Please note that currently Red Jewel Nursery only supplies runners to commercial growers.
This variety makes up about 80% of the plants in Queensland, and seems to perform best when planted in the middle of March. It has a large, darkish-red, long conical fruit found at the end of a long fruit stalk and displayed away from the crown. It is efficient to pick and pack, and is known for steady production. At times, white shoulders contrasting against dark red skin are noted and are likely to relate to weather conditions. Fruit is firm, and for this reason travels well.
The level of defects in Red Rhapsody is normally very low, and the plant itself is usually considered to be robust, with few losses. It does not appear to be highly susceptible to disease, but does get the normal range of disease problems such as grey mould. It has been reported that fruit do well under hotter conditions. Some growers have reported that Red Rhapsody fruit get smaller at the end of the season, but others indicate that the fruit size is maintained if good water and nutrient schedules are maintained.
Like many varieties, Red Rhapsody is susceptible to rain damage. In the past, the plants have shown some susceptibility to early wilt and another unknown condition that has caused plants to show “rust” like symptoms and then dry out and slowly die.
It is a similar variety to Red Rhapsody and fruit has the dark red colour. Sundrench has sparked some industry interest mainly due to its early production of large sized fruit and high yield potential. It produces bigger fruit than Red Rhapsody. The plant itself is open and manageable with minimal to no runners produced in the fruiting field. Fruit, while still described as long conical, are rounder and slightly more difficult to pack.
Sundrench can be planted either early or late to suit Growers’ marketing opportunities. Later plantings will see a significant decrease in the quantity of runners that require removing in the fruiting fields whilst still producing high yields.
Susie-ASBP has a higher yield and larger than average fruit size, producing slightly higher early-season yield than Red Rhapsody. It is well suited to sub-tropical growing regions and produces conical fruit. Fruit is a slightly lighter colour than Red Rhapsody. Although only in semi-commercial trials during the 2022 season, the plant itself is similar to Red Rhapsody.
Its bright, medium red colour, uniform conical shape and the attractive, glossy finish characterize the Florida Brilliance fruit. The variety stands out as one of the earliest, high yielding cultivars in the UF portfolio.
Fruit of the Florida Brilliance strawberry variety has a beautiful, medium-red external colour that appears very glossy thanks to its notably sunken seeds. The large berries have a juicy texture and provide a good balance of sugars and acids similar to the Florida Fortuna strawberry variety. The average fruit size is slightly larger than that of the Florida Fortuna. The fruit retains its size and broad, conic shape throughout the season. Producers report no elongated fruit early in the season.
Depending on ambient temperatures, growers harvest the first fruit about 45 days after plant establishment. Fruit of the Florida Brilliance strawberry variety maintains its weight after harvest and is moderately firm with excellent shelf life.
Plants of the Florida Brilliance strawberry variety have an open architecture. They are robust with long pedicels offering a well-exposed fruit and efficient harvest. This cultivar is very adaptable to different regions, locations, growing styles, and planting dates.
The Florida Brilliance strawberry variety offers moderate to high resistance to many diseases. Growers, however, must proactively manage crown rot and root rot caused by Phytophthora.
The Florida Brilliance cultivar is more resistant to Colletotrichum fruit rot compared to the Florida Fortuna variety. It is substantially more resistance to charcoal rot (Macrophomina phaseolina) than the Florida Festival variety.
An information video about Florida Brilliance is available on the EmcoCal website.
This variety has been the “work horse” variety of the Queensland industry for a number of years, however is now decreasing in popularity with the push for earlier production. It is a tropical short day variety from the University of Florida breeding program. Fruit production commences relatively early and continues throughout the season. Flesh is bright red with good flavour. Fruit are typically firm, deep red, attractive and conical shape. Fruit are also well displayed on long stems, and therefore easily harvested. A few small sizes may occur, especially towards the tail end of the season. Festival produces very few misshapen or unmarketable fruit and therefore is an easy variety to pack.
Performs well under a range of weather conditions and has again shown good resistance to rain when not over fertilised. In order to maintain highly acceptable fruit, Festival should be picked when red only. Ideal planting times are from the last week of March till mid-April. Earlier planting times will result in increased vigour, high runner production in the fruiting field and a more erratic production cycle.
Festival is known to susceptible to Gnomia fungal spot and therefore may require de-leafing if the plant is allowed to grow too large.
An information video about Florida Festival is available on the EmcoCal website
The popularity of this variety decreased in recent years. It produces large aromatic fruit and has consistently high and steady production. With similar characteristics to Festival, Florida Fortuna may complement Festival plantings by usually producing earlier in comparison and whilst Festival fruit is known to reduce in size later in July, Florida Fortuna has the ability to maintain L to XL sized fruit.
Extreme weather conditions can cause misshapen fruit, which often resolves itself when conditions improve. Florida Fortuna should not produce as many runners in the fruiting field compared to Festival. Florida Fortuna runners are naturally thin and weaker than other varieties and in order to be able to maintain production throughout the season, the runners must be heavily fertilised for the first three to four weeks after planting to ensure a vigorous plant.
Due to being naturally susceptible to Phytophora, Florida Fortuna should be planted into fumigated ground and treated with registered chemicals as per the product labels at time of planting. This variety is not recommended for second year plastic or organic production. Caution should be taken with early plantings, as immature runners often do not survive transplanting. Optimal planting time is from 28th March through to around the 8th April.
An information video about Florida Fortuna is available on the EmcoCal website.
This cultivar requires little to no chilling in the nursery field. Due to its day neutrality, the Florida Beauty strawberry variety may be dug and transplanted earlier than most other cultivars. As a result, Florida Beauty is one of the earliest varieties to enter into production. It produces uniform fruit with exceptional flavour and fruit quality.
The Florida Beauty strawberry variety is unique for its compact plant habit, low chill requirement, and day-neutral flowering habit. In winter production regions, the cultivar produces high early yields in late Autumn and Winter. Florida Beauty can also be planted as a traditional summer plant for spring production. Production remains steady with little gapping throughout the season.
As Florida Beauty is naturally a smaller compact plant, it benefits from increased nitrogen applications immediately after planting to establish a large plant structure.
The Florida Beauty strawberry variety yields uniformly shaped fruit of medium size. The early fruit shows no sign of elongation. The fruit is firm and has excellent rain tolerance. The flavour and aroma of the Florida Beauty strawberry variety is considered very good with an excellent balance of sweetness and tartness.
Plants of the Florida Beauty strawberry variety are moderately susceptible to diseases affecting both root systems and ripening fruit. Growers who employ a traditional integrated pest management system will be rewarded by impressive early production of a top shelf fruit.
An information video about Florida Beauty is available on the EmcoCal website.
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