G.M. Darrow, The Strawberry: History, Breeding and Physiology
THE NINETEENTH CENTURY in America witnessed the establishment of commercial strawberry production - from 1800 to 1858, the native Virginian varieties were mostly grown; then, with the advent of hardy, large-fruited varieties, came the great expansion from 1858 to 1880, when acreage increased 50-fold and growing areas extended to the farthest boundaries of the country; and lastly, toward the end of this period, the introduction of hundreds of varieties whose screening was necessary in order to determine their adaptability to certain areas. After 1900, and extending to the present, began the later period which involved on the part of breeders and breeding work the increasingly considered selection of varieties for their ability to replace older varieties in particular regions. This process still continues (see Figs. 10-1, 10-2, 10-3, 10-4, 10-5, 10-6, 10-7,10-8). For the whole country, acreage is not expanding, but areas of production shift, owing to advantages of labor, industrialization, and changing varieties whose adaptation to certain areas makes them especially valuable. Production per acre is increasing, owing mainly to better varieties and the development of agricultural techniques for intensive cultivation.
Nine especially notable strawberry varieties were grown in the first half of the present century: Marshall, Klondike, Missionary, Dunlap, Howard 17 (Premier), Aberdeen, Blakemore, Fairfax, and Aroma. All of these varieties are still known today; but the Blakemore alone of the nine is still important in acreage, having been replaced only in part. Although Dunlap has been most notable for its hardiness, and for its extension of strawberry growing farther north, it is also notable as a parent of hardy everbearing varieties. One other variety was outstanding as an ancestor. Nich Ohmer, introduced in 1898, was never widely grown but is found to the extent of 25 to 30 per cent in every California variety.
(1) Marshall (Plate 10-1, a chance seedling), was found in 1890 by Marshall F. Ewell of Marshfield Hills, which is just south of Boston, Mass., and was introduced in 1893. Though less hardy than many varieties, it was hardy enough to be widely, but not heavily, grown in northern states from about 1900 to 1910. Then it was found to be adapted to the milder climate of western Washington, Oregon, and California, where it became the dominant variety; from about 1905 to 1945 in California, and from 1905 to about 1958 in Oregon and Washington. In the 1940's, it was replaced in California by the larger, more productive and less virus-susceptible variety Shasta, and in Oregon and Washington in the 1950's by the hardier, more virus-tolerant, and more productive variety Northwest. At present it may still compose as much as 4 percent of the total acreage set to strawberries, but is being replaced rapidly by Northwest.
As the Marshall is large leafed, relatively large-fruited, deep red, and of high flavor, its parents would have been varieties with these characteristics, and Marshall could hardly have been a cross with the wild Virginian. The varieties grown in the late nineteenth century which might have been parents of Marshall are now lost. Undoubtedly they were rich in Hovey blood. Among the likely larger-fruited, although lighter-colored varieties which could have been parents of Marshall would be President Wilder and Bubach, but other combinations of varieties of the 1880's may have been the source. Bubach, itself of unknown parentage, was like Marshall in being soft, irregular in shape, large and of high flavor, but its color was light red. President Wilder (Hovey x La Constante) was large but round-conic to obtuse, light scarlet with light flesh, sweet, and of high flavor also.
Marshall remained important for so long because of its high flavor and its suitability for freezing and preserving. The berries became mushy after freezing, but held their flavor and their deep red color. While it was important in the development of the great freezing industry of Oregon and Washington, its limitations were its soft flesh, average productiveness, and non-hardy, virus-susceptible plants. Marshall has entered into the ancestry of several leading varieties of today: Northwest, Robinson, Catskill and all the varieties grown in California, such as Shasta, Lassen, Siletz, Goldsmith, Solana, Tioga, Fresno and Torrey.
(2) Klondike. This variety, introduced in 1901, was originated by R.L. Cloud, a railroad shipping agent of Independence, Louisiana, who knew that a better shipping variety was needed and bred one. Its parentage was given by Mr. Cloud as Pickerproof x Hoffman. Very soon it became the standard variety of the entire southern United States, excepting the central and southern Florida areas; and for over 30 years, until after the introduction of the Blakemore, it was the leading variety in the United States. Probably over a million acres of it have been grown. The Blakemore, a still firmer variety, replaced it in most of the South in the 1930's, while Klonmore replaced it in Louisiana. It is now grown only in the plateau region near Irapuato, Mexico, for freezing.
Klondike possessed many of the characteristics of the Wilson - it was acid, deep red, of medium size, produced runners freely, and withstood neglect. It also was moderately productive and withstood the heat of southern summers. It was liked for freezing, because of its rich red color and its acidity. Its chief limitations were its susceptibility to leaf scorch and leaf spot, its medium size, and lack of firmness. Blakemore replaced it because of its firmer, brighter fruits and Klonmore because of its resistance to leaf spot.
Klondike is in the parentage of Klonmore, Headliner, and Dabreak - varieties that replaced it in the Louisiana region.
(3) Missionary (Plate 10-1). Missionary was found about 1900 as a chance seedling by Nathaniel Gohn, Deep Creek, near Norfolk, Virginia, and was introduced in 1906. At that time Hoffman was the standard southern variety and may well have been one of Missionary's parents. The other parent may have been some other southern variety, such as Lady Thompson or Michel, or it may even have been a native Virginian. Many varieties with Missionary in their ancestry have a flavor of berry not found in other breeding lines, and one which is distasteful to some people. Missionary quickly became the leading variety in eastern Virginia, eastern North Carolina, and in southern Florida. It was found to require less chilling; and it grew and fruited better than other varieties in the semitropics of central and southern Florida and central America with their shorter photoperiods. When ripe, it was acid, deep red, and pointed with a distinct shoulder. It was a fairly good shipping variety, especially as grown in Florida. Its limitations were that it became soft in warm weather and that it was only moderately productive in Florida. Along the Atlantic Coast, it was replaced by Blakemore and recently in Florida by Florida Ninety.
Missionary has been notable as a parent and has entered into the ancestry of many major varieties: Northwest, Blakemore, Headliner, Tennessee Beauty, Dixieland, Florida Ninety, Lassen, Pocahontas, Albritton, Earlidawn, Surecrop, Armore, Dabreak, and Klonmore. It is represented in the ancestry of present-day varieties more than any other variety except Howard 17 (Premier). California breeders do not think much of Missionary.
