G.M. Darrow, The Strawberry: History, Breeding and Physiology
One way to illustrate the importance of varieties as parents is to list them as they appear in the parentage of the 23 varieties that constitute 1 percent or more of the acreage of strawberries in the United States. Howard 17 (Premier) is known to be in the ancestry of 20 of the 23 varieties and is probably in the ancestry of both Florida Ninety and Fairfax or in all except Marshall. Missionary is in the parentage of 15 of the 23 leading varieties. The composition of Howard 17 (Premier) is 62 1/2 percent Crescent, 12 1/2 percent Belmont, 61 1/4 percent Cumberland Triumph, 6 1/4 percent Sharpless (still grown in Poland), and 12 1/2 percent unknown. Marshall, Fairfax, Aberdeen and Klondike follow Howard 17 and Missionary in importance as parents.
An example of the value of good ancestry is the steady building up of desirable qualities in the present California varieties by the California breeders.
Percentage of foundation varieties in present California varieties:
|Howard 17 (Premier)||37.5||18.8||31.2||32.8||28.0|
* Cresent is 5/8 of the ancestry of Howard 17, hence enters into the ancestry in a substantial way of every California variety.
This table indicates that the California breeders recognized the value of the qualities in these ancestors, or in varieties already bred from them. Thus, they obtained shipping quality and summer-fruiting from Nich Ohmer, great productiveness and disease resistance from Howard 17 (Premier), high flavor from Royal Sovereign, and large size and high flavor from Marshall.