Some new berry varieties for Ontario growers

A few new varieties are making their way to Ontario growers.

Developing a new variety takes time. Once the plant breeder decides to name and release a variety, it has to go through the plant propagation process. It can take several years to multiply a new variety for widespread distribution. Nevertheless, some new varieties are available in small quantities for trial. Here are a few that are worth a look, when you can get your hands on them.

AAC Eden raspberry

Andrew Jamieson, at the AAFC Kentville, Nova Scotia, recently named a new spineless summer-fruiting red raspberry 'AAC Eden' (tested as 'K06-2'). 'AAC Eden'was selected based on fruit size, firmness and fruit flavour. It is a cross between 'Glen Ample' x 'K93-11'. 'AAC Eden' is an early season variety, large fruit size, medium-red in colour, conical in shape with small tight druplets. Growers should try this variety on a small scale until the winter hardiness is determined. However, it is expected to do well in southern Ontario. Finally, a new summer red raspberry! Unfortunately, this variety is not available for trial until 2014.

Figure 1: Eden raspberry. Photo credit Andrew Jamieson, AAFC

Figure 1: Eden raspberry. Photo credit Andrew Jamieson, AAFC

Glen Ample raspberry

This summer-fruiting red raspberry comes from SCRI in Scotland and was released in 1998. It has complex parentage which includes 'Glen Prosen' and 'Meeker'. 'Glen Ample' is a late-season variety, with very large, meaty fruit, with large druplets. It is medium-red in colour, with a dull fruit finish. Canes are spineless. Winter hardiness has not been widely tested but Adam Dale reports it was hardy in both Kemptville and Simcoe, Ontario in observation trials. Glen Ample will be available in small quantities for trial from Strawberry Tyme Farms in 2014.

Canby raspberry

This is an old variety, developed in Oregon from a cross between Viking and Lloyd George. It was popular in the 1950's. Canby was re-discovered by accident by an Ontario grower and is once again being propagated in the Ontario plant propagation program. Canby is very vigorous, with spineless canes, bright red large fruit and very good flavour. It is probably best suited to pick your own and on-farm sales. Information from Oregon in 1953 suggests that Canby is more sensitive to poor soil conditions than most varieties and should not be planted on heavy or poorly drained soil. Canby is from available from Strawberry Tyme Farms in 2013.

Laurel strawberry

'Laurel', formerly tested as K93-20, is a new short-day strawberry cultivar introduced from AAFC-Kentville in 2012. 'Laurel' is from 'Allstar' x 'Cavendish', a cross meant to improve on the firmness, color uniformity, and disease resistance of 'Cavendish'. Ripening in the mid-season, 'Laurel' produces large, aromatic, flavorful fruit especially suited to please pick-your-own and direct marketing customers. Trial marketable yields are best described as medium; the highest being 15 t/ha (~10,700 quarts/acre) in 2011 at Kentville. Growers in eastern Canada who have tested 'Laurel' on a commercial scale have reported acceptable yields of large berries with excellent flavor that are appreciated by discerning customers. 'Laurel' has demonstrated a high level of resistance to red stele root rot and also some tolerance to black root rot. 'Laurel' will be available for trial in 2013 from a few suppliers and more widely available in 2014.

AAC Lila strawberry

Also introduced from AAC-Kentville, NS, in 2012, 'AAC Lila' is a short-day strawberry developed from a cross of 'Queen Elisa' x 'Wendy'. It fruits in mid-season, fruit is consistently shaped, and conical, orange-red to medium red in colour with medium glossiness .This variety is not available for trial until 2014.

Summer Gem strawberry

Adam Dale will announce the release of his new summer-bearing, late season strawberry variety, Summer Gem, at the OBGA annual meeting. This variety is available now from Strawberry Tyme Farms.

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