It seems like this question would have been asked before but I didn’t really find anything in searching Google or here. Are “improved” varieties of lesser known berries that much better than seedling? I realize that may be too broad a question but I was wondering if there was a general consensus.
For instance, there appears to be two main varieties of aronia (viking and nero) with I think a third I read about somewhere. Are these varieties that much better in quality, flavor, yield, etc. than a seedling? Are there only two main varieties because of lack of interest in breeding or is there just not a lot of room for improvement to begin with?
The same question could be asked of Goumi, Seaberry, and others as well though it seems there are a growing number of Seaberry varieties.
In general I would say yes, as a cultivar is cultivated, or picked out of a group of seedlings for being superior in some way. As time goes on and if enough people doing it, the cultivars are developed. It is possible to do this yourself.[quote=“collitchboy, post:1, topic:11775”]
Are these varieties that much better in quality, flavor, yield, etc. than a seedling? Are there only two main varieties because of lack of interest in breeding or is there just not a lot of room for improvement to begin with?
That’s a really good question, the genetic pool may be extended when other areas such plants grow in are exploited. This happened with honeyberries when the Japanese cultivars were brought into the gene pool with known Russian cultivars. The best of both were picked, and crosses made between them now. Although they seem to have many cultivars already in both areas that are all new to us.
Viking and Nero are less bitter and astringent, and better yielding, and more vigorous, than the named cultivar I had before that had a name implying striking fall foliage (don’t recall right now).
My named Guomi has sweeter, larger, and less astringent fruit than the seedlings at the Home Orchard Society arboretum. I suspect that there is still a lot more room for improvement in these than in more traditional berries.
i have viking and gajanka a polish variety. both are full of fruit for the 1st time. i have sweet scarlett and red gem goumi that are also fruiting for the 1st time as are my boskoop giant and consort blackcurrants and serviceberries. planted a aurora honey berry that has a few berries on it. my tundra and indigo gem has a few berries also. i always try to get the most recent cultivars but as of right now I’m out of room!