Flower Morphology in Blueberry Species and Hybrids

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Horticultural Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

Several morphological features of Vaccinium ashei Reade, V. constablaei A. Gray, their F1 hybrids, V. simulatum Small, and southern highbush blueberry (V. corymbosum L. hybrids) flowers were compared in Gainesville, Fla. Desirable characteristics that could increase the extent of honeybee pollination, such as a large corolla aperture and a short anther-to-stigma distance, were common in V. constablaei but not in V. ashei. F1 (V. ashei × V. constablaei) hybrids were generally intermediate between the two parents. Thus, it appears that V. constablaei could be used to breed V. ashei cultivars with improved flower morphology. Vaccinium simulatum and V. constablaei flowers were similar in all features. The corollas of southern highbush blueberry flowers were wide and had wide apertures, but the distance between stigma and anther pore was also large.