Launch of new apricot varieties this summer

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Want apricot? Wrap your mouth around a Jacinta? Even a Proxima or a Benger Red?

Maybe, just maybe, these names will join Clutha Gold and Moorpark.

The NZ Summer Fresh company revealed last week that it was testing new varieties of apricots. They are expected to launch domestically and overseas this summer, which in the long run could bring millions to the Central Otago economy.

The three new apricot cultivars were developed by Plant & Food Research in Clyde, which spent two decades working on their development.

More than 50,000 trees of the new varieties, covering 60 ha, are being tested in central Otago and parts of the North Island.

All three varieties could give apricot growers a significant boost and lead to increased planting of the fruit. One of the varieties would be available before Christmas – ideal for the domestic market, NZ Summer Fresh said. The other two new varieties will be sold later in the summer, mainly for export, when most of the other apricot producing countries have finished their season.

The new apricots have a more intense flavor and all the key attributes needed for an apricot – real flavor, good color and juiciness.

Many of them are grown in central Otago.

The three new varieties are currently called Nzsummer2, Nzsummer3 and Nzsummer4 but new, more user-friendly names will be researched.

In fact, it’s next on the apricot to-do list.

The Otago Daily Times asked its readers last week for some possible names for the new apricots.

There were many responses from all parts of the country and some came from the far left of left field.

Sweetie Darling has a beautiful ring, as does Ruby Rose. Flamboyance is fine but may be too long for marketing people.

There was also a reference to Central Otago’s pioneering history with Gabriel’s Gold and December Gold.

Jacinta tips the hat to the Prime Minister, while Summer’s Treasure is what apricots mean to some people.

Whitinga Ra means sunrise, which is when an apricot is at its best.

Names will be passed on to NZ Summer Fresh but there is no guarantee that any of them will not be used.

NAME GAME

A few suggested names. —

Sweetie Darling, Honey Blush, Roxburgh Rose, Benger Bright, Apripots, Sweetie Darling, Rogue Rose, Flamboyance, Mura Hi (flame), Solar Flare, Gabriel’s Gold, Etrik, Sunset Red, Ettricote, Sunblush, Goldenrose, Majestic, Clutha Red, December Gold, Sanz (Super New Apricot Zealand), Rosie, Rosemary, Sunshine, Rainbow, Betelgeuse, Shepherd’s Delight, Teviot Station, Benger Station, Moa Flat Station, Coal Creek, Benger Red, Benger Juicy, Revelation, Russet Rose, Ruby Rose , Flame, Flamboyance, Sunrise, Whitinga Ra (sunrise), Kitega (discovery), Treasure/Taonga, Gem, Blood Moon, Harvest Moon, Ubeauty, EWbeauty, Kamapa Moate (clear and early), Ripa, Zesty Red, Smile , Seasons Bravo, summer treasure, joy.

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