[nafex] Ka-Bluey Blueberry
phainopepla at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 9 15:08:54 EDT 2014
Apologies if this already went through, I'm having trouble with my email this morning.
Ka-Bluey is the trademarked name of a blueberry licensed exclusively to the Gardens Alive! group of companies, so Gardens Alive, Gurneys, Henry Fields etc. are the only place you will find it. It was developed at the University of Arkansas and tested under the selection number A-257. Here is the description from the breeder published in the Brooks and Olmo register:
A mid-early season blueberry with distinct flavor suitable for home gardens. Origin: Univ. of Arkansas, by J.R. Clark, J.N. Moore, and A.D. Draper. US 73 x G-526; selected 1988; tested as A-257; introd. 2005. Fruit: med. to med.-small, 1.4 g; medium-dark; flavor very distinct, often described as ‘‘peach like’’; good scar; crisp texture; ripens 27 May in Clarksville, AR; Plant: selected in low organic matter, non-amended soil and has good vigor in mineral soils; upright to slightly spreading growth habit; early blooming, 3 Mar. early bloom and 50% bloom 4 Apr. (Bluecrop 11 Apr.); believed to be self-pollinating; chilling requirement not fully determined but estimated to be 500–800 h; no diseases observed in Arkansas.
As has been mentioned before, it was never formally released and was kept as a parent because of the dark color. Lighter color (really it is a persistent waxy bloom that can be rubbed off) is an important criteria for fresh market blueberries, though not so much for processing. That said, few people plant blueberries commercially anymore solely for processing - they usually only sell there if they can't make grade for the fresh market, or if their fresh packer is inundated with enough volume that they have to go to processing. Processed berries don't recieve as good of a price, and the only market in the areas where this was developed for, are for fresh.
The University of Arkansas breeding program was (last time I talked to John Clark, they were no longer doing blueberry crosses and were finishing evaluations on the last round of selections) geared toward developing berries for the upper south with the heat tolerance and quality of the southern highbush types, like those grown in Florida and south-coastal North Carolina, with enough chilling and cold tolerance to do OK in a more continental climate. This was developed in a zone 6 climate and has a high degree of southern highbush germplasm (on both sides of the pedigree) in its ancestry. Not to discourage people from giving it a try, but I would say that it is more likely than not that it won't have sufficient mid-winter cold hardiness for the flower buds to survive reliably in northern climates and that it's lower chilling requirement and early bloom will make those flower buds that do survive the winter more susceptible to frost injury.
Michael (blueberry, raspberry and strawberry breeder)
Mission, British Columbia
Michael at Mdossettphoto.com
phainopepla at yahoo.com
On Wednesday, April 9, 2014 10:59 AM, Steve <sdw12986 at aol.com> wrote:
Actually, late last night I found this:
This must be the discussion I read and I forgot most of the details. I
remember that I read it a little over a year ago, but it was all written
a few years ago. I must have searched for it (or just discussions about
blueberries) last year.
On 4/9/2014 7:26 AM, Richard J. Ossolinski wrote:
> On Apr 8, 2014, at 11:57 PM, Steve wrote:
>> More than a year ago, there was a discussion on our group, here, about
>> a highly flavored blueberry that a few members liked. I intended to
>> order a plant or two last spring but circumstances prevented me from
>> following through with that. Now, the only thing I remember about the
>> conversation is that Gardens Alive sells it on their website under
>> their own name.
>> I just checked the Gardens Alive site and I'm sure their Ka-Bluey
>> variety is the one. What is the name of this blueberry when other
>> places sell it?
>> Maybe it's lucky that I didn't plant blueberries last year. This
>> winter would have been rough on them to say the least. The snow cover
>> didn't come until mid winter and prior to that the temperatures went
>> down to -30, or close to it, several times. Does anyone here grow that
>> variety where conditions get that cold?
>> I've been meaning to plant a group of blueberries for literally
>> decades. It's time to get on with it and do it!
>> Steve in the Adirondacks
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