Submitted to: Acta Horticulture Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 20, 2010
Publication Date: March 14, 2012
Citation: Stringer, S.J., Draper, A., Spiers, J.M., Marshall, D.A. 2012. Pearl southern highbush blueberry. Acta Horticulture Proceedings. 810:87-92. Technical Abstract: The USDA-ARS Southern Horticulture has developed and released a new productive early ripening southern highbush blueberry cultivar, Pearl. 'Pearl', tested as MS 812, came from the cross Bluecrisp X Magnolia. The pedigree of Bluecrisp is unknown but it was tested as Fla 84-40, and Magnolia came from the cross (Harrison x Avonblue) X Fla2-5. The cross was made in Beltsville, Maryland by A.D. Draper and Pearl was selected by S.J. Stringer and A.D. Draper from a seedling population growing in Poplarville, Mississippi in 2000. Plants of 'Pearl' are vigorous and productive with an upright growth habit and narrow crowns. Flowering and ripening occur 7-10 days after 'Star', a widely-grown early-ripening southern highbush blueberry cultivar in the gulf-coast region. Berries of 'Pearl' are large (approximately 3g), have a light blue color, are firm, and have small picking scars and very good flavor.