(4) Dunlap (Plate 10-1). Though originated in 1890, Dunlap was not introduced until 1900. It resulted from one of the crosses by Rev. J.R. Reasoner of Illinois; according to him, probably Crescent x Cumberland Triumph. Extremely hardy, widely adapted, highly flavored, irregular-shaped, rich red, and attractive, it made an ideal garden variety. For fifty years it has been an important variety in northern states and Canada. It is still grown to a slight extent in north-central states where hardiness is a major factor. Farther south, in Maryland, it is too soft, too subject to leaf spot, and does not have the high flavor it has in northern regions. Its softness is its most serious limitation; its susceptibility to leaf spot is also serious. Howard 17 (Premier) proved more productive, and therefore it together with Catskill, and Sparkle gradually replaced Dunlap wherever they were hardy enough.
Dunlap has been most important as one parent of everbearing varieties, contributing hardiness, vigor, and high flavor. It was the pollen parent of Progressive and through Progressive has entered into the parentage of other everbearers: Rockhill, Gem, Red Rich, Twentieth Century, Ozark Beauty, Ogallala, and others. Its pedigree indicates that Dunlap has a rather low percentage of Virginiana blood, but its appearance and performance belie this.
(5) The Howard 17 (Premier) variety (Plate 10-1), originated by A.B. Howard and tested and introduced by his son (E.C. Howard) of Belchertown, Massachusetts, is and has been for forty years one of the important strawberries, both because of its wide commercial use and its value in breeding. lt was a cross of Crescent x Howard 1 (see p. 181). Fletcher (1916) dates its introduction about 1909 when it and many other seedlings were given limited distribution by E.C. Howard. Among those obtaining plants was E.H. Riehl of Illinois. A little over two years later, in the summer of 1911, Mr. Riehl supplied the Kellogg Company of Michigan with fifty plants of "a seedling found in his vineyard ... probably a seedling of the Howard 17 (Premier)." The Howard 17 (Premier) would have fruited first at Riehl's place in 1910. lt is impossible that seed from the Howard 17 (Premier) could have produced a seedling clone that fruited first in 1911, that it could have been tested and then furnished Riehl fifty plants to send to the Kellogg Company the same summer that it was first selected. Premier was introduced in 1915. As Howard 17 it was introduced widely by C.E. Chapman of North Stonington, Connecticut, in the spring of 1918. A discussion as to the identity of the two varieties began in 1920; and most observers considered the foliage identical but the fruit different.
However, in general, through thirty years from about 1920 to about 1950 most people considered the two identical. Then, after virus-free plants of what was called Howard 17 were obtained and none was obtained of Premier, the two were compared and a discussion concerning them arose similar to that of thirty years earlier. The majority of careful observers now consider the foliage of the two to be indistinguishable, while what is called Premier does not usually make so many runner plants as the virus-free Howard 17: Some Premier stocks in fact made far too few. The majority of observers also consider the fruit of virus-free Howard 17 to be somewhat lighter red and softer, and, where stands of Premier can be obtained, they think it should be preferred.
If Premier and Howard 17 are identical, virus may have made the fruit of what is now called Premier somewhat darker. If plants of Premier could be freed of virus, comparable plants of the two might be tested. Again, possibly the virus in Premier might be transferred to clean Howard 17 by grafting and the resultant stocks then compared. As a third test, resistance to some disease, such as Verticillium, may be found in Premier but not in Howard 17, which would indicate a genetic difference.
However, the Howard 17 (Premier) is gradually becoming of less importance as promising new varieties with Howard 17 in their ancestry are being widely tested. Premier was widely tested from 1915 to 1919 and was mentioned as a new variety in the 1919 edition of Farmers' Bulletin 1043 (written in 1917); in the 1926 revision (written in 1925) Howard 17 (Premier) was estimated to be grown on 16 percent of the total strawberry acreage of the country and as the second in importance in the United States. The estimate today is that it consists of not over 2 percent of the total acreage, and it is being steadily replaced by Earlidawn, Sparkle, Midway, Pocahontas, and Midland - all with Howard 17 in their ancestry.
Table 1 gives twenty-five principal varieties (based on acreage) in the United States in 1964 - with the percent of the total acreage composed by each variety. It also gives the parentage, if the variety had Howard 17 in its ancestry. This table indicates that varieties derived in part from Howard 17, and including Howard 17, make up at least 92 percent of the total acreage.
Two other tables pertinent to Howard 17 may be found in the appendix. Table 2 gives the names of thirty-nine varieties having Howard 17 as one parent, some of which have been introduced too recently to have been fully evaluated by growers and some of which have already been dropped. Table 3 lists eighty-two other varieties having Howard 17 in their parentage. Some varieties, as for example Fairfax, whose parentage is uncertain, or which trace back to Fairfax (as does Sparkle), probably have Howard 17 in their parentage. Florida Ninety is an open-pollinated seedling of Missionary and is perhaps a cross of Missionary x Klonmore. Of the important varieties of the United States not derived from Howard 17, Marshall, Klondike, and Dunlap are varieties older than Howard 17, and Aberdeen is of unknown parentage and may have Howard 17 in its ancestry.
