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New Plum Variety Released

By Sharon Durham
July 30, 2004

Ruby Queen, a high-quality, late-ripening plum well adapted to the humid climate of the southeastern United States, has recently been released by the Agricultural Research Service.

W. R. Okie and his colleagues at the ARS Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory in Byron, Ga., selected the Ruby Queen seedling in 1985 for testing, after three years of development.

Ruby Queen has performed well in central Georgia, New Jersey and New York and is recommended for trial in areas with similar climates.

The fruit ripens in mid- to late July at Byron, about three to four weeks after Santa Rosa and Morris, two other plums commonly grown in Georgia. No other plums are available to ripen at this time. Ruby Queen's skin color is dark-red to reddish-black, with firm red flesh and outstanding flavor. The plum is round and about two inches in diameter. Tests conducted by research collaborators in New York show the flesh to have high antioxidant levels.

Ruby Queen is compatible with common peach rootstocks such as Guardian and Lovell. Budded trees are moderately vigorous with somewhat upright growth. Ruby Queen appears to be moderately resistant to bacterial spot disease and bacterial canker disease.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.