Indian Free Peach: Now here’s a peach that pushes the envelope on being a peach. I first discovered it in my research to find another peach leaf curl resistant variety for my Pacific Northwest orchard. Because I don’t spray my orchard and use organic practices, I look for fruit trees that can stand up to our incessant spring rains and cool summer climate.
Reasons Why Indian Free Peach is one of my favorites!
- Thrives in cool clime of of coastal Pacific Northwest
- Scoffs at peach leaf curl. (Ha! take that Taphrina deformans!)
- Sports a thick fuzzy Mahogany brown skin
- Enjoys freestone status and very firm flesh
- Tastes sweet then tart, with strong overtones of blackberry and black cherry
- Surprises first-time eaters with its rich red flesh and juice
- Keeps well (so far for two weeks in fridge)
- Harvests very late (beginning in early October), but still ripens nicely
Nursery Sources for Indian Free Peach
(Bare-root peach trees are usually available in the winter and spring)
Reminds me of some of the French Peches de Vigne. May I ask where you got your tree? I would love to find out more about that cultivar.
Funny you should mention; I had no idea of the reference and a friend from Switzerland made the same mention of a Peche de Vigne when she tried one of my peaches. There are a couple places to buy them that I know of — all online:
your produce looks gorgeous. i found your site on nytimes.com and was surprised to find you live on vashon as i just moved to tacoma. i’m a little obsessed with local produce and products.
I would say that is an admirable obsession. Thanks for the kind words and welcome to the Pacific Northwest!
Found your website via NYT, too. The produce looks awesome, but you should always include Boz in each of your photos for impact!
Hi there from New Zealand! I knew these peaches growing up. Whatever you call them they are definitely my favourite stone fruit – the mere mention of them have mine and my brothers’ full attention, and drooling for Mum’s BBP crumble with copious amounts of custard. Summer foodie bliss…. 🙂 Jen
When I looked up this tree at nurseries, they showed pictures and described a peach that had white flesh with red streaks. There is another peach called Indian blood which looks like this one. Any idea what is going on?
I, too, am curious about the fact that other nurseries offer an “Indian Free” peach which is more white than red. Your fruit LOOKS more like a true Indian Blood peach, which are all red. However, in my experience, Indian Bloods are generally sour and clingstone — so your description of the taste (sweet/tart balanced freestone) means it’s not that. Is yours a local variation on the Indian Free with more red than white? Looks and sounds fabulous…
Chana and Steve I wondered the same thing too. It may be that my peaches are relatively small (I need to water more) and so they may have redder flesh due to smaller size. Plus we have a really cool summer so that may affect coloration too, but just a guess on my part.
I believe I bought mine mail order on Peaceful Valley Organics, but I’ll look for my old receipts to make sure. Their source was the commercial grower Dave Wilson Nursery, which lists them both, Indian Free as a fresh eating, and Blood as a canning cling peach.
Here’s their pic of Indian Free and Indian Blood.
I’ve never read that Indian Blood was leaf curl resistant and my variety is so it leads me to believe mine is Indian Free.
Here’s a thread about the two from GardenWeb forums:
I need to post a photo of this year’s crop — a whopping two ;-), but I guess two peaches are better than one.
I have been looking for weeks and still have not found this beautiful Indian free peach. I had a tree like this in Sunnyvale California, were I grew up and the fruit was the size of large grapefruits, burgundy deep purple in color inside and out. This tree was 18-20 feet tall and would give at least 150 peaches in early fall! Any help I would be greatful.
Dena: Glad to help. In the Northwest, the fruit is a bit smaller, say like a very large plum. It may be hard to locate an Indian Free peach tree at this time of year, but you can buy them readily online through mail order, usually for bareroot fall or spring planting.
I’ve seen them on: and http://www.raintreenursery.com, and Dave Wilson Nursery is a large commercial grower of the variety and offers this page of retailers who carry their trees: http://www.davewilson.com/homegrown/get_trees.html
Dena: I just saw Indian Free peaches available now at potted trees in the Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supplies catalog: http://www.groworganic.com/item_FT157SU_Peach__Indian_Free_Semidwarf_Pot.html
I just ate my first Indian free peach an hour ago. I must have one of these trees! I checked the 3 websites you recommended, but the photos don’t look as blood red and accurate as yours. One description said it is a clingstone. I’m confused. Is there a latin name for the tree? Thanks and best, Molly
Molly, what’s so odd is the same tree produced two different color ranges: one year deep red, and the next year white with red edging. Here’s are the photos in this post: http://tallcloverfarm.com/two-peaches-are-better-than-one/
My Indian Free is cling-free and leaf curl resistant. It’s the Indian Blood peaches that are cling and leaf curl susceptible, I believe.
