(May 17) KINGSBURG, Calif. — Kingsburg Orchards is increasing the size of the stone fruit family, introducing two new plumcot varieties — red velvet and black velvet.

Mike Watts, the company’s director of exotic fruits, said the proprietary plumcot varieties are grown only by Kingsburg Orchards.

Picking and packing of the red velvets began May 7, Watts said, and would continue until about May 17. He said the variety features a ruby red furry skin, not smooth like a plum.

The texture of the fruit’s flesh, he said, is like a plum but contains more juice. Watts described the taste as a tropical flavor. The skin does not leave the bitter aftertaste of plum skins, he said.

The red velvet is larger than most apricots and round like plums.

The slightly later variety, the black velvet, has the same plum-like shape and size, Watts said, and its skin is black with a hint of purple. The flesh, he said, is pumpkin orange in color.