|PERCENT OF ACREAGE|
Howard 17 or
|Northwest||(Howard 17 in ancestry)||18|
|Blakemore||Missionary x Howard 17||14|
|Shasta||(Howard 17 in ancestry)||6|
L7-27 (Suwannee x Klonmore)
x L7-42 (Suwannee x Konvoy)
|Tennessee Beauty||Missionary x Howard 17||5|
|Dixieland||Tennessee Shipper x Midland||4|
|Sparkle||(Howard 17 in ancestry)||4|
|Robinson||Howard 17 x Washington||4|
|Midway||Dixieland x Temple||4|
|Catskill||Marshall x Howard 17||3|
|Florida Ninety||Seedling of Missionary||3*|
|Lassen||(Howard 17 in ancestry)||3|
|Pocahontas||Tennessee Shipper x Midland||3|
|Albritton||(Howard 17 in ancestry)||2|
|Earlidawn||(Howard 17 in ancestry)||2|
|Howard 17 (Premier)||2|
|Jerseybelle||(Howard 17 in ancestry)||2|
|Siletz||(Howard 17 in ancestry||2|
|Surecrop||(Howard 17 in ancestry)||2|
|Armore||Blakemore x Aroma||1|
|Dabreak||(Howard 17 in ancestry)||1|
|Dunlop||Crescent x Cumberland Triumph||1|
|Klonmore||(Howard 17 in ancestry)||1|
|Goldsmith||(Howard 17 in ancestry)||1|
(Nearly all have Howard 17in
|*Possibly Howard 17 in ancestry, see text|
The qualities for which Howard 17 so rapidly became a major variety in northern United States were: (1) high resistance to leaf spot and leaf scorch diseases; (2) relatively high tolerance to virus diseases; (3) early cessation of runner initiation with formation of many crowns, and early flower bud initiation (late August and early September) (see p. 332); (4) frost-hardy flowers; (5) relatively large, bright red, good flavored berries; (6) high productivity. New varieties (except for Earlidawn and Midland) replacing Howard 17 (Premier) are mostly later ripening. Howard 17 (Premier) is being replaced for the following reasons: Earlidawn and Midland are slightly earlier, firmer, and much better for freezing, and Midland, though not frost resistant, is much higher in flavor and far better for freezing. Like Howard 17 (Premier), both cease to initiate runners and start branch crowns and fruit buds in late summer. Catskill and Pocahontas are early midseason varieties of larger size, higher flavor, and better qualities for freezing. Pocahontas is also firmer than Howard 17 (Premier). Sparkle, a late midseason variety, liked for freezing, has higher flavor, greater beauty, and is resistant to the presently common race of the red stele root disease. Thus, by 1965 standards Howard 17 (Premier) lacks size, flavor, firmness, freezing qualities, and beauty. It is still one of the most productive varieties, one of the most resistant to leaf diseases and to frost, one of the most tolerant to virus diseases, and it has the desirable habit of producing many crowns.
Howard 17 (Premier) has been affected by genetic variegation, which in the late 1920's and early 1930's was serious in this variety. In recent years no reports of variegation have been made and propagation from variegation-free stocks seems to have eliminated the trouble. Although the gene or genes for variegation have been passed on to many of its descendants, such a gene may, of course, have come from the other parent as well. Among its descendants variegation has been noted in Blakemore, Dixieland, Klonmore, Tennessee Beauty, Bellmar, Fairmore, and Wisconsin 537. It is possible that crosses using the present non-variegating strains of a variety may have less tendency to variegate than did the older stocks.
Howard 17 (Premier) is said to have been one of about 25,000 seedlings raised by the Howards and certainly it is one of the most important varieties in the history of the strawberry. George Slate in 1931 reported that Howard 17 (Premier) was an outstanding parent in his breeding work (Slate, 1931). Twelve years later he again emphasized the value of Howard 17 as a parent in breeding (Slate, 1943). The writer also noted that Howard 17 (Premier) was a fine parent and that about 40 percent of his selections being grown in 1933 had Howard 17 (Premier) as one parent (Darrow, 1934).
(6) Aberdeen (Plate 10-1). This variety was originated by J.E. Kuhns, a strawberry grower of Cliffwood, New Jersey, which is situated not far from the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Kuhns was growing Glen Mary, Chesapeake, and Late Stevens about the time he obtained the Aberdeen and decided to introduce it. He was in the habit of testing many new varieties, of making crosses, and growing seedlings of those that interested him without keeping a record of their ancestry. He regularly had a field of several hundred seedlings under test. As early as 1910 he had promising varieties, some of which he introduced. A letter from his son, W.W. Kuhns, in 1963 states that the elder Mr. Kuhns had said that a cross with the vigor of Late Stevens and quality of Chesapeake would be a great berry. The son also said that if a seedling was from these two it had the vigor of Late Stevens but not much of the qualities of Chesapeake, though he grew it for twenty-five years as his most profitable variety. Seed must have been sown as early as 1910, for by 1917 Mr. Kuhns had tested the selections and had a row of Aberdeen about 300 feet long. Aberdeen was first reported as promising by J.H. Clarke, of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, in 1924. In 1927 he reported that it had fruited for four years and was promising each year (Clarke, 1927). Its most serious weakness was that it was too soft to ship, even though it outyielded Howard 17 (Premier). Occasionally having high flavor, it is a free plant maker, producing large, medium red, soft, and mildly subacid fruit. In the 1930's it was grown in New Jersey quite widely on heavier soils and in other northeastern states. In 1935, Anderson of Illinois reported that Aberdeen was red stele-resistant, thus becoming of great importance. In that year, A.S. Colby, of the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, made the cross Mastodon x Aberdeen. A high percentage (63.5 percent) of the resulting seedlings showed resistance to the disease. Clarke, in New Jersey, was already using Aberdeen as a parent and had made selections that were introduced as Pathfinder and Sparkle, both of which showed resistance. The U.S. Department of Agriculture made the cross Aberdeen x Fairfax to produce Temple which was selected in 1939 and introduced in 1943. Temple, Fairland, and Sparkle replaced Aberdeen as desirable red stele resistant varieties.
(7) Blakemore (Plate 10-2). This variety was originated by G.M. Darrow, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a cross of Missionary x Howard 17, made in 1923 and selected in 1925. It was sent out for trial in the spring of 1927 and later that year tests by Lathrop of the National Preservers Association indicated that it was superior for preserving. In 1928, in tests by Dearing at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture Station at Willard, N.C., it was considered to be outstanding as a shipping variety for the South and it was introduced through that Station and cooperating nurseries in 1929. Its resistance to leaf spot and leaf scorch, its tolerance to virus diseases, its attractive scarlet fruit, its firmness for shipping, its superiority for preserving, and its greater productiveness as compared with Klondike, led to a quick replacement of Klondike by Blakemore except in southern Louisiana and in Florida. It replaced Missionary in Virginia and North Carolina. Blakemore was grown as far north as southern New Jersey, but has since been replaced there by newer varieties, first by Sparkle and then Jerseybelle, and in Maryland and Virginia by Pocahontas, Dixieland, Earlidawn, and red stele-resistant varieties.
