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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: 'elliott' Highbush Blueberry

Author
item Ehlenfeldt, Mark

Submitted to: Journal of American Pomological Society
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: June 12, 2002
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: `Elliott' is a temperate region northern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.), and is the latest ripening of all highbush cultivars. Interest in `Elliott' has been primarily driven by an interest in having fresh fruit for the late season. With its late ripening season, `Elliott' launched controlled atmosphere storage of blueberries. `Elliott' fruit is inherently acidic and is slow to sweeten. Because of this `Elliott' has incurred resistance from both shippers and consumers. In a survey, `Elliott' was highest in total organic acid, and had the highest citric acid levels. `Elliott' is among the highest in antioxidants of all cultivars. `Elliott' is a high yielding cultivar, consistently outyielding `Bluecrop' in several regions. In the early 1990s, a symptom which came to be referred to as "fruit shrivel" was noted in plots of `Elliott' in Michigan. In this syndrome, a deficit of water flow within the plant causes the fruit to pucker and shrivel. No cause for this has been conclusively established. This review of the characteristics of `Elliott' should be useful to blueberry growers and extension workers.

Technical Abstract: `Elliott' is a temperate region northern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.), and is the latest ripening of all highbush cultivars. In New Jersey, it is typically 50% ripe by July 25, with a 78 day ripening interval. It has a 4 to 5 week harvest season and is well-suited to providing late season fruit for the fresh market. With its late ripening season, `Elliott' launched controlled atmosphere storage in blueberries. `Elliott' fruit is inherently acidic and is slow to sweeten. A survey of organic acid composition showed `Elliott' highest in total organic acid, and highest in relative citric acid composition. Among 87 highbush cultivars, `Elliott' ranked second for antioxidants with levels approximately double the mean of the group. `Elliott' is high yielding, consistently outyielding `Bluecrop' in several regions. Production in Michigan approximates 6 T/acre, and in Oregon it is approximately 10-12 T/acre. `Elliott' is highly resistant to the blight stage of mummy berry and to anthracnose fruit rot, but relatively susceptible to the fruit infecting stage of mummy berry. It is susceptible to a symptom known as "fruit shrivel," in which a deficit of water flow within the plant causes the fruit to shrivel. Studies have shown a physical disruption of the phloem and a pitting of the xylem in fruit peduncles, but no fungi have been linked to shriveling. This syndrome has been observed in Michigan, and with varying severity in other regions.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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