Berries Production Guide

Currants & Gooseberries
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Varieties

This section was updated - 22 April 2012

The following descriptions are based on information from McGinnis Berry Crops, a BC propagator, and from experiences of local growers. Varieties are listed in order of maturity. All recommended varieties should have sufficient winter hardiness to be grown in most BC production areas. Choice of variety will depend on local conditions and market use. Discuss variety selection with your intended buyer(s).

Black Currants

In recent years, great improvements have been made by plant breeders in yields, cropping reliability, fruit quality and disease resistance. If growing in an area of BC where white (5 needle) pines grow, choose blister rust immune varieties.

Ben Sarek

Early. Compact bush of medium vigour. Large fruit which is easy to hand harvest making it very suitable for fresh market. Some tolerance to rust but disease develops in late summer. May require training to support heavy crops.

Ben Connan

Early. Upright, compact bush suited to high density plantings. Hand harvest variety. Very large, attractive fruit suited to fresh market. Good fresh flavour. Some tolerance to rust, but disease develops in late summer.

Tahsis (trial)

(Bieloruskaya sladkaya x Titania) Late mid-season. Growth habit is spreading which makes it suitable for hand harvest or U-pick. Not suitable for machine harvest. Flowers late mid-season, tolerant of late frost, immune to White Pine Blister Rust, resistant to mildew, and has very large fruit (larger than Ben Sarek). Annual pruning is a must.

Blackcomb (trial)

(Ojebyn x Titania) Late midseason. Very vigourous and high yielding. Larger fruit than Titania. High level of resistance to powdery mildew and rust. Late flowering helps avoid blossom frost. Well suited to machine harvest.

Whistler (trial)

(Ben Tirran x Bieloruskaja Slodkaja) Late midseason. Slightly spreading habit with medium vigour. High yields of small to medium sized high quality fruit. It has fair resistance to powdery mildew and good resistance to rust. Flowering is late-mid season with good tolerance to late spring frost. Juice quality is excellent. Well suited to machine harvest.

Tiben (trial)

Mideason/Late. Produces high yields of good quality fruit, even colouring, uniform ripening. High anthocyanin and brix levels. Suitable for machine harvest. Fruit holds well on the bush. Appears to be resistant to rust strains in Coastal BC.

Ben Alder

Late. Upright, compact bush, well suited to machine harvesting. Small fruit, high in anthocyanins and vitamin C - excellent quality for juice. Late flowering helps avoid blossom frost. Very susceptible to rust. Resistant to powdery mildew.

Red Currants (Includes Red, White And Pink Varieties)

RED VARIETIES

Jonkheer van Tets

Early. Spreading, untidy growth habit, best grown as a cordon. Excellent fruit quality and flavour. Early flowering, susceptible to blossom frost. Very good rust resistance.

Hron

Midseason. Vigourous, upright bush. Produces consistent crops of good quality fruit on very long clusters. Should be well adapted for machine harvest.

Rovada

Late. Very vigourous, droopy bush. Begins cropping and reaches maturity quickly. Large fruit on very large strigs, well suited to fresh market. Blooms late, avoiding blossom frost. Resistant to powdery mildew and other foliar diseases.

WHITE VARIETIES

Primus

Early midseason. Vigourous, upright bush. Fruit is excellent quality and flavour, yellow-white in colour. Flowers earlier and therefore more prone to blossom frost than Blanka.

Blanka

Midseason. Vigourous, spreading bush. Produces high yields of large, off-white fruit on very long clusters. Some resistance to blossom frosts.

Gooseberries

Xenia™

Early - midseason. Strong, upright bush.
Excellent yields of attractive, large, dark red fruit.

Tixia™

Midseason. Medium strong, upright bush. Attractive, large, bright red fruit, elongated and smooth. Should be suitable for machine harvesting.

Hinnomaki Red

Midseason. Strong, upright bush. Medium size, dark red fruit. Excellent flavour. Could be adaptable to machine harvest. Good mildew resistance.

Invicta

Midseason. Vigourous, spreading bush. Many large spines. Large, pale green fruit suitable for fresh market or processing. Flavour is good. Very high yielding. Good mildew resistance.

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