United States Department of Agriculture
Agriculture Research Service
Washington, D.C. 20250
Notice to Nurserymen of the naming and release of
a hybrid blueberry intended for the processing trade
The Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, hereby releases to nurserymen a hybrid blueberry cultivar, LITTLE GIANT, which produces fruit well-suited for freezing and processing. It is recommended for trial in the blueberry growing areas of North Carolina, New Jersey, southern Michigan, Oregon, and Washington. LITTLE GIANT, tested as US 57, originated from the cross V. constablaei x T-65 [ 'Walker' x ('Myers' x 'Black Giant')], and is a cross of two hexaploid Vaccinium species, V. constablaei and V. ashei. LITTLE GIANT was selected in 1967 by A.D. Draper as breeding germplasm, but was subsequently recognized as having desirable qualities for processing.
Plants of LITTLE GIANT are medium in height, 4.5 to 5 feet, and medium in productivity. LITTLE GIANT fruit is dark blue, small in size, has good flavor and a very small picking scar. The fruit ripening is concentrated and occurs in late July to early August in northern growing areas, typically about 2 weeks later than 'Bluecrop'.
It is recommended that plants of this cultivar be planted for trial in all but the coldest regions of northern highbush blueberry production. Since LITTLE GIANT is a hybrid of hexaploid species, one being the rabbiteye blueberry, it is recommended that it be interplanted with highbush blueberry cultivars for cross-pollination.
Nurserymen may request information on how to obtain propagations by contacting M. K. Ehlenfeldt, USDA-ARS Blueberry & Cranberry Research Center, Lake Oswego Road, Chatsworth, NJ 08019. Requests for plants will be prorated if demand exceeds the supply. Genetic material of this release will be deposited in the National Plant Germplasm System where it will be available for research purposes, including the development and commercialization of new cultivars.
K.D. Murrell, November 29, 1995
(for Administrator) Agricultural Research Service
For more information about Little Giant please contact:
Dr. Mark Ehlenfeldt