Submitted to: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Cultivar Release
Publication Type: Germplasm Release
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/29/1994
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: A new southern highbush blueberry cultivar named 'Magnolia' was released by the Small fruit Research Station, Poplarville, MS. This cultivar should be grown in the coastal plain areas of Southeast U. S. 'Magnolia' plants have a spreading growth habit, are medium in height, vigorous, and productive. The fruit is medium in size, has good flavor and color and is firm with a small picking scar. 'Magnolia' plants bloom later and ripen their fruit about two weeks before the earliest rabbiteye cultivars, thus allowing southern growers to market fruit earlier without additional late-spring freeze hazards.
Technical Abstract: The Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, recently released to nurserymen a new southern highbush blueberry cultivar, 'Magnolia', which is relatively low chilling and recommended for trial on the coastal plain areas of Southeast U. S. 'Magnolia', tested as MS162, originated from a cross of (Harrison X Avonblue) X Florida 2-5 made by Paul lLyrene at the University of Florida who sent seedlings to the USDA-ARS blueberry breeders at Poplarville, Mississippi. The seedlings were established in the field in south Mississippi and 'Magnolia' was selected in 1982 by J. M. Spiers, C. L. Gupton and A. D. Draper. Plants of 'Magnolia' have a spreading growth habit and are medium in height, productive and vigorous after field establishment. Small plants require good management in planting to ensure a good stand. Fruit of 'Magnolia' is medium in size, and has good flavor, color and firmness with small picking scar. Plants of 'Magnolia' bloom later and ripen their fruit about two weeks before the earliest rabbiteye cultivars. This cultivar should be interplanted with other southern highbush cultivars to facilitate fruit set, early ripening, and maximum yield. No virus symptoms have been observed. It is recommended that this new cultivar be planted for trial in areas where southern highbush blueberries are grown successfully, roughly corresponding to the Gulfcoast Region of USDA plant hardiness zone 8. Genetic material of this release will be deposited in the National Plant Germplasm System where it will be available for research purposes, including development and commercialization of new cultivars.