When Blakemore was selected only 64 seedlings of the cross were grown. One other selection of the same progeny was named the Bellmar. It was larger, less acid, less firm, slightly deeper red, and several days later than Blakemore. It did not succeed, partly because it was not as firm and partly because virus diseases made it less productive under many conditions. Later large numbers of seedlings of the same cross were grown and the Suwannee was named for its very high dessert quality, which is perhaps the best in the United States. It is less tolerant of virus, however, and has nearly disappeared. A stock free of virus has been obtained by Dr. John McGrew.
|1938||Pathfinder||Howard 17 x Aberdeen||N.J. Agric. Expt. Station|
|1943||Sparkle||Fairfax x Aberdeen||N.J. Agric. Expt. Station|
|1943||Temple||Fairfax x Aberdeen||U.S.D.A. & Md. Agric. Expt. Sta.|
|1947||Auchincruive Climax||TD-8 x Aberdeen||Scottish Hort. Station|
|1947||Fairland||Aberdeen x Fairfax||U.S.D.A.|
|1949||Redcrop||Aberdeen x Fairfax||N.J. Agric. Expt. Station|
|1950||Vermilion||Redstar x Pathfinder||Ill. Agric. Expt. Station|
|1952||Maine 55||Howard 17 x Aberdeen||Me. Agric. Expt. Station|
|1952||Monmouth||Aberdeen x Howard 17||Me. Agric. Expt. Station|
|1952||Orland||Aberdeen x Howard 17||Me. Agric. Expt. Station|
|1953||Plentiful||Redstar x Pathfinder||Ill. Agric. Expt. Station|
|1954||Stelemaster||Fairland x Md-683||U.S.D.A.|
((Lupton x Aberdeen) x Fairfax x
(Pathfinder x Fairfax)
|N.J. Agric. Expt. Station|
|1955||Talisman||NJ-1051 x Auchincruive Climax||Scottish Hort. Station|
|1956||Puget Beauty||US-Oreg. 1765 x Sparkle||Wash. Agric. Expt. Station|
|1956||Redglow||Fairland x Tennessee Shipper||U.S.D.A.|
|1956||Surecrop||Fairland x Md-US-1972||U.S.D.A. & Md. Agric. Expt. Sta.|
|1957||Agassiz||Pathfinder x British Sovereign||British Columbia Expt. Form|
|1957||Cavalier||Valentine x Sparkle||Can. Central Expt. Farm|
|1957||Guardsman||Claribel x Sparkle||Can. Central Expt. Form|
|1957||Redcoat||Sparkle x Valentine||Can. Central Expt. Farm|
|1957||Juspa||Jucunda x Sparkle||Holland lnst. for Hort. Breeding|
|1957||Redgauntlet||NJ-1051 x Auchincruive Climax||Scottish Hort. Station|
|1959||Fulton||Starbright x Pathfinder||N.Y. Agric. Expt. Station|
|1960||Midway||Dixieland x Temple||U.S.D.A. & Md. Agric. Expt. Sta.|
|1960||Gorella||Juspa x US-3763||Holland lnst. for Horticultural Breeding|
|1960||Revada||Ada Herzberg x Auchincruive Climax|
Blakemore has been used extensively in breeding and is in the ancestry of Northwest, Headliner, Dixieland, Pocahontas, Albritton, Massey, Earlidawn, Surecrop, Armore, Dabreak, Siletz, Goldsmith, Klonmore, and others.
(8) Fairfax (Plate 10-2), originated by G.M. Darrow, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, from a cross made in 1923, was selected in 1925 and introduced in 1933. Its parentage is probably Etters 450 x Howard 17 (Premier) or Howard Supreme x Etters 450 (Darrow, 1962). It is notable as one of the finest flavored of all strawberries. It does not keep its flavor so well as Suwannee in cool, cloudy, or in hot, windy weather. Fairfax is resistant to leaf diseases but susceptible to red stele root disease and to virus diseases and to fasciation in southern states. Fairfax is a good but not excessive plant maker, its flowers produce the most pollen of any; the berries are good sized, deep red in color, firm fleshed, and the least acid of common varieties. Since virus-free stocks of Fairfax have become available, it is being grown widely.
Fairfax has proved to be a good parent and Grenadier (of Canada), Redstar, Sparkle and possibly Kogyoku of Japan (24 in all) have Fairfax as one parent while Cavalier, Guardsman, and Redcoat of Canada, Redgauntlet and Talisman of Great Britain, and Arapahoe, Ogallala, Red Rich, Ozark Beauty of the everbearers, and Jerseybelle, Vesper, Midway, and Surecrop are among 38 others having Fairfax in their ancestry (Darrow, 1962). Fairfax transmits excellent dessert quality and freedom from leaf spot. Its limitations are that the berries turn purplish when over-ripe, it is not acid enough for a good freezing variety, and its excellent flavor does not develop under some weather conditions. Its descendants are being used more as parent varieties.
(9) Nich Ohmer was originated by J.F. Beaver of Dayton, Ohio, as a seedling of Middlefield and was introduced in 1898. It did not succeed in eastern United States because (1) the fruit was only of fair flavor, (2) its size was small after the first pickings, (3) it was subject to leaf spot, and (4) it needed high culture. It was much grown in the 1920's and 1930's in the coastal area of California near Watsonville, where its flavor was high, the berries large, firm, attractively glossy crimson, and where it produced well throughout the summer in the cool coastal climate. After the larger and more productive Shasta and Lassen were introduced, Nich Ohmer was no longer grown. It has entered into the ancestry of Shasta (25 percent of its parentage), into Lassen (25 percent), into Goldsmith (Z5A) (25 percent), into Solana (25 percent), and into Fresno, Tioga, and Torrey (31 percent each).
(10) Aroma (Plate 10-3) started in 1889 by E.W. Cruse, Leavenworth, Kansas, as a seedling of Cumberland x Triumph, was introduced in 1891. It became the leading variety in the southern Midwest and held that position for about fifty years. It was second in importance in the United States in 1919, and fourth in 1939, with 12 and 10 percent of the total acreage of the United States, respectively. Its foliage was resistant to leaf spot and leaf scorch; the plants were productive and the fruit firm, uniformly large, very attractive, and of good dessert quality. It succeeded especially well on silt and clay soils, but has been finally replaced by three varieties: in part by Blakemore, which is earlier, somewhat more productive, and an even better shipper; in part by Tennessee Beauty, which is about the same in season, much more productive, good as a processing berry, and about as good a shipper; and in part by Armore, also of the same season but larger, not so smooth, much more productive, higher in flavor, but softer, more susceptible to leaf spot and much more subject to mildew. Neither Aroma nor Armore is suitable for processing. Probably 500,000 acres of the Aroma variety have been grown. Its one notable seedling is Armore, a cross of Blakemore x Aroma. Mr. Cruse also originated the Cyclone (1894).
