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Fruit Varieties Journal
(Fruit Var J)

American Pomological Society

Volume 44 Number 2 Article 8 Pages: 82-86
Year 1990 Month 4
Title: Low-chill Highbush Blueberries
Author: P.M. Lyrene
The low-chill highbush blueberry cultivars (Table 1) have been devel oped using highbush selections from New Jersey and Michigan along with sources of low-latitude adaptation from Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, most important of which are Vaccinium darrowi (diploid), V. ashei (hexaploid), and southern forms of V. corymbosum (tetraploid). So far, all the cultivars have been tetraploid. Experience in North Carolina and Arkansas indicates that the southern limits of adaptation of traditional northern highbush cultivars comes close to or overlaps the northern limit of adaptation of the rabbiteye blue berry. Thus, the reason for develop ing and growing southern highbush cultivars is not so much to expand the geographical limits of blueberry pro duction as it is to exploit the advan tages of the highbush blueberry. The most important advantage is a short bloom-to-ripening interval, which re sults in early fruit ripening. In north Florida, for example, the earliestripening southern highbush cultivars ('Sharpblue' and 'Flordablue') normal ly ripen about 4 weeks before the earliest rabbiteye cultivars ('Climax' and 'Beckyblue'). The same interval exists between early-ripening northern highbush cultivars and early rabbiteyes in eastern North Carolina.

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