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Pink Champagne
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The Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture announces the germplasm release of PINK CHAMPAGNE, a pink-fruited blueberry selection. Due to interest by nurserymen in ornamental and decorative cultivars, this material is being released as germplasm for further evaluation, breeding, and possible commercialization. PINK CHAMPAGNE is predominately Vaccinium corymbosum L. (highbush) with a mixture of other species germplasm in its ancestry. It is a tetraploid and has been evaluated in New Jersey and Michigan.

        PINK CHAMPAGNE is a cross of G-132 x 290?1 and was originally tested as G-435. G-132 is a cross of E?118 [Ashworth (a wild V. corymbosum selection from New York state) x Earliblue] x Bluecrop. 290-1 is a cross of Ashworth x Fla 61-7 [(Berkeley x (V. tenellum Ait. x V. ashei, cv. Callaway)) x (V. corymbosum x V. darrowi Camp)] (see attached pedigree). The cross that produced PINK CHAMPAGNE was made by A.D. Draper at Beltsville, MD. The seedling was selected in 1978 at the Atlantic Blueberry Company in Hammonton, New Jersey. The selection was subsequently evaluated by A.D. Draper between 1981 and 1984, and was also evaluated at Michigan Blueberry Growers (MBG) Association test plots in Grand Junction, Michigan. Its general characteristics are early- to mid-season ripening, moderate to good yields, medium-sized fruit (1.3 g), dark pink fruit-color, good flavor, good scar, and good firmness. PINK CHAMPAGNE was considered second-early ripening in New Jersey, and midseason ripening in Michigan. The evaluations in Michigan, from 2001?2003, observed typical yields of 2.7 kg per bush, with an average first harvest date of July 25. Production was variable in New Jersey; this is probably related to the southern germplasm in the ancestry of PINK CHAMPAGNE, resulting in sporadic flower bud hardiness problems. The bush of PINK CHAMPAGNE is upright and typical of highbush. PINK CHAMPAGNE is recommended primarily for areas where northern highbush are typically grown, but southern germplasm in its ancestry suggests is may also be adapted to more southerly areas.

        This selection has consistently attracted the attention of visiting researchers, nurserymen, and consumers. It is believed that the ongoing interest in this selection reflects their potential appeal for landscape planting and for the novelty/specialty fruit market. This selection is released unconditionally with no warranties given regarding its performance or adaptation under specific environmental or cultural conditions. Nurserymen and researchers may request information on how to obtain propagules by contacting M. K. Ehlenfeldt, USDA?ARS, Marucci Center for Blueberry & Cranberry Research and Extension, 125A Lake Oswego Road, Chatsworth, NJ  08019. If requests for propagules exceed the supply, plants will be equitably divided among requesting parties. 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.



Judith B. St. John                                                            3/2/05

Deputy Administrator, Crop Production and Protection     Date

Agricultural Research Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture


*(This document has been modified from its original form to improve clarity. The original document released PINK CHAMPAGNE and PINK LEMONADE as numbered selections, and combined them in a single release).


For more information about Pink Champagne please contact: Dr. Mark Ehlenfeldt