There’s no latin name for it other than Prunus Persica “Indian Free”.
Peaceful Valley Organics usually carries them as bareroots in their winter catalog: http://groworganic.com/default.html .
Wow, I have been trying to find out for sure what kind of a tree we have. I was convinced it is an Indian Blood since is is a little tart yet fruity, reminds me of raspberries and the flesh is deep red/crimson with a few white stripes.
carjean, if it’s a freestone pit, I bet it’s Indian Free.
[…] for pointing out this variety to us. Ever since reading his posts about ‘Indian Free’ here and here, we’ve had a slight touch of peach envy. ‘Indian Free’ is a freestone […]
Hi, Tom…had fun reading your blogs and admiring pictures of your labor. Thank you for sharing your works and the recipes. I came across your blog when I was in google searching for Indian blood free peach and have been into many websites and nurseries trying to find similar to yours to no avail. Is there anyway that I could buy peach seeds from the same tree you have in the pictures? Please let me know and I would gladly appreciate your time and efforts of my request. More power and God bless you and your family.
[…] Indian Free peaches from my trees: I pick them firm (in early October) and ripen them off the tree to beat fall rains, ravenous raccoons and squirrel gangs. It takes about a week, but the methods in the link above are simple and well worth it. Good luck! Now treat your peaches like slow food and you’ll be reward justly. And you better not let me catch you pressing your thumbs into peaches at the local Thriftway or I may have to return the favor (on behalf of bruised and rotting peaches everywhere). […]
Hey, i have been searching everywhere for indian peach seeds. The cherokee were notorious plant breeders from.seed. They produced some of the best apple trees in the south. William penn remarked that there were orchards of peach trees in pennsylvania when he arived. Since the peach originated in china and the native people share genetics with several groups on that side of the ocean it makes since they brought them with them on the land bridge. I have heard the theory that the spaniards brought them here but since the spanish and portugese have no red flesh peach history that makes no since to me. Also the peach of the vine would not be a variety that is disease resistant. If it dosent suffer from disease. How would it act as a warning that disease was coming before it hit the grapes? It could not. They would have to use a suseptable delicate plant for that purpose. Think about it. . .a virus goes around and who gets it the person healthy as a horse or the person that is sickly already? Same applies in trees. So if these are truely the color of your peaches i would be interested in buying a few pits from you. Indian peaches are genetically stable since the breed by seed. And i want a tree that will be around in a hindred years. So my great grandchildren can sit beneath its boughs eat peaches till they are sick and maybe think of me. That will never happen with grafted varieties since their lifespans seem to be much shorter. And quince dose not like clay soils. The cherokee had nothing but clay so their varieties seem to do much better
Hi Velvie, I can see you love peaches as much as I do. As for the Indian Free peach, I’d be happy to save you some seeds in the coming year, but I fear patience is order as the fruit does not fully ripen until October around here. I love the historical background you shared, and your wish for a long-lived tree, and I must say from what I can gather, your grandchildren won’t need a peach tree to think of you often, I suspect that’s happens minute to minute. Warm regards, Tom
Hello! Can you please confirm what company you purchased your tree from. I MUST HAVE THESE DARK PURPLE PEACHES!!! ha ha my whole garden has purple accents so i’m obsessed : ) The companies I’m looking to buy indian free or indian blood from including the names you listed (daves, peaceful) above don’t look anything like the peaches you show. Can I purchase some cuttings from you to graph myself? I have an eldorado dwarf on lovell I could graph it to, and I’m just in W Sea just over the pond from you. Lemme know, Nikki
Hi Nikki, I’m pretty sure I bought it from Burnt Ridge Nursery: http://www.burntridgenursery.com/fruitingPlants/index_product.asp?dept=14&parent=7 And I’m pretty sure all of the retail nurseries get the tree from DAve Wilson Wholesale Nursery. As for grafting, I’ve had no luck with this variety, but peach tree grafting is trickier than apple or pear tree grafting. I could send you cuttings if you like, or wait until I have peach seeds. As peach seeds are true to the parent unlike the apple tree’s seeds.
