|BALLINGTON, J.R. - North Carolina State University|
Submitted to: Botany
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/24/2012
Publication Date: 4/16/2012
Citation: Ehlenfeldt, M.K., Ballington, J. 2012. Vaccinium Species of Section Hemimyrtillus: Their value to cultivated blueberry and approaches to utilization. Botany. 90:347-353.
Technical Abstract: Section Hemimyrtillus represents species that are part of the tertiary gene pool of Vaccinium. Two species of Section Hemimyrtillus, native to the Portuguese islands of Madeira (V. padifolium Smith), and the Azores (V. cylindraceum Smith) have features of notable value to conventional blueberry development; among these, upright structure, strong growth, abundant flowering and fruiting, good self-fertility, acceptable fruit quality, inflorescence structure suited to mechanical harvesting, and repeat flowering. Among these two one is deciduous, one evergreen. Vaccinium arctostaphylos L., a native of the Caucasus region, is closely allied to V. padifolium, hybridizes freely with it, and has many similar characters, but a valuable difference of greater cold hardiness. Although these species are distantly related to conventional blueberries and are difficult to use, notable initial progress has been made at incorporating these species into forms compatible with V. corymbosum-based blueberry cultivars, and further evaluations are being made of both parental material and the derived hybrids.