Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2011
Publication Date: 11/1/2011
Publication URL: handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/58578
Citation: Nesmith, D.S., Ehlenfeldt, M.K. 2011. Summer Sunset: A new ornamental blueberry variety. HortScience. 46:1560-1561. Interpretive Summary: Resurgence in urban gardening has sparked interest in plants for culinary and ornamental use. Plants that meet both culinary and ornamental needs are lacking. In collaboration with the University of Georgia, we have developed a new blueberry cultivar named ‘Summer Sunset’ that has both culinary and ornamental value. The primary features of ‘Summer Sunset’ are the production of an abundance of multi-colored berries during fruit ripening and non-waxy, green foliage, both which make ‘Summer Sunset’ an attractive plant for ornamental purposes that also produces edible fruit. The new variety has shown very good plant vigor and reasonable fruit production. Berries are medium-sized. The new variety ripens coincident with early-ripening commercial rabbiteye blueberry varieties that are available to home gardeners in the Southeast. This research will benefit the wholesale and retail trade for blueberry plant sales and homegardeners.
Technical Abstract: ‘Summer Sunset’ is a new blueberry hybrid (Vaccinium sp.) jointly released by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the University of Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station, and the United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service for the ornamental and homeowner market. The primary features of ‘Summer Sunset’ are the production of an abundance of multi-colored berries as fruit ripens and non-glaucous foliage, which makes it an attractive plant for ornamental purposes that will also produce edible fruit. The new variety has shown very good plant vigor and a reasonable crop load. Berry size has been similar to ‘Climax’, but smaller than ‘Premier’. The new variety ripens around the time as early-ripening commercial rabbiteye blueberry (V. ashei Reade) varieties generally available to home gardeners in the Southeast through retail nursery outlets.