peaches

Photo © Molly Watson
Donut peaches are an heirloom variety that are flat, white-fleshed, and low in acid. They are generally available at farmers markets and specialty markets in July and August where peaches are grown.

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