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‘Osage’ Blackberry: A new blackberry cultivar released by UA

September 10, 2012

An overview of the new blackberry cultivar ‘Osage’ released by UA follows.


‘Osage’ is the thirteenth release in a series of erect-growing, high-quality, productive, floricane-fruiting blackberry cultivars developed by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. An enhanced effort in the improvement of flavor in blackberries has been underway in the Arkansas program for a number of years, and ‘Osage’ was developed with the intention of advancing flavor to a higher level in a thornless blackberry cultivar. ‘Osage’ ripens mid-early, slightly before ‘Ouachita’ and just after ‘Natchez’. ‘Osage’ produces medium-sized berries, smaller than that of ‘Natchez’ but comparable to that of ‘Ouachita’. ‘Osage’ has excellent postharvest quality for the shipping market in addition to local markets. It is expected that ‘Osage’ will complement ‘Ouachita’ in the mid-early to mid-season harvest period.

Variety Information:

Type: Thornless, floricane-fruiting

Ripe date: Average first harvest date for ‘Osage’ is June 10th, 5 days after ‘Natchez’, 3 days before ‘Ouachita’, at Clarksville, AR

Berry characteristics: Average weight usually 6-7 g; soluble solids (sweetness) 11%; mostly round shape similar to ‘Ouachita’; very firm; excellent flavor; glossy; white drupelets not observed

Plant characteristics: Yield comparable to higher than ‘Ouachita’; chilling requirement not verified, likely near that of ‘Ouachita’ or possibly lower; hardiness comparable to hardiest Arkansas varieties but not tested in severe environments; very erect canes and consistently healthy plants

Post-harvest handling: ‘Osage’ demonstrated excellent storage potential, comparable to ‘Ouachita’, ‘Natchez’ and ‘Prime-Ark® 45’ and exceeding that of ‘Tupy’. Development of red drupes on berries was very low in most years for ‘Osage’, 0 to 1% except for 2008 where this value was higher for ‘Osage’ along with most other cultivars. ‘Osage’ is expected to perform well in commercial shipping use based on this comparison.

‘Osage’ has completed virus testing and heat treatment at the USDA-ARS Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, Corvallis OR. Plants should be available in 2013 from tissue culture sources.

For information on all UA blackberry varieties click here or see

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