Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/30/2009
Publication Date: 4/2/2010
Citation: Ledbetter, C.A. 2010. ‘Bolaroja’ and ‘Primarosa’: Two New Mid Season Apricots for the Fresh Market. HortScience. 45(3): 441-442.
Interpretive Summary: California orchards provide 90% of the apricots grown domestically to the fresh and processing markets. High quality apricot varieties which are suitable for cultivation in the hot San Joaquin Valley are in demand by apricot producers to take advantage of the early and profitable marketing season. Using traditional breeding methods, two new apricots named Bolaroja and Primarosa have been introduced for propagation and production. Both Bolaroja and Primarosa are extremely productive in the southern growing districts, and have better fruit quality as compared to apricot varieties of the same maturity season that are currently being grown. The higher fruit quality of these two new varieties is expected to have a significant impact on consumer purchases of fruit during the middle part of the apricot marketing season. Maintaining high quality fruit on the supermarket shelves during the early and mid-season is imperative in gaining repeat sales at times later in the apricot season.
Technical Abstract: ‘Bolaroja’ and ‘Primarosa’ are two new high-color mid season apricots developed by the Agricultural Research Service Prunus breeding program in Parlier, California, and released for propagation in 2009. These new cultivars are self-incompatible and require other cultivars to facilitate pollination and fruit set. With appropriate pollenizers, both new apricots are extremely productive. ‘Bolaroja’ fruit mature with the major tonnage cultivar ‘Castlebrite,’ with ‘Primarosa’ beginning to ripen as ‘Bolaroja’ completes its harvest period. ‘Primarosa’ harvest typically ends prior to the beginning of ‘Lorna’ apricot. At commercial maturity, sun exposed fruit of ‘Bolaroja’ acquire a strong pink overcolor with dense dark orange flesh, while ‘Primarosa’ fruit are bi-colored; having a strong red blush on sun exposed surfaces over a bright orange skin color. Fruit of both new cultivars have an acceptable postharvest life at commercial maturity and fruit quality has had a favorable reception from limited consumer trials.