Submitted to: Journal of the American Pomological Society
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/12/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: `Elliott' is a temperate region northern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.), and is the latest ripening of all highbush cultivars. Interest in `Elliott' has been primarily driven by an interest in having fresh fruit for the late season. With its late ripening season, `Elliott' launched controlled atmosphere storage of blueberries. `Elliott' fruit is inherently acidic and is slow to sweeten. Because of this `Elliott' has incurred resistance from both shippers and consumers. In a survey, `Elliott' was highest in total organic acid, and had the highest citric acid levels. `Elliott' is among the highest in antioxidants of all cultivars. `Elliott' is a high yielding cultivar, consistently outyielding `Bluecrop' in several regions. In the early 1990s, a symptom which came to be referred to as "fruit shrivel" was noted in plots of `Elliott' in Michigan. In this syndrome, a deficit of water flow within the plant causes the fruit to pucker and shrivel. No cause for this has been conclusively established. This review of the characteristics of `Elliott' should be useful to blueberry growers and extension workers.
Technical Abstract: `Elliott' is a temperate region northern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.), and is the latest ripening of all highbush cultivars. In New Jersey, it is typically 50% ripe by July 25, with a 78 day ripening interval. It has a 4 to 5 week harvest season and is well-suited to providing late season fruit for the fresh market. With its late ripening season, `Elliott' launched controlled atmosphere storage in blueberries. `Elliott' fruit is inherently acidic and is slow to sweeten. A survey of organic acid composition showed `Elliott' highest in total organic acid, and highest in relative citric acid composition. Among 87 highbush cultivars, `Elliott' ranked second for antioxidants with levels approximately double the mean of the group. `Elliott' is high yielding, consistently outyielding `Bluecrop' in several regions. Production in Michigan approximates 6 T/acre, and in Oregon it is approximately 10-12 T/acre. `Elliott' is highly resistant to the blight stage of mummy berry and to anthracnose fruit rot, but relatively susceptible to the fruit infecting stage of mummy berry. It is susceptible to a symptom known as "fruit shrivel," in which a deficit of water flow within the plant causes the fruit to shrivel. Studies have shown a physical disruption of the phloem and a pitting of the xylem in fruit peduncles, but no fungi have been linked to shriveling. This syndrome has been observed in Michigan, and with varying severity in other regions.