We get asked this question nearly every week at the markets so we thought we'd provide you with the answer here.

Unfortunately not many orchardists grow Bing cherries anymore. Bings are one of the most susceptible varieties to splitting and cracking due to rainfall. Varieties such as Lapins and Sweethearts are much less likely to split during rainfall than Bings are. These varieties however still manage to maintain that great classic Bing cherry flavour!


The harbinger of the market season, cherries have long been a favourite world wide. Sun Best Fruit is proud to bring you one of the most diverse range of cherries fresh from the Okanagan. Those yellow things? No, they're not crab apples. Those are called 'blush' cherries and they are a slightly more acidic variation on the red cherries you all kow and love. Give them a try - from the first picked to the last variety to produce, we bring you only the best from BC.

Through the course of the season Sun Best Fruits will bring you:

Blush (Yellow) Cherries


The Rainier was created in 1952 at Washington State University as a cross between the Bing and Van cultivars. Rainiers are sweet cherries with creamy-yellow flesh. They are considered to be the "cream of the crop", selling for $6 dollars a pound or more in Canada, about $9 a pound in the UK, and as much as a dollar each in Japan.

From Seasons Best Produce in Oliver, BC



The first crop of our own blush cherry orchards – Stardust - comes from our bench orchard in Naramata, BC. Growing on the east side of Okanagan Lake brings numerous challenges (first and foremost is logistics), but also develops a different terroir that produces fruit with a distinct identity – mainly because the intensity of the sun is at opposite times from our home orchards in Summerland. Please enjoy our family’s own cherries!

From Lutz Orchards in Naramata, BC



Rajah Cherries are very much like Rainiers except are generally sweeter and grow much larger in size. These cherries are VERY rare, grown on only 70 trees in the entire WORLD! With a very narrow window, make sure you pick them up the moment you see them - you will not find these cherries anywhere other than at Sun Best Fruit.

Special to Sun Best from Dendy Orchards, in Kelowna, BC



Sultan Cherries are one of the latest blush cherries grown. They are similar to Rainier cherries except that they are sweeter and generally bigger in size.

From Dendy Orchards in Kelowna, BC



Red Cherries


Descriptor Here



Satin is an early season cherry developed by Summerland Varieties Corp. at the Pacific Agro-Food Research Centre in Summerland. This large heart shaped cherry is a Lapin cross and tends to be very firm with a mild sweet flavour.

From Seasons Best Produce in Oliver, BC



Cristalina is an early season cherry developed by Summerland Varieties Corp. at the Pacific Agro-Food Research Centre in Summerland. Cristalina is a cross between a Star and a Van Cherry, and is the largest of the early season varieties. Cristalina are a dark glossy red and have fantastic flavour; They are perfect for any of your cherry needs!

From Sandhu Farms in Summerland, BC



Santina is an early, black cherry (Stella x Summit cross) with better than average fruit size that matures about eight days before Bings, making it one of the earliest varieties of sweet cherry to ripen in the Okanagan. It is moderately firm, and the skin has a highly attractive, bright luster, with incredible sweet flavour. Like almost all of the varieties of cherries that we grow and sell, Santina was developed at the Summerland Research Station in the 1960’s.

From Brar Orchards in Summerland, BC



From our Sandhill Orchard on the beautiful Summerland lower benches. Developed by researchers at the Agriculture Canada Research Station in Summerland, Lapins are a dark-sweet cherry of a Van and Stella cross. This variety was named after Dr. Karl Lapins, a pioneer in cherry breeding. Lapins are regarded as one of the most popular varieties of cherries now sold globally.

From Lutz Orchards in Summerland, BC



Sonnet is a very large, heart shaped, glossy, dark red cherry of excellent quality for its season. Developed at the Pacific-Agri Food Research Centre, in Summerland, BC, the Sonnet Cherries size to be one of the biggest cherries available on the market.

From Dendy Orchards in Kelowna, BC






Sentennial™ is the latest maturing cultivar released from the Pacific Agri-Food Research Station in Summerland and has very good fruit size and firmness. The name Sentennial™ was chosen in honour of the District of Summerland's centennial year in 2006 and it was spelled with an “S” to maintain the tradition of starting most cherry cultivar names from the Summerland breeding program with an “S”.

These are some of the last sweet cherries to be harvested in the Western Hemisphere.

From Carcajou Fruit Co. in Summerland, BC



The Cherries this week are one of the latest varieties grown. Sovereign are firm, large and crunchy, and ripen typically around the end of August to the beginning of September.

From Dendy Orchards in Kelowna, BC



Developed by researchers at the Agriculture Canada Research Station in Summerland, Staccatos are a dark-sweet cherry of a Van and Stella cross. Regarded as one of the best late season cherry it is very firm with an excellent sweet flavour. This is the last weekend for our Staccato cherries, and then we will finally be into the last cherry picked in BC – the Sentennial!

From Dendy Orchards in Kelowna, BC


Kootenay Special

The pick of cherries this week are a relatively new variety called Kootenay Special.  Developed in Creston, B.C. by WL Truscott, the Kootenay Special is very large, dark red/burgundy, and has meaty flesh very similar to that of a Lapin.

From Beulah Orchards in Summerland, BC



Discovered by researchers at the Agriculture Canada Research Station in Summerland, British Columbia, in the mid-1990’s, the Skeena cherry variety is a cross between the Bing, Stella, and Van varieties. Skeena cherries have a deep mahogany colour and sweet flavor with lower acid levels than other dark-sweet cherry varieties.

From Anand Orchards in Summerland, BC



The Sylvia variety was developed at the Summerland Research Station in 1988, and has become a popular sweet cherry variety due to its incredible flavour. Sylvia is a Lambert Stella type that ripens 4-5 days before Lambert. Fruit size is medium, dark red, and firm. Sylvia has become one of our customer’s favourite varieties due to the dark red exterior and flesh, and superior flavour.

From Mann Farms in Oliver, BC



The Stella Cherry is a cross between two cherry varieties known as Lambert and John Innes Seeding. Stellas were developed in 1968 at our very own Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland, BC and were the first self-fertile cherry developed at the Centre. Our orchard boasts only 30 of these cherry trees, planted intermittently between our main variety of Lapins, to improve pollination and set. In addition to being an excellent pollinator, our Stellas are also sweet and black with a rich flavour and excellent size.

From Lutz Orchards in Summerland, BC



Sweetheart cherries are large and bright red. They are late ripening, coming at the end of the cherry season. They are very firm with a light, mild sweetness.

From Beulah Orchards in Summerland, BC



Our first cherry that we are bringing you for the year is the Van cherry. The Van continues to be an important variety of cherry grown in BC.  Vans have a short stem and the tree produces a heavy crop. The fruit is large, black and firm. Van cherries are generally slightly smaller than a Bing, but are just as sweet.

From Lual Orchards in Osoyoos, BC



Photography © Henry Kieftenbeld      Web Experience by Animatters Inc.