‘Prime-Ark® Freedom’ (to be U.S. plant-patented as ‘APF-153T’) is the world’s first commercially released thornless primocane-fruiting blackberry (Rubus L. subgenus Rubus Watson). This novel development is intended primarily as a home garden or local market plant. This is the fourth in the University of Arkansas Prime-Ark® Brand Primocane Fruiting Blackberry cultivar line following the release of ‘Prime-Jan’® and ‘Prime-Jim’® in 2004 (Clark et al., 2005) and ‘Prime-Ark® 45’ in 2009 (Clark and Perkins-Veazie, 2011). All of the prior-released primocane-fruiting cultivars are thorny. This unique type of blackberry fruits on current-season canes (primocanes) and on second-season canes (floricanes), potentially providing for two cropping seasons, both traditional summer fruits in addition to late summer to fall production. In addition to having thornless canes, this new introduction produces very large berries with good flavor and is very early ripening on floricanes, the earliest of all Arkansas blackberries. Fruit of ‘Prime-Ark® Freedom’ does not exhibit exceptional postharvest storage potential, however, and it is not recommended for the shipping market.
Clark, J.R., Moore, J.N., Lopez-Medina, J., Perkins-Veazie, P. & Finn, C.E. 2005 ‘Prime Jan’ (APF-8) and ‘Prime-Jim’ (APF-12) primocane-fruiting blackberries HortScience 40 852 855
Stanton, M.A., Scheerens, J.C., Funt, R.C. & Clark, J.R. 2007 Floral competence of primocane-fruiting blackberries Prime-Jan® and Prime-Jim® blackberries grown at three temperature regimes HortScience 42 508 513