Cara's Choice blueberry source?

Burpee seems to be the only nursery selling this:
but they don’t ship to Georgia. Any other sources? It seems promising, a great tasting southern blueberry with some rabbiteye parentage.

I do have that one,probably from Burpee affiliate,The Cook’s Garden,bought a couple years ago.
It’s funny,I just checked the restrictions about ordering this particular plant and your state wasn’t listed on their site,but when clicking all restrictions,Blueberry plants are. Brady

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I got one from Cook’s too, Well two of them. They looked dead when they arrived. One was, the other survived. If I see it I will let you know. It’s really good too. Grows fine in the north also.

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It makes no sense this one is not around more. Others from ARS are all over the place. Maybe it’s hard to propagate? Sweetheart, Raz, Pink Lemonade, Legacy all released from the same programs and Cara and Hannah’s Choice.
Former USDA blueberry researcher Arlen D. Draper selected the parents for “Cara’s Choice.” Evaluations by Draper, Ehlenfeldt, and others led to release of “Cara’s Choice” in 2000.
Read more at: 'Pink Lemonade,' 'Razz,' 'Sweetheart,' and 'Cara's Choice': superb blueberries from ARS

Ehlenfeldt in another interview was asked if he had to pick one. He picked Cara’s. Why I tried it, and I concur, so far it’s the best for me. At least in taste (and firmness too). I’m going to need others for production, and diversity.

I looked around, nowhere to be seen. I will keep looking, I’m always looking at new nurseries I find. I found a few already this year.
I found a bunch of heirloom blueberries, but no Cara’s Choice. I found Pioneer, bred in 1912 by Dr. Frederick Coville. Not to mention Stanley and Atlantic.


I remember when Carmine Jewel Cherry first came to the US.Wasn’t it only sold by Gurneys at first?This Blueberry plant may be in that same category,where the breeders choose who will sell them. Brady


I thought no at first as it was released in 2000. But Carmine Jewel was released earlier and it took 10 years to get here. Although Cara’s is a US cultivar and released by ARS.
Ehlenfeldt is the one who pulled these almost lost cultivars out of ARS, Raz was developed decades ago. Ehlenfeldt is now retired. He doesn’t even grow blueberries. Just at work! And now not even there being retired.
“Razz” was bred by USDA’s first blueberry breeder, Frederick W. Coville, in 1934.


Drew, What do you consider the North? Here is what the ARS has to say about Cara’s Choice:

" The berries can stay on the plant for several weeks after ripening, without losing flavor or firmness,” Ehlenfeldt said.

Best for Zone 6 and milder zones, this berry is ready for harvest in midseason."

It sounds like a very choice berry for flavor, and you had me starting to covet it, but I am trying to stick with zone 3 ratings on future blueberry variety additions to my already large bed. I already have several tender, but zone 4-rated varieties, like Chandler, Jersey, and KaBluey, that only get a few berries after mild winters, but I haven’t the heart to rip out those bushes, since I have plenty of space. I live at the edge of zones 3 and 4. My rural land is zone 3 and my home is zone 4.

You have a very good point. I’m in Michigan and I’m zone 5b and CC is fine. But zone 3 is extreme. OK, well I have one for you Pink Popcorn, developed out of the University of Minnesota, rated to zone 3!

I picked one up last year. it was small but grew well. It should give me a few berries this year. Next year, it should be big enough for a few hundred. If all goes well.

This is a good nursery!

Pink Popcorn is almost white. It is a lot lighter than Pink Lemonade.
Another One Green World has is Draper developed at my Alma Mater, MSU and that is hardy to zone 3 too.

I am placing a big order of blueberry plants from Hartmann’s this year and noticed they just added Sweetheart and Hannah’s choice. I added those two and was hoping they might be getting Cara’s choice, but they do not have it and didn’t have any plans of getting it.

I also called a big nursery here in Maryland that carried them a few years back. They said they have been hard to source it recently. She said I was not the only one to call to ask about whether they had some in stock. It’s a shame considering that it appears to be a really good variety, especially for me here in Maryland. I may have to order it from Burpee at this point, but I will wait until a better coupon comes out.

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Hi Patrick, I’m sure that hannahs and caras choice are very good, id like to add them!However sweetheart, and I really wanted to love it, is here in California very bland and fall crop here is like 6 berries a bush. I bought 6 of these and fruited for 4 years. 1 from berries unlimited, which is great for berries and 5 babies from lowes at $5 bucks a plant. I do not have them any more. They may be better over there but probably not much. Maybe somebody else grows them in your area could comment?

Every southern I have tasted grown here, was just terrible. It must be location, not meant to grow here!
In general Northerns probably would not produce or even taste good in warmer regions. Zone 9 I would say it too warm.
Just a note that Cara is not a heavy producer, so it’s not a good fit for commercial release, although it has an excellent dry scare. I would suspect wholesale nurseries would only carry for the home market. I would like to add more to increase production. Here at least the berry is awesome. Nothing so far has come close to impressing me as much. Well Toro has a very good taste too, but the berries are very soft. Liberty is decent, but you know a class down from Cara’s, as is Legacy, and Chandler too. I will report on cultivars as I get a chance to taste them.

For SHB growers Sweetcrisp, Kestral, and Springhigh are the best, as reported by growers. I’m trying Sweetcrisp, but so far I’m having a terrible time growing it here.
It’s going on 4th leaf and I have never had a berry yet. It almost died last year from a late freeze. it looks like a 2nd leaf now.

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I am trying the sweetcrisp also drew, I bought 2 plants last year and the grew like crazy. I just brought them in the house and put them under hid lighting with my figs. Couldn’t wait to see some green on some outdoor plants.

Yeah I can’t bring them in, my lights are spoken for. Mine grow well, very well, but want to come out of dormancy early, and become damaged from doing so.

Yeah, I was hesitant to get sweetheart, but I figure I would give it a shot. I’ll still get cara’s choice as well and compare them. Hopefully I’ll get better results here in Maryland. I’ll report back in a few years with results on the quality of all the varieties I got.

Well you never know until you try them there. Best of luck to you!

I ended up just ordering them from Burpee. There is a free shipping coupon on any order for anybody else interested: Missfs.

Cara’s Choice is now on sale 30% off and the above coupon can be used to get free shipping.

You don’t have to gloat about it.

To bad they wont ship to California! Oh well.

It’s a shame that more places don’t carry Cara’s Choice as Drew said. At the price it’s at now, it’s not too bad, but I didn’t really need two plants. Hopefully more places will start to carry it over the next few years.

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