Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 5, 2011
Publication Date: February 1, 2012
Citation: Stringer, S.J., Draper, A., Marshall, D.A., Spiers, J. 2012. 'Gupton' southern highbush blueberry. HortScience. 47(2):293-295. Interpretive Summary: In order to compete in the lucrative early U.S. fresh blueberry market, growers in the gulf-coast region of the U.S. require vigorous, productive and early ripening blueberry cultivars with good fruit quality. 'Gupton', a new southern highbush blueberry cultivar developed at the UADA-ARS Southern Horticulture Laboratory, was tested over several years in south Mississippi and was found to have outstanding vigor and yield potential, and fruit quality attributes suitable for the early fresh blueberry market. 'Gupton' will provide gulf-coast region blueberry producers with the opportunity to enter the market earlier than with standard rabbiteye blueberry cultivars including 'Climax' and 'Premier'.
Technical Abstract: 'Southern highbush blueberries (Vaccinium sp.) are hybrids derived from crosses between the (northern) highbush blueberry (V. corymbosum) and germplasm developed from Vaccinium spp. that are both native and adapted to the southeastern United States. Southern highbush blueberries have an advantage over rabbiteye blueberries, the predominant type grown in the region, due to their earlier ripening period. As a result, blueberry growers in the southern United States, and other regions with relatively mild winters, have greater opportunities to capitalize on the lucrative early U.S. fresh berry market since the supply of fresh market berries from the southern hemisphere diminishes concurrently with their ripening in the U.S. ‘Gupton’ is a new southern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium hybrid) released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS). ‘Gupton is a mid-season southern highbush blueberry possessing favorable fruit quality attributes including large berries containing high soluble solids content and have excellent flavor and firmness, light blue color, and good resistance to rain-induced physiological splitting. Plants of ‘Gupton’ are upright with narrow crowns, and have good plant vigor.