Hi! I have been looking for this peach for years. Not one of the nurseries you mention carry it. I know it is late in the season, but I checked all of nurseries mentioned last fall 2013. Also depending upon the soil, nutrients, fertilizer, etc. these variables change the color of the peach. You have the ‘Black Blood Indian’ peach which is small, you don’t pick any larger, as the color would not change. It is a difficult peach to find. It is a peach that was originally grown for making ‘peach pickles’. When clicking on the link where you send us to where you bought the peach, FYI the page no longer exists. If you go to their home page they have no record of the peach. I grow exotic varieties and really want one of these. Please save me a pit! Mrs. G
Hi Mrs. G, Raintree Nursery has the Indian Free peach in stock: http://www.raintreenursery.com/Indian_Free_Peach_Citation.html, and while sold out for 2014, there’s also Peaceful Valley Organics: http://www.groworganic.com/peach-indian-free-semi-dwarf.html . Thanks for the cool info about the peach, and I’ll save you a pit this year, just in case you can’t locate the tree at a nursery. Cheers!
I was inspired by your posting about this peach variety to plant my own tree this year from Raintree. It looks absolutely beautiful. They had it on Lovell rootstock too but that sold out. I got one on citation. I bought it and planted it about a month ago. The new tree is growing just a few miles down the road from the nursery as that is where we have our homestead. I read that it needs a pollinator, and I planted it next to a mature frost peach tree. I sure hope that will do the job for pollinating the new tree. I wondered if you know if that will work??
RSVP and thanks. Great website you have: very well done.
Hi Abha, thanks for the visit and the kind words. As for the Indian Free Peach, mine is right next to a Frost Peach too, so I believe them to be compatible cross pollinators. I’ve never had a problem with it, other than long rainy periods during bloom season when nothing is out to pollinate them. Good luck!
Thanks for your quick response. I just didn’t even think of it when I got the Indian peach; I was so full of enthusiam for it. It was also useful to know that peach trees are not so simple to graft onto. The Frost peach was originally a “fruit cocktail” tree with a number of different varieties of fruit from Raintree, but everything else died on it. A horticulturist later told me that is is often difficult to make a multi tree grow and thrive and often you DO end up with a single fruit on it as the add ons frequently die. And the info on the fact that peach seeds grow true to the parent tree was also good to know. I will spread the goods around to the neighbors.
For those who have a limited space, here is a tip I found out about just recently. You can actually plant 2-4 trees in the same hole. With this variety, that would help the pollination problem. Dave Wilson’t nursery is a big proponent of the method. Here are two YouTube videos that describe it:
And, for people who have more space, this presents opportunities to have more varieties even when the orchard gets a bit full.
One more question in terms of using the seeds from the Indian peach…..I would guess that if the Indian peach is pollinated by the Frost peach they would hybridize?? Have you grown out any to see what the results are?
Hello from NE Texas, I too have been looking high and low for Indian peach seeds to grow in our orchard. Any chance we could buy some from you this fall?
Thank you and very best regards,
Hi Kent, I’d be happy to give you some, but my tree has not produced in the last couple years. Not sure what is going on. I may have to severely prune it back to encourage new growth. Sorry about that.
Hi Tom from the UK,
I Was wondering how best to describe the taste of both the Frost Peach & Indian Peach?
i myself am currently looking at getting a new peach tree and my choices currently are for either the Frost peach or Peche de Vigne Peach which are simular to the Sanguine de Savoie peach as both are family of the Black NZ, Indian Blood Peach. some reviews say very sweet and some describe it as a tangy sour taste from the indian peach?
since you have so many peach breeds i can see you are the man to ask :).
oh and also which have you found to be the better to grow as in productivity/reliability/healthier out of the 2? (frost/indian)
any information you can give is appreciated
keep the blogs going…really are good reading/information.
