Southern Highbush Blueberry Variety


Arcadia™ is a new mid-season variety best adapted to production regions similar to central and south-central Florida. Plants produce high berry yields when grown in an evergreen management system, and the peak of production (in central and south-central Florida) aligns well with the high-value market window. Plants survive well in the field and have a high tolerance to leaf diseases. Lower yields in northern production regions, combined with a spreading growth habit and less-than-optimal fruit firmness, will make machine harvesting this variety very difficult.

Southern Highbush Blueberry Variety


Emerald is a vigorous, high-yielding plant.  Along with ‘Jewel’, it is one of the main varieties being planted in central Florida for early harvest.  Berries are large and have good shipping qualities.

Southern Highbush Blueberry Variety


‘Jewel’ (US Plant Patent 11,807) (Figure 2) was released from the University of Florida breeding program in 1998, and it is often planted in combination with ‘Emerald’ in central and north-central Florida. The plant is upright, vigorous, high-yielding, and survives well in commercial fields. However, ‘Jewel’ is highly susceptible to blueberry rust leaf spot (Figure 3), and a thorough summer spray program is usually necessary to prevent early fall defoliation. Under low chilling conditions, ‘Jewel’ is susceptible to injury from hydrogen cyanamide.

‘Jewel’ fruit are slightly smaller and softer than ‘Emerald’, but they are acceptable for commercial packing and shipping. Yield potential is high, and internal berry quality is very good, although berries tend to remain tart until fully ripe. ‘Jewel’ is considered a mid-season cultivar for Florida. ‘Jewel’ typically flowers around February 16 in north-central Florida. The first commercial harvest date is usually before April 10, and harvest is typically finished by May 12.

Southern Highbush Blueberry Variety


‘Primadonna’ ripens about 7 days before ‘Star’.  It produces large, high-quality berries on a vigorous, upright bush.  In Florida, ‘Primadonna’ requires careful pruning to induce spring leafing.

Southern Highbush Blueberry Variety


‘Springhigh’ (US Plant Patent 16,476) was released by the University of Florida in 2004. It has become popular as an earlier-ripening addition to ‘Emerald’ and ‘Jewel’, especially in central and south-central Florida. It blooms about a week and a half before ‘Star’ and begins ripening approximately nine days before ‘Star’. Fruit are large and have excellent flavor, but have less waxy bloom, making them appear darker than average, and fruit are softer than most other commercial cultivars. The pack-out for ‘Springhigh’ has been reduced in some years because of a higher than average incidence of soft berries. Picking at frequent intervals during the harvest season is usually necessary to minimize the occurrence of soft fruit in packing and grading lines.