Only four of the ten notable varieties listed and discussed in the first section appear in the list (see Table 1) of present important varieties of the United States. The others, except Catskill, are varieties introduced since 1940. The new varieties of today are being tested quickly for their adaptation and for grower acceptance. In part this is due to better understanding of local adaptation of varieties in terms of photoperiod and temperature, and in part to the control of virus diseases, which so often in the past destroyed all usefulness of a variety even before it was well introduced. Examples of this latter case are the Northstar, a superior freezing sort, and Starbright, a high flavored dessert berry introduced about twenty-five years ago, both of which were entirely infected by virus and which quickly became unproductive. Now, with modern techniques of producing virus-free stocks, the potential value of new varieties is more readily apparent when they are introduced.
Table I lists the chief varieties now grown in the United States. Besides these there are small acreages of Empire, Fairfax, Midland, Midway, Redstar, Solana, Vermilion, and Vesper and smaller acreages of Burgundy, Columbia, Erie, Fletcher, Fortune, Fulton, Frontenac, Fresno, Mollala, Puget Beauty, Ranger, Redglow, Stelemaster, Tennessee Shipper; and of everbearers, Arapahoe, Gem, Geneva, Ogallala, Ozark Beauty, Red Rich, Rockhill, and Twentieth Century. Figure 10-10 shows where many of these varieties originated.
Northwest (Plate 10-3) was bred by C. Schwartze of Western Washington Experiment Station, introduced 1949. Since 1962 this is the most planted variety in the United States, but all in Oregon and Washington. It is highly productive of late-ripening berries very good for freezing. Plants are tolerant to virus diseases. It is very good but not best for freezing , and it needs larger size. Limitations: it is not red stele-resistant, and is susceptible to leaf spots and mildew.
Blakemore (see pp. l51, 407) was bred by George M. Darrow of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, introduced in 1929. From about 1937 to 1961 this was the most planted variety in the United States because of its early ripening, very firm, bright red, good shipping berries, good for freezing and preserving, high in pectin. Plants are virus-tolerant, resistant to leaf spot, leaf scorch, and Verticillium wilt. Limitations: its berries are too small, too acid for best dessert flavor, and the plants sport to variegation.
Shasta (Plate 10-3) was bred by H. Thomas and E. Goldsmith of the University of California at Davis, introduced in 1945. This is the third most grown variety in the United States because of its large, firm, attractive berries and plants which are somewhat tolerant to virus diseases. Shasta fruits all summer on the California Coast. Limitations: it is not high-flavored, and is only fair for freezing. Perhaps as many tons of this are produced as of any variety in the world.
Headliner was bred by P.L. Hawthorne and J.C. Miller of the Louisiana State University, and was introduced in 1957. It quickly replaced the Klonmore because of its early ripening, larger berries and more productive, leaf-spot-resistant plants. Limitations: it is subject to leaf variegation and is being replaced, in part, by Dabreak with its still larger, fine-flavored berries. It is not adapted north of Louisiana.
Tennessee Beauty (Plate 10-6 ) was bred by E.M. Henry of the University of Tennessee, introduced in 1943. This is fifth in acreage because its plants are extremely productive, tolerant to virus diseases; its berry, is medium late, firm, glossy red, good in flavor, easily, capped, and very good for freezing. Limitations: it is drought-susceptible and it runs down in size.
Dixieland (Plate 10-4) was bred by D.H. Scott and George M. Darrow of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, introduced in 1953. Now sixth in acreage, this variety was introduced because of its very productive plants and its early, firm, attractive berries; it is very good for freezing and much larger than Blakemore. Limitations: its leaf variegation is serious, and it is subject to leaf scorch and to red stele; its flavor is good but not high.
Marshall (Plate 10-1) was found as a seedling just a short distance south of Boston, Mass., and introduced in 1893. Midseason. For over fifty years Marshall was the standard of flavor in the Pacific Northwest and even in 1962 it was the seventh most grown, but only in the Northwest. Its excellent flavor, large size, freezing quality, and its drought resistance made it important. Limitations: it is not firm, and is being replaced because of its susceptibility to virus diseases and to leaf spot and its only moderate yields.
Sparkle (Plate 10-4) was bred by J.H. Clarke, of Rutgers University in New Jersey, introduced in 1942. Medium late. Its extremely high yields, attractive appearance, good freezing quality, high flavor, and resistance to one strain of red stele root disease have made it a leading variety in the Northeast. Limitations: it is too soft and often small in size south of New England.
Robinson (Plate 10-5) was bred by J.C. Haley of Michigan, introduced in 1948. Because of its medium late season, large size, productivity, beautiful light red color of fruit, and tolerance to virus diseases, it was the third most planted variety of the United States up to 1963. It is notable as the only well known variety with part ovalis ancestry. Limitations: it is too soft, not highly flavored, not good for freezing, not red stele-resistant. It is rapidly being replaced by the red stele-resistant Midway of much better flavor.
Midway (Plate 10-5), bred by D.H. Scott of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was introduced in 1960 for its resistance to the common strain of red stele and for its productiveness, its early midseason, medium-large, deep red, medium-firm berries of good flavor, which are very good for freezing. Limitations: it is somewhat subject to leaf spots, leaf scorch, Verticillium wilt, and drought damage, and it is sometimes too bland as far south as Maryland. It is rapidly replacing Robinson, especially in Michigan.
Catskill (Plate 10-6) was bred by George L. Slate of the N.Y. State Agricultural Experiment Station, and introduced in 1933. Midseason. It is liked for its large size, good flavor and great productivity. Limitations: its softness and susceptibility to leaf spot and virus diseases.
Florida Ninety (Plate 10-6) was raised by A.N. Brooks of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station from seed of Missionary. Its probable pollen parent is Klonmore. It was introduced in 1952 for its very long, large, early berries; under many conditions it has high flavor even after reaching northern markets. The plants are productive. It is the chief variety of Florida. Limitations: it is subject to leaf spot and Verticillium wilt; it is not firm enough in warm weather.
