Ilex (serrata ⨯ verticillata) ‘Sparkleberry ’, U.S. National Arboretum Accession No. 29739 and PI 378149, is a new introduction from the U.S. National Arboretum as part of its hybridizing program in Ilex for improved plants for landscape use (1). This selection is a large multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with a handsome display of bright red fruit. Ilex X ‘Apollo’, a sibling staminate seedling was selected and named as a preferred pollinator for ‘Sparkleberry’.
Diploid blueberry (Vaccinium section Cyanococcus) was pollinated in a greenhouse in 1981 with pollen from sparkleberry (V. arboreum, Section Batodendron). Cyanococcus parents included V. darrowi, diploid V. corymbosum, and various intra-sectional diploid hybrids. Forty one vigorous seedlings showing characteristics of both sections were selected from a field nursery when 2 ½ years old. Some of these plants flowered heavily in subsequent years, and several were more than 3 m tall by 1990. Although the F1 hybrids had very low fertility, some open-pollinated progeny were obtained. Some of these were vigorous, fruitful when open-pollinated in the field, and intermediate between V. arboreum and Cyanococcus in many features. Six of the best progeny from open-pollination of the F1's were used in greenhouse crosses. Some branches were self-pollinated and some were pollinated with pollen from tetraploid V. corymbosum -based cultivars. Two of the 3 selfed plants had a high percent fruit set (277 fruit from 441 flowers). Four of the six plants pollinated with pollen from tetraploid V. corymbosum cultivars had high percent fruit set (452 fruit from 793 flowers). Flowers of the open-pollinated progeny of the F1 hybrids were much larger than those of the F1 `s. This, along with the fruitfulness after 4× pollination, suggests that at least some of the open-pollinated progeny are tetraploid. These hybrids give hope that sparkleberry genes can be used to improve highbush cultivars.
has been consistent for at least the past two decades. Our objectives were to identify the traits necessary for machine harvest for fresh fruit (MFF) in SHB, and to summarize the history and current progress of using sparkleberry as a genetic source
Vaccinium arboreum (sparkleberry; section Batodendron ) is a widespread and abundant diploid blueberry species native in the southeastern United States ( Stockton, 1976 ; Vander Kloet, 1988 ). It flowers in April in north Florida and produces
water-soaked cells, darkened tissue, or both. In 2011, SH blueberry cultivars (Farthing, Primadonna, Scintilla, Sweetcrisp) and selections (FL 05-528, FL 06-556) and a cultivar with sparkleberry in its pedigree (Meadowlark) were used in a drop test. Hand
Reade) compared to ‘Premier’ grafted on Vaccinium arboreum Marsh (Sparkleberry) over four harvest seasons. Proc. 8th North Amer. Blueberry Res. Ext. Workers Conf. p. 178–181 Bell, D.J. Rowland, L.J. Drummond, F.A. 2010 Yield variation among clones of
Diploid plants in Vaccinium section Cyanococcus, including plants of V. darrowi Camp, V. atrococcum. Heller (diploid V. corymbosum L.), a V. atrococcum × V. darrowi F1 hybrid, and a V. atrococcum × V. elliottii Chapmn. F1 hybrid, were hand pollinated in a greenhouse with pollen from diploid V. arboreum Marsh. (Section Batodendron). The resulting seeds were germinated and the seedlings were transplanted to a high-density field nursery. Forty of these F1 intersectional hybrids were selected after 2 1/2 years and transplanted to a 1.5 × 4-m spacing. Most of these plants were vigorous and flowered heavily in subsequent years, but only a small percentage of the flowers produced fruit. In 1990, however, >4000 berries were harvested from the 35 surviving plants. Open-pollinated seed from a much smaller number of berries was planted in Dec. 1987; these seeds produced ≈200 seedlings, some of which had moderate to high fruit set in a field nursery in 1989. Six of these seedlings, which were selected for high vigor, high fruit set, and characteristics intermediate between section Cyanococcus and section Batodendron, had fruit set ranging from 19.4% to 92.7% when pollinated with pollen from tetraploid V. corymbosum cultivars. One of the six seedlings was highly self-fruitful, and some intercrosses among the six seedlings produced much viable seed. Large-scale introgression of V. arboreum genes into tetraploid highbush cultivars likely will be possible by the methods used in this study.
wildlife. Vaccinium arboreum produces numerous berries, but these are small and scarcely edible. They contain large seeds and sclerids and have a dry and gritty texture. Berries from some plants are sweet, but sparkleberries are often astringent or have a
Marsh (Sparkleberry) through four harvest seasons. Proceedings of the 8th North American Blueberry Research and Extension Workers Conference. p. 178–181 Basile, B. DeJong, T.M. 2018 Control of fruit tree vigor induced by dwarfing rootstocks Hort. Rev. 46
ashei Reade) compared to ‘Premier’ grafted on Vaccinium arboreum Marsh (Sparkleberry) over four harvest seasons. Proc. 8th North Amer. Blueberry Res. Ext. Workers Conf. 178–181 Brooks, S.J. Lyrene, P.M. 1998 Derivatives of Vaccinium arboreum