The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center breeding program has released three new scion cultivars in the last year. These cultivars provide opportunities for diverse segments of the Florida citrus industry, including nurseries catering to the home landscape marketplace. The new releases demonstrate the value of a broad-based breeding program to support various aspects of the commercial citrus industry, as well as to meet the needs of Florida gardeners throughout the state.
The first new release is a Eureka-type lemon selected for being seedless and having higher peel oil production, thus having dual-purpose potential. It was tested as CE-D5-1-9-42 in Florida and in a large trial in South America. Unlike other Eurekas, this selection has been grown on Flying Dragon rootstock, so it seems unaffected by the typical incompatibility of Eureka on trifoliates.
The second release is an early-maturing, seedless, easy-to-peel mandarin hybrid, currently known as RES 19-56. This selection is naturally compact, and it bears fruit precociously and annually, without cross pollination. It has a unique bearing habit, with fruit frequently produced in clusters. It has performed well in citrus under protective screen, where its compact growth habit is advantageous in minimizing the need for hedging. Its unique tree structure and bearing habit also suggests that it may be a valuable cultivar for Florida’s many home gardeners, as it could be maintained as a potted ornamental citrus tree for poolside patios and lanais.
Finally, a sweet orange-like hybrid currently known as 1859 was approved for release. It was selected as highly tolerant to HLB following more than 20 years of exposure to the disease. Fruit of 1859 resemble sweet orange, mature beginning in mid-November and hold well on the tree until late January. During this time, internal and external color improve significantly, finally developing a very deep orange color. The flavor is like sweet orange, though many people who tasted fruit or juice commented on tropical flavor notes.
Share this Post