Lassen (Plate 10-6) was bred by H. Thomas and E. Goldsmith of the University of California at Davis, and was introduced in 1945. Because of its short rest period requirement and its high production of large berries along the coast of southern California, it has been grown extensively. Limitations: it is too soft, it is not adapted to freezing and it has only fair flavor; it is being replaced by Torrey, Fresno, and Tioga.
Pocahontas (Plate 10-7, a and b) was bred by D.H. Scott and George M. Darrow of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Early midseason, it was introduced in 1953 because of its large, attractive, firm berries, which are very good for freezing, good in flavor when fresh, and because of its very productive plants. Limitations: it is not red stele-resistant; it has good but not best flavor.
Albritton (Plate 10-7) was bred by E.B. Morrow of the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station in a cooperative program with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and was introduced in 1951 for its late, large, uniform, attractive, firm berries of excellent flavor, which are very good for freezing. It is one of the best adapted varieties. Limitations: it is not hardy northward, and it should be more productive and larger.
Earlidawn (Plate 10-8) was bred by D.H. Scott and George M. Darrow of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and was introduced in 1956. It is the earliest large, attractive, very productive variety, which is good in dessert quality and very good for freezing. Limitations: it makes few runners, and it is susceptible to Verticillium wilt and red stele.
Jerseybelle (Plate 10-8) was bred by F.A. Gilbert at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (Rutgers University). It was selected in 1948 and was introduced in 1955 because of its large average size, great beauty, good yields, and lateness in New Jersey. Limitations: it is tender skinned, is not adapted to freezing, is very susceptible to leaf spot, leaf scorch, and Verticillium wilt, and it is susceptible to red stele.
Siletz (Plate 10-8) was bred by George F. Waldo of the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the Oregon State College, and was introduced in 1955 for its late ripening, deep-red berries of high flavor, which are adapted to freezing. Its plants are resistant to red stele root disease, and are adapted to the Pacific Northwest. Limitations: its berries are too soft and not very large.
Surecrop (Plate 10-8) was bred by D.H. Scott of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating with the University of Maryland, and was introduced in 1956. Of all American varieties it is the most resistant to diseases -- to several strains of red stele root rot, leaf spots, leaf scorch, and Verticillium wilt -- and is drought resistant. It is very vigorous. Midseason. Its berries are firm, glossy light red, have good dessert and freezing quality, and they are tart. It is productive. Limitations: its tartness, and it should be larger, firmer, and more productive.
Armore (Plate 10-8) was bred by H.G. Swartwout of the University of Missouri, and introduced in 1950. Midseason late. Its berries average large, and are irregular, medium firm, light red, mildly subacid, and highly flavored. It is very productive. Limitations: it is not firm enough, is not adapted to freezing, and is very subject to mildew and leaf spots.
Dabreak (Plate 10-9) was bred by P.L. Hawthorne and J.C. Miller of the Louisiana State University, introduced in 1961. Early season. It has quickly replaced a part of the Headliner acreage in Louisiana because of its greater production and its still larger, very attractive, good shipping berries which are sweeter and higher in flavor. It is quite resistant to leaf spot and good for freezing. Limitations: it is too new to judge.
Klonmore, bred by P.L. Hawthorne and J.C. Miller of the Louisiana State University, was introduced in 1940. Early. It is highly resistant to leaf spots, and its berries are medium firm, attractive bright red. Limitations: its small size and susceptibility to leaf scorch. It has been mostly replaced by the larger and more productive Headliner and Dabreak.
Goldsmith was bred by H. Thomas and E. Goldsmith of the California Strawberry Institute and is privately grown by members of that Institute. It was introduced as Z5A in 1958. It is grown because of its productiveness, especially in the summer and early fall along the California Coast, and its good shipping quality; it has large, firm, glossy, attractive berries of fair quality. Limitations: it has fair flavor only, and is only fair for freezing.
Midland (Plate 10-9), bred by George F. Waldo and George M. Darrow of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was introduced in 1944 for its very early, high-flavored, large, deep red berries that are among the best for freezing. It is adapted to southern New England south to Virginia and west to Kansas. It is usually resistant to leaf spot and leaf scorch. Limitations: it is not fully hardy, not very firm, its color dulls after picking, and it is susceptible to virus diseases.
Empire, bred by George Slate of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, New York, was introduced in 1951 for its attractive, light red berries of good flavor, and its very productive plants. Midseason. Limitations: it is not firm enough south of New York and New England, and it is susceptible to leaf spots.
Redstar (Plate 10-9) was bred by George M. Darrow of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and introduced in 1940 for its lateness, its attractive berries of medium firmness, which are rather tart but good to very good in flavor. It is resistant to leaf spots and scorch, and is tolerant to virus. It is adapted to northeastern United States west to Missouri. Limitations: it is not productive enough, and is not resistant to red stele disease.
Vesper (Plate 10-10) was bred by J.N. Moore while at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (Rutgers University), and was introduced in 1962 because of its very large size, very attractive appearance, its very high yield, and its very late season in the Northeast. Limitations: it is very susceptible to leaf diseases and to Verticillium wilt. It is not of high flavor, and is too soft south of New Jersey.
Donner, a variety bred by H.E. Thomas and E.V. Goldsmith of the University of California, was introduced in 1945 for its high flavor. It is not grown in California now, but it is the second most grown variety of Japan. Limitations: it is not so productive in California as Shasta.
Tennessee Shipper (Plate 10-10) was bred by E.M. Henry of the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station. It was introduced in 1942 for its early, very firm fruit, which is well adapted to freezing. It resulted from a backcross of Blakemore to Missionary and it is a notable parent for firmness. Limitations: it is too small and too tart for dessert.
Fresno (Plate 10-10), bred by R.S. Bringhurst and V. Voth of the California Agricultural Experiment Station, was introduced in 1961. It is a sister of Torrey and Tioga. It possesses low chilling requirement. It is more attractive, larger, firmer, caps easier than Lassen which it is replacing in southern California. Limitations: it is too new to judge.
Torrey (Plate 10-10) was bred by R.S. Bringhurst and V. Voth of the California Agricultural Experiment Station, and introduced in 1961. Like Fresno, it is more attractive, larger, firmer, and caps easier than Lassen. It has the lowest chilling requirement of California varieties. Limitations: it is too new to judge.
