The genus of blueberries Vaccinium, is widespread, with species being found in the Himalayas, New Guinea and the Andean regions of South America. Antioxidants have been found to generate diverse positive impacts on human health and the highest benefits are obtained by the consumption of fresh blueberries. Now the growth demand for fresh blueberry fruit has not only required greater production of fruit during summer but also year-round supply from the southern hemisphere.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rabbiteye Blueberry (V. ashei Reade)

Rabbiteye Blueberry (V. ashei Reade)
This species is native to the river bottoms and swampy, acid soils of southern Georgia and Alabama to northern Florida.

Larger and more vigorous than highbush, the rabbiteye blueberry has a lower chilling requirement (earlier bloom) and generally a longer period from flowering to maturity.

Rabbiteye fruits have a somewhat thicker skin, a larger “button” or sepal scar at the distal end, as well as more (and larger) seeds.

‘Tifblue’, ‘Woodard’, ‘Climax’, ‘Delite’, and ‘Brightblue’ are the mainstay of the industry, but many cultivars are grown commercially.

Production of this species is largely confined to the southeastern United States about 8,000 acres.

Georgia is currently the largest producer of rabbiteye blueberries, with 6,000 acres in the southeastern part of the state allocated for their growth.
Rabbiteye Blueberry (V. ashei Reade)

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