Williamson J.G., Olmstead J.W., England G.K., & Lyrene P.M. (2014)
Southern Highbush Blueberry Cultivars from the University of Florida (Publication #HS1245)
Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Retrieved June 27, 2016


‘Emerald’ (US Plant Patent 12,165) was released by the University of Florida in 1999, and is currently one of the most widely planted cultivars in north-central and central Florida, with smaller plantings in southeast Georgia. ‘Emerald’ combines a vigorous, upright to spreading bush with high yield potential and large, high-quality berries. ‘Emerald’ flowers open uniformly, and it produces abundant leaves but may benefit from hydrogen cyanamide applications. ‘Emerald’ has a low enough chill requirement to be adapted to most regions of peninsular Florida where commercial blueberry production occurs. Because the plants are highly vigorous when planted on suitable soils, ‘Emerald’ is capable of carrying heavy crops and is generally considered one of the highest yielding cultivars grown in Florida. ‘Emerald’ normally reaches full bloom in early to mid-February, and overhead irrigation is needed to protect flowers and fruit from freezes in February and March. Fruit clusters are tight and do not ripen uniformly, which makes ‘Emerald’ more difficult to handpick than many cultivars. ‘Emerald’ is considered a mid-season cultivar for Florida with an extended harvest season. First harvest occurs a few days earlier for ‘Emerald’ than for ‘Star’ in north-central Florida. About 90% of the fruit of ‘Emerald’ is normally ripe between April 19 and May 15 in Gainesville. During heavy production years, fruit prices may decline enough in mid- to late May so that growers make decisions not to harvest the last remaining ‘Emerald’ fruit.

Photo Credit: Jeff Williamson

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