Attention SHB Blueberry nuts
Just a FYI if you did not already know there is a new BB cultivar "about" to hit the market. The name is Raven and it is the last of the BB developed by Dr. Lyrene before his retirement from the University of Florida. Dr. Lyrene invented I have no idea how many BB both SHB and rabbits but some of his better known varieties are: Abundance, Primadonna, Sweetcrisp, Springhigh, Springwide, Southernbelle, Sebring, Millenia, Windsor, Emerald, Jewel, Bluecrisp....and a BUNCH more.
The last series of BB all had bird names. Bobolink, Meadowlark, Kestrel, Raven.....there is one more that escapes me.
I have already created a 14 plant row for the Ravens and it is my last available BB row. First the good news then the bad....
Raven produces HUGE berries. The average is 4 grams! but it is very common for it to produce nickle and quarter size berries that have exceptionally good flavor 9/10. Has no blight or rot problems. My commercial grower friend that saw the mother bushes said 50%+ of the berries were nickel to quarter size.
Now the "bad" news..... Raven is a late variety. It blooms about the time Star does. Because the fruit is so big it has a large scar. What that means is the cultivar is not going to be popular with the commercial folks as they want very EARLY berries and small scar that packs and ships well. To us home growers the lateness is an advantage as it prolongs the harvest and the plant is much less likely to get damaged by the cold. The scar....also a non issue for the home growers that consume or freeze the berries soon after harvest.
Because it is not going to be a commercial hit it is going to be a pain to get..think sweetcrisps were tough? This one is going to be much much worse. It is very possible these plants will never make it past limited distribution. Only ONE nursery is licensed to produce the plants. I have talked to Dr. Lyrene about this and there are no other options to acquiring the plants.
If anyone is interested let me know, here or via email. I can get the plants in the fall through a friend who is a commercial BB grower. I don't know cost yet or size. They might be 1 gallons they might be liners..... no idea on cost either but won't be expensive. Just trying to gauge interest. I won't make a profit on this just trying to help my fellow BB lunatics out and get plants out that could disappear.
It is kind of sad that the commercial side dictates whether a variety becomes popular or not but that is just how the market works.