Early Season Blueberry Varieties

Blueberries November 28, 2011|Print

Early season rabbiteye blueberry varieties selected for Mississippi include:

Austin: Rabbiteye Blueberry Variety — Plants are moderately vigorous, productive, and upright. Berries are large in size, blue in color, firm, have dry scars, good flavor, and good shelf life. Ripens May to early June.

Brightwell: Rabbiteye Blueberry Variety — Berries are medium in size and blue in color, with small dry scars and good flavor. Plant growth is vigorous, upright, and produces enough new canes to renew the plant.

Climax: Rabbiteye Blueberry Variety — Upright open plants. Berries are large in size, medium-dark blue in color, have a small scar, and good flavor. Concentrated ripening period. Ripens May to early June.

Premier: Rabbiteye Blueberry Variety — ripens two to three weeks before Tifblue. Large fruit with good flavor. Plants are vigorous, upright, disease resistant, and productive.

Prince: Rabbiteye Blueberry Variety - chilling requirement, 300-400 hours. Normally blooms 3-5 days before Climax. In south Mississippi ripens late May – early June. The plant is very productive, vigorous, and has a spreading growth habit. The fruit are medium size, have good color, firmness, flavor, and a dry picking scar. Rainfall during ripening may result in physiological splitting. Due to the early bloom period, Prince should only be grown in the coastal region and may require frost protection to prevent injury from late spring freezes. Released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA-ARS) in 2008; public release.

Savory: Rabbiteye Blueberry Variety - chilling requirement, 300-400 hours. Blooms with Climax. In south Mississippi, ripens late May – early June. Savory plants are productive and have a vigorous, upright growth habit. Savory produces large berries with light blue color, and good scar, firmness and flavor. Savory is susceptible to fungal diseases including Gleosporium leaf-spot and powdery mildew, which can be controlled with fungicides. Savory may require winter pruning to prevent over-cropping. Due to the early bloom period, Savory should only be grown in the coastal region and may require frost protection to prevent injury from late spring freezes. Released by the UFL. in 2003; patented.

Alapaha: Rabbiteye Blueberry Variety - chilling requirement, 450 to 550 hours. Blooms 7 to 10 days after Climax. In south Mississippi, ripens late May – early June, about the same time as Climax. Plants of Alapaha are productive, vigorous and upright with narrow crowns. Berries are medium size and have good color, firmness, flavor and small dry scars. In some conditions, fruit size has been smaller than expected. Alapaha is considered to be a potential replacement for Climax. Released jointly by the University of Georgia (UGA.) and USDA-ARS in 2001; patented.

Vernon: Rabbiteye Blueberry Variety - chilling requirement, 500 to 550 hours. Blooms 7 to 10 days after Climax. In south Mississippi, ripens with Climax and Premier. Vernon plants are productive, vigorous, and moderately spreading. Berries are large and have very good color, firmness, flavor, and a dry picking scar. Vernon is considered to be a potential replacement for Climax or Premier. Released jointly by UGA and USDA-ARS in 2004; patented.

Montgomery: Rabbiteye Blueberry Varieties - chilling requirement, 550 hours. In south Mississippi, ripens late May - mid June, overlapping with Premier. Plants are very productive, moderately vigorous, and have a semi-upright growth habit. Berry size medium – large, very good color, picking scar, fruit firmness and flavor. Released by NCSU in 1997; patented.