Volume 33 Number 2 Article 5 Pages: 48-50
Year 1979 Month 4
Title: Highbush Blueberry Cultivars
Author: A.D. Draper
About 1911, Dr.
F.V. Coville of USDA began a series of crosses among six native selections of three Vaccinium species (V. australe, V. corymbosum, and V. angustifolium) that led to the release of the first highbush blueberry cultivar, Pioneer, in 1920. One wild selection, Rubel, and at least 55 cultivars from U.S. Department of Agriculture, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, and private breeders have since been propagated and distributed to growers.
Highbush blueberry cultivars released by public agencies since 1960 are shown in Table 1. Some of the older blueberry cultivars (Greenfield, Redskin, and Catawba) were not distributed widely and disappeared soon after being introduced.
Others (Jersey, Weymouth, Rubel, and Rancocas), because of disease resistance, plant vigor and habit, high production, and suitability for machine harvesting have remained in production.
Other factors in determining popularity of cultivars are fruit quality, season of ripening, and resistance of fruit to breakdown.
Cultivars also differ in areas of adaptation; some, such as Bluecrop, are much more widely adapted than others.
Winter hardiness, number of chilling hours required for bud growth, heat tolerance, and soil requirements of cultivars are important in determining areas of adaptation.
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