, development time, etc. ( Coville, 1921 ; Ehlenfeldt, 2001 ; Meader and Darrow, 1947 ). In contrast, rabbiteye blueberry ( V. ashei Reade) cultivars are considered overwhelmingly self-incompatible ( Brightwell et al., 1955 ; El-Agamy et al., 1981 ) and
Poor fruit set and small berry size can limit production of rabbiteye blueberries ( Vaccinium ashei Reade) grown in the southeastern United States ( Scherm et al., 2001 ). Some factors that affect fruit set include pollinator population during
Blueberry is a perennial evergreen or deciduous shrub that is native to North America ( Wang et al., 2017 ). Northern highbush blueberry ( Vaccinium corymbosum ), rabbiteye blueberry, and southern highbush blueberry ( V. corymbosum interspecific
‘Brightwell’ rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade) is a new cultivar originating from the cooperative blueberry breeding program of the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Stations and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is productive, early ripening, and has medium-size fruit with excellent color, stem scar, firmness, and pleasant flavor. ‘Brightwell’ is intended for those areas of the southern United States where rabbiteye blueberries are successfully grown. This cultivar is named in honor of W.T. Brightwell who bred rabbiteye blueberries for over 30 years at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station, Tifton, Ga. He is known for the many excellent cultivars that he and his cooperators originated.
‘Baldwin’ rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade) is a new cultivar originating from the cooperative blueberry breeding program of the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Stations and the USDA. It is a very productive, late-ripening cultivar with good flavor and firm, dark-blue fruit. Bacause of its lengthy ripening period ‘Baldwin’ is intended primarily for pick-your-own and backyard planting in areas of the southern United States where rabbiteye blueberries are grown successfully. ‘Baldwin’ is named in honor of Abraham Baldwin, Yale graduate, U.S. Senator, and founder and first president of the Univ. of Georgia,.
Although southern highbush (Vaccinium sp.) is replacing rabbiteye (Vaccinium ashei L.) blueberry, rabbiteye will continue to be grown on marginal soils of the southeastern United States. Dwarfism or short, compact growth habit is a trait that could be used to reduce labor costs in rabbiteye blueberry production. Parental backgrounds, and flowering and fruit traits were studied in seven Mississippi (MS) and five Georgia (T) selections. Six of the MS selections are available for propagation and bloom late enough that cold damage should not be a problem. Four (MS63, MS454, MS546, MS891) of the six have acceptable fruit quality and will be used in breeding. Ethel and MS134 were the only known dwarf ancestors, with Ethel, Myers, Black Giant, and Tifblue (Ethel × Clara) dominating the parental background. Based on the variation in growth habit and ancestries, it would appear that Ethel has several genes for dwarfism and multiple allelic interactions are involved, similar to what Garvey and Lyrene found (1987). Future breeding will include crosses of MS63, MS454, MS546, and MS891 with germplasm outside of the common ancestors, to broaden the genetic base of the dwarf rabbiteyes.
States, primarily from the rabbiteye blueberry ( Vaccinium virgatum, Aiton), accounts for approximately a third of that market ( Draper 1997 ). At the beginning of the 20th century, commercial rabbiteye blueberry production involved plantings of land
Florida's early season, fresh market rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade) industry has been based mainly on the cultivars Beckyblue, Climax, Aliceblue, and Premier. Both ‘Aliceblue’ and ‘Premier’ have given problems with poor fruit set after mild winters, particularly in areas south and east of Gainesville (1); thus, there is a need for additional early ripening cultivars to interplant with ‘Beckyblue’ and ‘Climax’. ‘Bonita’ is being released for this purpose by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science from the Univ. of Florida blueberry breeding program.
Rabbiteye blueberries ( Vaccinium ashei Reade = V . virgatum Aiton) are native to the southeastern United States and due to their broad adaptation, vigor, and high yield potential, rabbiteye blueberry cultivars are grown widely throughout the
The rabbiteye blueberry is the predominant type of blueberry currently being grown commercially in the southeastern United States. In the Gulf Coast region of the southeast, growers require earlier ripening blueberry cultivars adapted to the