Hi James, thanks for the kind words and visit. The tastes are quite different. The Indian Free peach is indeed a more tart peach than the Frost peach, and not in a bad way. Indian Free has more of a punch of flavor and richness to it. The Frost peach tastes good, and is well suited for the Pacific Northwest climate, as is the Indian Free. The Indian Free usually ripens very late say October 1, while the Frost can be picked in early August here. In regard to productivity/reliability I have to say they are about equal. As for health or vigor, the Indian Free peach is a robust grower and has never had peach leaf curl. On the other hand, the Frost has suffered from plc in its early years, but does seem to grow out of it. I’m growing another plc resistant peach I like, from Canada. It’s called Nanaimo. You may have access to it. Tell me, have you grown, Peregrine peach, which I hear is popular in the UK? I was thinking of planting that variety. Good luck James, and one more tidbit of info; at Dan Wilson Nursery (in California), growers chose the Indian Free as the best tasting peach in their trials,
many thanks Tom for the fast reply.
yes the peregrine peach is the most common in the UK due to growing well in out not so sunny climate :).
its a white fleshed peach that is very moist when ripe (its literally like a watermelon) another that is almost a twin except for skin colour (its a dark red) for the Peregrine is Hyland’s Peach.
i am kind of staying away from white flesh peaches as to me they seem more like pears and in the UK taking over as yellow fleshed varietys seem to disappearing abroad….so really i was only looking for a yellow fleshed peaches like the Frost which would grow well in my climate.
the Indian Peach (Peche de Vigne) has me very interested…even if its to try and give it a chance as far as growing it in our On/Off UK climate 🙂
i forgot to add that i have not grown any peregrine peach trees as i am still fairly new to peaches having only owned 2 victoia plum + 2 cherry trees (morella + sunburst which is canadian) and thus i wanted to start off with something smaller so have a now 2 year old garden lady peach tree which is a genetic dwarf.
i know its not as impressive as your collection of peaches but everyone has to start somewhere 🙂
it did suffer on the 1st year with leaf curl but this year it was plc free and provided me 3 peaches at the start of august so im happy 🙂
but in any case i have decided now that i am going to try the indian peach..if i get nothing from it i can say i at least tried and then move on to say a Frost
oh by the way here is a list of the Blood Peach aliases just in case anyone on your Post is interested (there might be a few more but this is what i have found so far)…
Usa – Indian Free Peach
UK – Black Boy Peach
New Zealand – Black NZ
France (France has 2 regional Black Peach’s) –
1st Peche de Vigne Peach
2nd Sanguine de Savoie Peach (translates as ‘Blood of Savoy’)
i have also found it being called ‘Cardinal’ although i cant find any reference to the country for that name..
I found your site while doing research on a tree that grew by itself in our yard. It’s now two years old and it has started producing strange peaches we’d never seen before. They’re a solid scarlet so deep it’s almost black and they in fact look exactly like your solid red Indian free peaches. What’s most surprising is that none of them seems to have been eaten by bugs – and since we don’t spray any chemical in our yard, the rest of the fruit gets attacked by wasps to various extents.
Now, as a curious person who knows absolutely nothing about fruit breeds, I’m wondering if it’s possible that they could be Indian free peaches even though I live in Europe. Sure they ripened a month earlier than what you said up there, but maybe that could be explained by the warmer climate? (we’re talking north-western Italy). Or are there other varieties with blood red flesh? Thank you!
Hi Eleonara, how nice to hear from you all the way from Italy. The Indian Free peach is most likely a relative of one the French refer to as Peche de Vigne. Here’s a photo of it: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/pche-de-vigne/ and more info here (in French): http://www.detentejardin.com/plantes/fruits-et-verger/la-peche-de-vigne-un-delice-dete-a-decouvrir-4853 (google translates). They are a great peach, just make sure you let them ripen well, pick when fully colored, and after one falls from the tree (as a good indication). Experiment, and ripen off the tree to keep the “critters” from eating them on the tree. Don’t refrigerate, just leave out on the counter, on a cloth, not touching. Usually takes 3 – 5 days. Good luck!
Ok so I’m not even sure if this is still active I am trying to find out where I can purchase the Indian Peach preserves my dad had a tree and it hasn’t produced peaches in years any help would be awesome
Hi Thomas, my tree has something in common with your dad’s; it quit producing peaches. As for the jam, you may have better luck finding it under “Peche de Vigne” which is the same peach but grown and revered in France. Maybe a specialty or gourmet food importer may have it like Dean and Deluca, or Williams-Sonoma. Good luck! Hope you find your jam. I’ll keep my eyes open, too.
I have 7 Indian red growing from seed and hoping I live to eat peaches from them. My tree is small and produces a dozen or so.
How long will I have to wait before my seedlings start to bloom?
Hi Ron, I would think in 3-4 years the tree will be ready to set fruit. You may get blooms sooner but I’d wait for the tree to established and well-branched before allowing fruit to set, giving the tree a chance to be well-rooted and strong.