Defective soft flesh colored drupelets on blackberries?

lsohJuly 26, 2013

This is the first year for my blackberries. They are triple crowns growing in containers. I've never seen blackberries this large. Wow.

However, some of my blackberries are defective. For reference, as the backberries ripen they morph from white to red to black. When I was a kid, the "big box" of crayons had one labeled "flesh" color. On a percentage of my berries, some of the drouplets are "flesh" colored and mushy soft, while the surrounding areas are starting to turn black and are still hard. On some berries, it effects only a few drupelets. On other berries, it effects most of the berry with only a few normal drupelets. As the berry continues to ripen, the normal surrounding druplets swell, sort of crowding out the defective areas. The defective areas are turning brown and drying up sort of like a fall leaf.
I haven't tasted these because the berries aren't ripe yet.

What's wrong? What's the solution?


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shazaam(NC 7B)

I have the same problem. While it's often blamed on UV radiation, there still appears to be some uncertainty as the to the exact cause (as you can see here).

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Do a search for 'white drupelet disorder'.
As shaz says, there's still uncertainty about the cause, but some varieties, like my fave, Kiowa, are well-known to be afflicted on a regular basis.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 3:04PM
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The expert plant breeders at the Oregon research station state that this phenomenon is UV (sunlight) caused.

Triple Crown berries are very susceptible to UV damage. The solution is patience (the sun angle decreases rapidly in coming weeks); often the later-ripening berries are less damaged.

Shade cloth is effective for prevention. Aligning the rows north-south avoids one side of the row getting all the sun.

If a damaged berry has a few bad drupelets, allow them to dry out and enjoy the resulting "crunchy" berry. Slightly damaged berries can be used for juice and puree. When the berries are in the "fleshy" mode, there is an off flavor.

Your berries are not defective, they are just a variety prone to UV damage. Here it occurs above 90 degrees and 30% or lower humidity.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 3:27AM
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    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 8:42AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

That's a good tip about letting the white drupelets to dry out. This year I've discovered that even when there are a lot of white drupelets, you can chew the berry and spit the dried out hunk out.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 12:45AM
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