‘Alapaha' Blueberry Withstands Freezes Better

By for CAES News
Alapaha, a new University of Georgia and U.S. Department of Agriculture rabbiteye introduction, has a later blooming time that greatly reduces its risk of late-winter freeze damage.

"This new variety blooms 10 days later than Climax, the most popular early-season rabbiteye," said Scott NeSmith, a horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Growers will like it, NeSmith said, because it blooms later and ripens at the same time as their early-season varieties. "Homeowners will like it," he said, "because it will give them an early crop for their gardens."

First of River Releases

The new release is named for the Alapaha River in south Georgia. UGA plant breeders expect to release five more varieties over the next five years. Each will be named for a south Georgia river. Blueberries first grew as native plants along south Georgia rivers.

Alapaha plants should be available for commercial and home garden planting by fall 2003.

Sharon Omahen is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.