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Pink Lemonade
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The Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture announces the germplasm release of PINK LEMONADE, 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 LEMONADE is a hexaploid that is half V. ashei Reade (rabbiteye) and half synthetically-derived, hexaploid, highbush-type germplasm. It has been evaluated in New Jersey and Oregon. PINK LEMONADE was partially derived from a pink-fruited sibling of 'Pink Champagne' (i.e. G-434), thus the two selections are related, even though they possess different ploidy levels.

        PINK LEMONADE is a cross of NJ 89?158?1 x Delite (V. ashei) and was originally tested as ARS 96-138. The female parent, NJ 89?158?1 came from a cross of two triploids, NJ 856?1 x NJ 859?1 made by Dr. Nicholi Vorsa (Rutgers University). The clone NJ 856?1 is a cross of G-434 (a sibling of 'Pink Champagne') x NJ 85-CS (an albino-fruited, wild, 2x selection of V. corymbosum). The clone NJ 859?1 is a cross of V. darrowi>Florida 4B= x Rancocas (see attached pedigree). The cross that produced PINK LEMONADE was made by M.K. Ehlenfeldt at Chatsworth, New Jersey in 1991. PINK LEMONADE was selected in 1996 by M.K. Ehlenfeldt at the Marucci Center for Blueberry & Cranberry Research and Extension, Chatsworth, NJ. The selection was subsequently evaluated by M.K. Ehlenfeldt between 1996 and 2004, and also evaluated at USDA-ARS/Oregon State University test plots in Corvallis, Oregon. Its general characteristics are, mid-late- to late-season ripening, moderate yields, medium-sized, glossy fruit, bright pink fruit-color, mild pleasant flavor, and good firmness.   The bush of PINK LEMONADE is vigorous, upright, and full. Leaves are glossy green and lanceolate, with a serrated leaf margins. Leaf surface texture is smooth, very similar to that of V. ashei. Limited observations suggest that PINK LEMONADE has some resistance to the blighting phase of Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi (mummy berry).  Flowering time is similar to other southern blueberry germplasm, with flowers developing earlier than hardy northern cultivars such as Bluecrop. Plants are hardy in New Jersey, but fruit production is irregular, producing reduced, or no crops in years with late spring frosts, and moderate crops in years with mild spring temperatures. Cropping ability is most likely related to flower bud deacclimation and hardiness in spring. The ideal area of adaptation of PINK LEMONADE is unknown, but its background suggests that it might perform equally well, or better, in milder climates, including areas where rabbiteye cultivars can be grown. Because of the inherent self-fertility problems of rabbiteye germplasm, it is recommended that another rabbiteye cultivar be planted with PINK LEMONADE to ensure good cross-pollination. In some southerly locales, 'Florida Rose', a pink-fruited cultivar recently released by the University of Florida, may be suitable for this purpose.

     This selection has consistently attracted the attention of visiting researchers, nurserymen, and consumers. It is believed that the ongoing interest in this selection reflects its 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. 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 Lemonade please contact: Dr. Mark Ehlenfeldt