After Pollination Where Does A Seed Grow In A Flower Popular Rabbiteye Blueberry Plant Characteristics

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Popular Rabbiteye Blueberry Plant Characteristics

Introduction

Varieties of rabbit’s eye (Vaccinium ashei) live in the southeastern United States. Florida is home to at least 8 wild blueberry species. Rabbiteye plants are more vigorous, easier to care for and live longer than most southern varieties. . They tolerate drought better than bush blueberries. They can grow adequately in soils with a lower amount of organic material. Rabbiteye blueberries tend to be firmer than the thicker-skinned southern varieties. The seeds are usually slightly clearer than the tall bush. Their post-harvest shelf life is exceptional and usually better than tall bush.

It is not uncommon for large crop losses to occur due to spring freezes. This is especially true for early-season varieties that bloom before mid-season and late-season rabbit eyes. For u-pick growers and home gardeners, late-blooming plants such as Brightwell and Powderblue tend to fruit without frost protection in many locations.

Rabbiteye blueberry plants need cross-pollination with other Rabbiteye varieties to produce crops. That is, they do not pollinate themselves. Therefore, more than one variety is needed to ensure cross-pollination.

In many cases, rabbiteye can be harvested by machine for the local market. Because highbush blueberries and rabbiteye blueberries are similar enough, most consumers don’t notice the difference between the two varieties. Rabbiteyes are generally better suited for u-pick and local sales, while southern tall bushes are better suited for shipping. Blueberry varieties can be divided into three broad categories: early, mid-season and late-season. U-pick growers and home gardeners who do not need early ripening varieties will find that mid-season and late-season varieties are more reliable in producing blueberries.

Five popular varieties of rabbit’s eye

Rabbit blueberry pest

The gall fly is a newly discovered rabbiteye blueberry pest in the southeastern United States. Fly larvae feed inside and destroy flower buds, resulting in low yields. Rabbiteye blueberry cultivars vary greatly in their resistance to gall fly attacks. Powderblue and Brightwell are highly resistant to flower bud damage; Climax and Tifblue are moderately susceptible; and Premier is very responsive. Most southern highbush blueberry cultivars are highly resistant to flower bud damage.

Brightwell released by the University of Georgia in 1983. It is a rabbiteye variety from the Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Tifton, GA. It is an upright, vigorous plant and an extremely consistent producer. It ripens early to mid-season, and its fruits are medium to large with a small dry scar. It has a sweet taste and can be harvested mechanically for the processed or fresh market. Blueberry quality is firm with little or no picking scar. Some consider it to be among the best rabbit eye varieties currently available. The fruit ripens after Climax. The height of a mature bush is 8-12 feet, tall and spreading. Yields of 8-14 pounds per bush are produced at maturity. It is a very productive plant. Cooling requirements are estimated at 350 to 400 cooling hours. Its hardiness zone is from 7 to 9.

Peak was released in 1976 from the University of Georgia. It is an early ripening rabbiteye cultivar. The height of a mature bush is 6-10 feet, tall and spreading. Yields of 8 to 22 pounds per bush can be expected at maturity. It has concentrated ripening and can be harvested by hand or by machine for the fresh market. The fruit is medium in size, has a small scar and has a sweet taste. Climax reliably blooms a lot. Harvesting can be manual or machine harvesting. Decorative use of Climax is good. It has a rounded leaf that is dark green in summer and fiery red from autumn to winter. Climax is one of the leading pollinator varieties for the southern blueberry region. It is very sensitive to blueberry gall fly. It is estimated that 450 to 500 hours of cooling are required. Its hardiness zone is from 7 to 9.

Prime Minister was developed and published at North Carolina State University. It has an early to medium ripening season. It is a strong and fertile plant with fruits of excellent taste, color and size, and the fruits store very well. It is very productive and canes on young plants may not be able to support large amounts of crops. The height of the mature bush is 6-10 meters, tall and upright growth, well leafy. Yields of 8-16 pounds per bush can be expected at maturity. Harvesting is done manually or by machine. Marketing should target early U-Pick, commercial fresh market or processed. Decorative use is good; bright green leaves highlight the bush during the summer. It is very sensitive to blueberry gall fly and should not be planted unless you have a spray program to combat this insect. It is estimated that 550 hours of cooling are required. Its hardiness zone is from 6 to 9.

Tifblue – The University of Georgia released this variety a few years ago and it is intensively planted. It is a mid season ripening rabbiteye variety with medium to large light blue fruits. The quality of the blueberry is good and firm. Tiftblue blueberries are among the tastiest rabbiteye blueberries. The plants are productive, strong, hardy and upright. The height of a mature bush is 8-14 feet, tall and vigorous. On irrigated plantations, yields on mature plants of 8 to 25 pounds per bush can be expected. Harvesting can be done manually or by machine. Tifblue is considered the best decoration for autumn leaf color. Introduced by Otis J. Woodard and the USDA at the University of Georgia Experiment Station in Tifton, GA. The Tifblue Blueberry plant was a discovery in the hybridization of domestic cultivars. Those hybrid blueberry cultivars started the rise of the dramatic commercial rabbiteye blueberry trade that has evolved into a new agricultural blueberry that is reshaping the economy of the South. Tifblue is more cold hardy than most rabbiteye blueberry varieties. For this reason, some think it should be the predominant variety in any planting. However, it has serious problems with fruit cracking during wet weather. It looks like Tifblue may be replaced by Powder blue. It is estimated that 550 to 600 hours of cooling are required. Its hardiness zone is from 7 to 9.

Powder blue is a type of rabbit eye with late ripening. It is strong, upright and easy to grow. It is extremely productive and produces blueberries of medium size, sky blue, very firm, with a small scar when picked and a long shelf life. Powder blue is currently the primary late season rabbiteye cultivar in production. It is similar to Tifblue in terms of harvest characteristics, ripening season and appearance. Thus, two varieties can be harvested together. The plant is quite vigorous, most varieties of tall bushes grow from it. Powder blue has increased yields, rivaling the superior tall bush. Blueberries are medium-sized, quick to harvest, sky blue and resistant to cracking. Powder blue usually cracks less and stays on the plant better than Tifblue. Powder blue is considered a particularly reliable manufacturer. It is estimated that 350 to 400 hours of cooling are required. Powder Blue is recommended for all rabbiteye orchards where premium late season blueberries are desired. Its hardiness zone is from 7 to 9.

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