Tioga was bred by R.S. Bringhurst and V. Voth of the California Agricultural Experiment Station. It was selected in 1955 from about 900 seedlings of the same cross as Fresno and Torrey (Lassen x Cal. 42.8-16) and released in 1964. It is about 10 percent larger than Lassen and larger than Fresno, Shasta, and Torrey. Like Fresno, it is more attractive, much firmer, and caps easier than Lassen. It is more productive than Lassen and wider adapted in coastal California. Limitations: it is too new to judge but considered very promising.
Solana was bred by R.S. Bringhurst and V. Voth of the California Agricultural Experiment Station. It was introduced in 1957 for its high flavor, short rest period requirement, and tolerance to salinity and virus diseases. It is the chief variety in Oxnard and Fresno areas of California. Limitations: it is not a good freezing berry.
Suwannee (Plate 10-10), originated from the cross Missionary x Howard 17 (Premier) made by George F. Waldo in 1931, was selected in 1933 by G.M. Darrow and J. R. Magness and introduced in 1945 jointly by the Mississippi Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This sister of Blakemore was introduced for its high flavor, even under adverse conditions. It is similar to Blakemore in runner production, resistance to leaf diseases, and berry size, but it is more glossy and softer. It ripens about four days after Blakemore. It has been entirely free from the Blakemore yellow variegation. It is sensitive to virus diseases and all stocks were infected. Recently (1964) plants were freed of virus by heat and runner tip propagation. It is still the highest flavored of American varieties, though equaled at times by Fairfax, Midland, Rockhill, and Fletcher when at their best.
Until very recently, the varieties grown in Canada have been mostly the same as those grown in northern United States. In the 1920's Marshall, Magoon, Dunlap, and Paxton (Sir Joseph Paxton?) were leading varieties in British Columbia. The notable exception has been British Sovereign, a high -flavored, productive kind found in 1920 in a Magoon strawberry field in British Columbia. By about 1928 it had become an important variety there; and is even now (after Northwest) still their second most important sort, though subject to red stele and mildew and not adapted to freezing.
Agassiz (Pathfinder x British Sovereign) was introduced in 1957 by the Dominion Station at Agassiz, British Columbia, for its superior freezing quality, large size, and hardiness but it is susceptible to red stele and mildew. It is grown to a limited extent in British Columbia only.
Dunlap and Howard 17 (Premier) have long been the major varieties of eastern Canada but are rapidly being replaced by Redcoat, which was introduced in 1957, and which is a very productive, very attractive variety from the Ottawa Central Farms Station. Cavalier, Guardsman, and Grenadier from the same station, also introduced in 1957, are of some importance in eastern Canada. It seems probable that, just as in the United States, many well-adapted varieties have been originated only to be lost after being infected by virus diseases. Valentine [Howard 17 (Premier)] x Vanguard (Pocomoke X Early Ozark), introduced in 1941 by the Vineland, Ontario, Station for its earliness and large size, is one of these. It has proved to be a valuable parent both in Canada and in Scandinavia.
In the Prairie Provinces, though the acreage is not large, notably hardy varieties are being bred, up to now in large part by private breeders, among whom are Oakes, who introduced Glenheart (everbearing), Glenmore, and many others, and A.J. Porter who bred Sparta,.Jubilee, and Parkland (all everbearers), and others.
Redcoat (Sparkle x Valentine, Plate 10-11,) was introduced in 1957 for its extremely high yield, very good appearance, firmness in Canada and its earliness (of Dunlap season) and very good shipping qualities. It is rapidly replacing Dunlap, Howard 17 (Premier), and others over a wide area of eastern Canada as the major variety. It is resistant to mildew and is quite hardy. Limitations: it is too soft in United States, thus is not suited to processing. It is susceptible to Verticillium wilt and leaf spot.
British Sovereign (Plate 10-11) was found in a planting of Magoon in British Columbia, and introduced in 1923. It is one of the two main varieties in British Columbia (Northwest is the other) because of its large, attractive, high-flavored, firm fruit, and is about 40 percent of the total. Limitations: it is not well adapted to freezing and is susceptible to red stele and mildew. It is said to resemble the Sir Joseph Paxton.
Cavalier (Valentine x Sparkle, Plate 10-11) was introduced in 1957. Its season is very early, about with Midland. It is firmer than Catskill in Canada, has good flavor and is good for processing. It is resistant to Verticillium wilt, but is susceptible to mildew, scorch, and leaf spots.
Guardsman (Claribel x Sparkle, Plate 10-8) was introduced in 1957 for its very late season, excellent flavor and very high yields. It is resistant to red stele and mildew, but is susceptible to Verticillium wilt and it runs down in size too quickly.
Grenadier (Valentine x Fairfax) was introduced in 1957 for its dark red, firm, good flavored berries. It is good for processing but is susceptible to mildew, and it drops in size quickly.
Up to the very recent postwar (World War II) period, a small acreage of probably pure chiloensis varieties called "Negrita" and "Poderosa" or "Criollo" had been grown near Irapuato, a mile-high plateau region about two hundred miles northwest of Mexico City (Darrow, 1953). Since the war period, Klondike, Klonmore and Blakemore have been grown and now Klondike, Florida Ninety, and some Solana are the varieties grown. Klondike is liked by buyers because of its excellent freezing quality and most of the berries are frozen for shipment to the United States and Canada. But yields of Klondike are low. Florida Ninety has replaced it and others in large part, for it is good for freezing, though not equal to Klondike, is much more productive and ripens in November and December, so that large quantities are shipped fresh to the United States from November until berries from Texas, California, and Louisiana ripen.
The chief uses of processed strawberries are freezing for later preserving and packaging for dessert use. About half of the total crop of the United States is so processed and the other half sold in fresh fruit markets. Some berries are used in ice cream and for ice cream topping. At one time the very small berries of the Clark, grown near Hood River, Oregon, were separated out at harvest and sold for candy centers; the syrup drained from cans of frozen berries is used as a flavoring for soft drinks and candy; and, in Chile, one factory has canned the White Chilean for use as a berry in a glass of wine, but these are minor outlets.
