Nectarine Overview

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Nectarines are cultivated varieties derived from the species Prunus persica. The ancestral home for the species is the Tarim Basin in China. Humans have dispersed the species widely over several thousand years.


Nectarines are smooth skinned. The gene for smooth skin is recessive in prunus persica.

A wide variety of colours, textures and flavour type exists.

Skin colour ranges from pale white through to yellow and totally red in colour. 

Flesh colour ranges from white through to yellow gold coloured to bright orange.

Textures range from soft when ripe (dessert) through to rubbery when ripe (canning) to crunchy.

Taste ranges from sweet to aromatic and sub acid to strongly acidic.

Nectarine varieties have differing chill requirements to initiate good bloom and some low chill varieties flower very early and may not be suitable in cold districts, such as Central Otago. Conversely, high chill varieties may not suit the more northern districts as there is not enough chilling to initiate bloom.


Nectarines are self fertile. Interspecific hybrids with Prunus persica are becoming more common.


McGrath Nurseries have imported a number of nectarine varieties from France, Italy and the USA and are actively seeking and trialing new varieties.

Information on a specific variety can be found on our variety sheets as well as on our maturity chart.

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