‘Nocturne' Blueberry: A Winter-hardy Hexaploid Hybrid with Ornamental Fruit and Superior Quality

Monday, July 22, 2013
Desert Ballroom: Salons 7-8 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Mark Ehlenfeldt , USDA–ARS, Marucci Center for Blueberry & Cranberry Research, Chatsworth, NJ
Lisa J. Rowland , USDA–ARS, Genet. Imp. of Fruit & Vegetables Lab., Beltsville, MD
‘Nocturne’ is a winter-hardy, black-fruited, hexaploid blueberry selection with significant rabbiteye ancestry for use as a specialty market plant for homeowner, landscape, and ornamental use. ‘Nocturne’ is a cross of [V. constablaei x NJ 89-158-8 (hexaploid mixed species hybrid)] x ‘Premier’. V. constablaei is a very winter-hardy hexaploid species found at high altitudes in parts of the southeastern United States. The general characteristics of this selection are: an upright, slightly spreading, highbush-type plant with glossy green foliage, and vivid, red-orange, unripe fruit that ripens to large, dark, sweet, interesting-flavored fruit in late-midseason to late season. Evaluations have shown ‘Nocturne’ to have winter hardiness comparable to northern highbush blueberry cultivars, and it has cropped reliably under mid-atlantic conditions. This selection is an offshoot of a winter-hardy rabbiteye development program. The USDA–ARS is patenting and licensing this cultivar.