Varieties for preserving should be medium to light red to the center. They should be firm, subacid to acid, and aromatic. Blakemore, Earlidawn, Dixieland, and Pocahontas are among the best in the United States. Some of the varieties used include: in the West, Northwest (too dark for best), Marshall (too soft but high flavor), Shasta (lacks acid and flavor); in the South, Florida Ninety (too soft in warm weather), Blakemore: in the Central and Northern States, Tennessee Beauty, Pocahontas, Dixieland, Earlidawn, and Sparkle (too soft and dark). Senga Sengana is considered excellent in northern Europe.
Varieties processed by freezing for dessert and for ice cream topping should be somewhat deeper red and more red to the center (as Northwest) than those for preserving, but also should be firm. They should also be subacid to acid and aromatic. Actually, for the most part, the same varieties are used as for preserving.
Caldwell and Culpepper (1935) studied many varieties and suggested that medium-sugar, high-acid, and medium-astringency most nearly describes a variety desirable for preserving. They listed Klondike, Dunlap, and Missionary as meeting these specifications. Klondike was average in sugar content, but its high acid-astringency and acid-solids ratios made it the most acid of the group.
New varieties just introduced include Earlibelle (U.S.D.A. and North Carolina, Albritton x Md.-U.S.-2101), an early high-flavored, attractive, firm shipping variety for eastern North Carolina; Sunrise (U.S.D.A. and Maryland, U.S.-4152 x Stelemaster), an early red stele-resistant dessert variety for the New Jersey to Missouri areas; Tioga (California, Lassen x Cal. 42.8-16), a general purpose variety for California of the same cross as Fresno and Torrey but larger. It is reported to be much firmer than Fresno and even more productive than Lassen.
Acadia (Nova Scotia) is the first variety introduced by Craig and Aalders of the Kentville Research Station -- a Redcrop x Sparkle cross selected in 1959 and released in 1965. Compared to Sparkle it is two to three days earlier, as high in flavor, slightly larger, as productive but somewhat more susceptible to leaf spot and leaf blotch. Citation (Kentucky, Fairland x Tennessee Shipper) was selected in 1953 and introduced in 1964 as a very productive, firm, deep red, midseason variety with high processing quality and is suggested for the area where Pocahontas succeeds. It is not red stele resistant and is quite susceptible to mildew.
The world acreage of strawberries is probably between 300,000 and 400,000 acres, of which about 130,000 are in North America, 20,000 in Japan, and the rest mostly in Europe. About 27 varieties each of which comprise 1 percent or more of the acreage are as follows:
|Variety||Estimated acreage||Where chiefly grown|
|Northwest||20,000||Oregon, Washington, British Columbia|
|Blakemore||14,000||Southern United States|
|Cambridge Favourite||10,000||England and Europe|
|Florida Ninety||9,000||Mexico and Florida|
|Sparkle||6,000||Northeast United States and Canada|
|Tennessee Beauty||5,000||Central United States|
|S. de Chas. Machiroux||5,000||Italy|
|Surprise des Halles||5,000||France|
|Marshall||4,000||Oregon and Washington|
|Dixieland||4,000||Eastern United States|
|Catskill||3,000||Northeastern United States|
|Pocahontas||3,000||Eastern United States|
|Others||90,000 or more|
|*Rapidly being replaces d by Midway|
These 27 varieties probably comprise about two-thirds of the world acreage, and in 1965 are the most important varieties. Why are they so widely grown? We do not know all the factors, but these 26 probably contain in varying degrees most of the important characters of ideal strawberries. Some of these varieties have certain qualities that helped make them important: M. Moutot, Shasta, S. de C. Machiroux have large size; Northwest, Senga Sengana, Blakemore, Pupuratka, and Klondike have fine freezing quality; Jucunda has fine capping quality; Blakemore and Dixieland have fine shipping quality; Florida Ninety has fine quality from December to March on the northern United States market; Donner, Sparkle, and Marshall have fine local market flavor; Redcoat and Senga Sengana have hardiness; Blakemore, Klondike, Florida Ninety, Headliner, and Surprise des Halles have low chilling requirements. But each must have many other qualities too. Of these 27, Mme. Moutot, Blakemore, Robinson, Marshall, Jucunda, and Klondike are being replaced by varieties of greater market value; the last three rather rapidly because they are less productive than newer varieties and Robinson because of its softness and low flavor. Cambridge Favourite, Senga Sengana, Midway, and Redcoat are increasing in acreage because they include in their makeup more of the desirable qualities that are needed to keep the strawberry an important world crop and food plant. As such, the strawberry is raised under intensive culture with a high return per acre, often on high-priced land near large centers of population, as well as in areas remote from the ultimate market where transportation costs are higher as a result.
For the strawberry to continue as a major crop with a high per acre return, some basic requirements are: still higher yields, moderate production costs, and more appealing berries for consumer demand. Much higher yields have been demonstrated as possible through improved cultural methods and breeding for higher yielding varieties. Much larger berries for cheaper picking costs; firmer berries for less rot in the field, in markets, and with the consumer; varieties of higher flavor for freezing and fresh use; berries holding high flavor for several days in shipment; and varieties resistant to the many diseases -- these are some of the problems faced by breeders, whose solutions are being sought at research stations in widely different areas. And some answers already have been found in such varieties as Redcoat for Eastern Canada, Northwest for the North Pacific States, Catskill, Armore, Earlidawn, Sparkle, Midway and Pocahontas for the Northeast, Florida Ninety for Florida, Dabreak for Louisiana, Tioga and Goldsmith for California, Talisman and Redgauntlet for Scotland, Cambridge Favourite for England, and Senga Sengana for North Europe. These varieties give hope that still better answers will be found, such as a Northwest with lighter color for preserving, a firmer Catskill not so sensitive to viruses, a firmer Armore resistant to mildew, and an Earlidawn that produces more runners, etc. Ideal varieties would have the size of Senga Gigana in Germany, the length and size of Florida Ninety and Fukuba where they are adapted, the firmness of Dixieland, the market flavor of Florida Ninety in winter, the beauty of Jerseybelle and Albritton, the yield of Tioga, Armore, Earlidawn, and Catskill, and the red stele root rot and leaf diseases resistance of Surecrop.
We now know that there cannot be just one variety grown universally. Day-length and low-chilling requirements are such that there must be some varieties for the far south and others for different climatic complexes.
1 For parentage see Appendix, Section IV.