Southern Highbush Varieties
CAMELLIA is an early-to-mid season southern highbush blueberry. The variety has highly favorable attributes, especially fruit color, size and plant vigor. A large berry size and strong blue fruit color make this selection desirable for marketing.
EMERALD is a vigorous bush with a growth habit midway between upright and spreading. Flowers open uniformly and it produces abundant leaves even after mild winters. Emerald is very capable of carrying heavy crops and combines a vigorous, upright, bush with high yield potential, early ripening, and large, high-quality berries which are large and firm with a good picking scar and have a sweet flavor. Color is medium to dark blue.
REBEL is an early ripening highbush and has better berry size, plant vigor and is earlier than Star. It has highly favorable size, scar and vigor.
SUZIBLUE is expected to become a main season southern highbush variety for Georgia. Its productivity has been very good when compared to the industry standard Star and the recently released Rebel. Additionally, it has larger berry size and better fruit firmness than these two standards, although Rebel still has the advantage of earlier ripening fruit.
SWEETCRISP is a highly vigorous bush with excellent field survival. Berry unusually firm, crisp and sweet. Berry medium to large, medium dark, with excellent scar and remarkable firmness.
STAR The bush is strong, upright, survives well, and
is easy to prune. Berry is large, firm, has a good picking scar, and is excellent for long-distance shipping. Star can be harvested rapidly, because the berries are in loose clusters and ripen during a short period. Flavor and color are good. One of the most popular varieties in Florida and Georgia.
FARTHING Very vigorous and survives well in commercial fields. Vigorous but not a tall bush. Foliage is dark green in color. The plant flowers very heavily. Fruit starts to ripen about the time of star but due to the heavy crop load it continues for up to 6 weeks.
MEADOWLARK is a very upright plant and early ripening. Has the ability to leaf strongly during flowering. Produces loose berry clusters and may have the potential for mechanical harvest. Meadowlark has mild flavored berries and the mature berries maintain quality for a long time on the plant.
GEORGIA DAWN is a Southern highbush with good plant vigor with an upright growth habit and narrow crown. It is early flowering (February-March) and ripening (end of April and early May). Georgia Dawn™ has medium to large berries with good flavor. It has good fruit scar and firmness.
MISS JACKIE is a new variety that is later ripening than Miss Alice Mae and ‘Star’, ripening more closely to our 2006 release ‘Camellia’. The latter half of May is a production time frame in south Georgia that often has a “fruit gap”. This gap occurs as the main season highbush varieties expire; and, before the early season rabbiteye varieties come into significant production. Miss Jackie fits the timing of the gap well, and should compliment ‘Camellia’ nicely. The variety generally flowers later than main season varieties, but it also ripens later. Fruit are high quality, and the bush is generally easy to manage.
MISS ALICE MAE is a main season southern highbush cultivar. Miss Alice Mae will flower a few days later than ‘Star’, helping to avoid some freeze damage scenarios, but it would still be suggested that Miss Alice Mae be considered for production using frost protection measures. The new variety should ripen during the current “peak” of southern highbush season, which is around the first week of May in south Georgia. Yields and berry quality are very good, and the variety will hopefully provide the industry a new main season workhorse.
MISS LILY This variety is expected to offer growers fruit that ripens in the early to main season, but without the requirement of frost protection. Miss Lilly flowers very late, yet ripens with ‘Star’ and Miss Alice Mae. Miss Lilly yields are steady from year to year due to the late flowering habit. Therefore, the variety nearly always escapes cold damage. The lower per plant yield for Miss Lilly can be somewhat compensated by higher density planting, since the plant is relatively narrow and upright. Higher density planting should achieve good per acre yields in that case. But, regardless, here are a number of growers looking for an easier to manage, early ripening southern highbush. Miss Lilly could be grown with ‘Camellia’ and Miss Jackie to provide early and later ripening fruit on the same farm.
KEE CRISP is a vigorous, upright-growing bush with long, somewhat whippy canes when grown under the summer hedging management used in southeastern southern highbush blueberry production. ‘Keecrisp’ ripens mid- to late-season. The berry size is large with a small, dry stem scar. ‘Keecrisp’ berries have a mild, very sweet flavor.
PATRECIA is a blueberry clone distinguished by its low chilling requirement, vigorous, upright-spreading bush habit, and large, firm berries that ripen from mid-April through May. Patrecia has a vigorous, upright-spreading growth habit that bears firm, large, sweet berries.
ALAPAHA are vigorous, upright with quite narrow crowns. They flower relatively late and produce consistent, high yields. Its berries are medium in size and have excellent firmness, color and flavor. Its small dry scars contribute to good shelf life. The outstanding characteristics include late flowering with early ripening and vigorous plants that produce high yields of excellent quality fruit.
AUSTIN The Austin blueberry is a very early variety that is excellent for use as a cross pollinator with Climax. The fruit is also of good quality. Its production level is as high or even higher than Climax.
BRIGHTWELL This blueberry is unsurpassed and considered among the top varieties in the world, which says it all. Brightwell ripens early mid-season, in between the production periods of Climax and Tifblue.
PREMIER blueberry is large and early ripening, which makes it ideal for commercial markets that provide fresh blueberries early while wholesale prices are high.
VERNON is an early season rabbiteye with favorable fruit attributes large berry size, good yields and excellent plant vigor. Vernon flowers late but ripens early. Berries are large in size and have excellent firmness, color, flavor and dry scars which contribute to good shelf life.
TITAN™ Titan™ is recommended where rabbiteye blueberries are grown successfully as a commercial, homeowner, and pick-your-own variety. It should be noted that Titan™ can have significant fruit cracking under wet conditions during ripening. Titan™ berry color and flavor are good, and dry scars contribute to good shelf life. Berries are very large, often exceeding 3 g/berry, which is larger than any rabbiteye released to date. Fruit are also very firm, and hang well on the plant when ripe. The ability to hang well allows for even greater berry sizes to be achieved as berry size continues to increase after fruit turn blue.
KREWER is a new blueberry variety that has been released by The University of Georgia and is being named in honor of one of UGA’s blueberry pioneers and recent retirees. ‘Krewer™’, named after Dr. Gerard Krewer, is a very large fruited blueberry that ripens in late May to early June in south Georgia. The new variety has shown high yield potential in early experimental trials, and offers a great companion variety for the recently released large fruited ‘Titan™’. ‘Krewer™’ is suitable for commercial production, pick-‐your-‐own operations, and home gardens.