Thursday, September 2, 2010

Indian Blood Red Peaches

I have posted throughout the summer of my different fruit trees as they are ready to harvest. Earlier in the year I canned peach pie filling and peach jam from my domestic grafted yellow peach trees. It is now going into September and the white fleshed Indian peaches are ready. My family truly loves these peaches. They taste totally different from a domestic peach but are an heirloom peach. I obtained 4 peach seeds probably 12 years ago from a fellow Seed Savers Exchange Member. He said that they grow wild in the mountains of Georgia. I planted these seeds and have been growing these peaches ever since. They grow fast are just about indestructible here in zone 5A and always bear fruit and the fruit tastes great. He called them an Indian or Cherokee Peach. We have since found out that they are Indian Blood Peaches and are actually an heirloom variety of peach. I guess Jefferson grew these peaches at Monticello. Below is what the director of Monticello's Gardens has to say about these peaches: 

One "Blood" peach tree was sent Jefferson in 1807 by the Washington nurseryman Thomas Main. In 1810 Jefferson planted forty-one stones of the "black plumb peach of Georgia" in the "New Nursery." These likely came from William Meriwether, who had passed on "black soft peaches of Georgia" in 1804 and "Georgia black" peaches in 1809. When pomological writers such as Philip Miller, William Coxe, A. J. Downing, and U. P. Hedrick discussed the Blood Cling peach, they attributed its origin to a French variety known as Sanguinole, a curiosity suitable mostly for preserving. Today the peach is known as the Indian Blood Cling, a name that unites the "Blood" peach of the French Sanguinole with the "Indian" peach that grows wild in the southeastern states of Georgia and Florida and was obtained by Jefferson as the "black plumb peach of Georgia." The fruit, entirely splashed and mottled with scarlet, tiger-like stripes, is sometimes twelve inches round. The skin resembles a beet: scarlet, tough, and meaty, although pleasantly flavored and brisk. Blood Cling is a fine peach to eat out of hand but is mostly used for pickling and preserving. It was commonly listed by early nineteenth-century nurseries and is still offered in the trade.

Peter J. Hatch, Director

Monticello Gardens and Grounds

January 1998

In spring the trees are loaded with beautiful pink blossoms. Very rarely do we lose this peach crop to frost on the blooms.  The only problem is that they produce so much fruit that we have to thin out half the peches and throw them away to keep the limbs from breaking from the weight. We have never had to spray these trees for anything. We do yearly give them a dose of a fruit tree fertilizer. And in return they give us a reliable late crop of beautiful sweet white fleshed peaches every year. The flesh has red streaks through it just under the peel and near the pit. One draw back is that these are cling peaches which means they do not pull away from the center pit. So to use them you have to cut the flesh from the pit. But you can't have everything right!

As you can see the harvest is heavy and this is after thinning

The fruit gets redder than a normal yellow peach

Notice the white flesh with red streaks running through it

These peaches are very sweet with just a little tang!

My trees this year are just loaded and we will be making wine with these. For those of you with fruit trees I can't say enough about some of the heirloom varieties out there. They have to be hardy to be around for years and seem to require less care than some of the newer varieties. And for us we love the idea of no expense of spraying and the health benefits of being able to grow them totally organic.

So the next time you plant think about planting an heirloom.

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter 


  1. VERY JEALOUS HERE! Serious peach envy going on! I wish I had some of those for my peach pickles! I bought some cling peaches that were way too ripe for my pickles this year. :-(

    Can you send me some seed?? Or do I have to run over to Monticello and steal some fruit?? hahaha

  2. They look so good! Peaches are hard to grow here-one year you may have a bumper crop-but more than not the frost gets them. Your post makes me want to try growing this variety. And I so agree about the heirlooms!

  3. Those peaches are absolutely gorgeous; bet one would taste good right now!

  4. I have about ten or so pounds left of my Indian blood peaches. Peeled and thinking about peach brandy! Oh, I am so happy I found your blog! I have a ton of seeds to plant. Jefferson said plant them 20' apart for great production and firewood for the winter!!

  5. Valerie Aivazian 559 - 623-2040February 3, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    I've looked for canned indian peaches for about 10 years now. Is it possible that you have
    canned indian peaches for sale?

  6. I want to order a tree from you! Can you tell me how I can?

    H.L Dowless

  7. I was given two Indian Blood peach trees last year and they seem to be thriving, though I don't expect a harvest for a while yet. I discovered your blog via a Google search on the trees. I need to get some pollinators growing for them as well. I, too, am very much into the heirloom varieties. Can you make any recommendations?

  8. I have been looking for Indian peaches for quite some time. I remember my grandmothers making pickeled peaches when I was a child and have been told that this is the peach they used. Do you know of a source to purchase either seeds or trees.
    Thank you Su

    1. Question? Did you find where the Indian Blood Peach can be purchased? I just heard about them and would like to get the peach and or seed or tree. I don't know how to reply to this so I have given my email

    2. You can find them at this site

  9. I have two three-year old Indian Blood Peach trees here in California. They were grown from pits and are very hardy. This is the first year that I have let them grow fruit as I wanted the trees to develop roots and branches first. They are about 10 feet tall and as wide. I will be pruning them down to 6' after the fruit is picked.
    My fruit, however, is crimson red inside, with just a little mottling and the skin is a dark purplish gray - not light as in the picture above. I wonder if there is more than one variety available?
    One tree is next to a Rio Oso peach, and the other is next to a Babcock peach, to answer the question about the pollinator.

  10. Trees of Antiguity, in San Luis Obispo, California, has them for sale.

  11. That's "Antiquity"

  12. I'm not looking for an entire tree....I'm not that good yet, I would just like to buy some of the blood peaches. Do you have any idea where I could purchase some?

    1. Sorry don't know of anyone that ships them commercially.


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