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Small Fruit Update

By Harrison Hughes, Colorado State University, Department of Horticulture

Coloradans who love to grow their own strawberries blackberries and red raspberries, will want the results of the latest research at Colorado State University that identifies some promising new varieties.


  • Chandler - This is a California release that is moderately hardy and high yielding with large fruit. It was suggested for trial because of its large fruit and good flavor.

  • Seneca - This is a very hardy strawberry with large fruit and good flavor.


  • Darrow - An upright-growing plant, Darrow is one of the most hardy types of blackberries. It bears large berries (1-inch in size) that have a tangy touch of tartness.

  • Illini Hardy - A recent release from Illinois, this blackberry has survived -23 degree F temperatures. It is vigorous and produces high quality, shiny black berries of medium size; the berries are slightly acid and very flavorful.

  • Chester Thornless - The most hardy of the thornless blackberries, this variety has moderate fruit flavor and is firm but not tart.


  • Titan - This biennial bearer with small thorns is a very large fruited red berry. Its moderate flavor is nearly comparable to Heritage.

  • Ruby red - A large fruited fallbearer, Red Rudy is moderate in flavor but berries are at least 50 percent larger than Heritage.

  • Autumn bliss - This is an English fallbearer that ripens two weeks earlier than Heritage. The berries are much larger, firmer and are considered better tasting than Heritage. Most of the fall fruit comes within the first two weeks.

You may have some difficulty finding these varieties locally, although Darrow blackberries should be available. Chandler strawberries can be difficult to locate because they are so popular. Even if you must purchase these varieties by mail order, continue nudging local nurseries to carry them. With repeated requests, local vendors should begin to stock these cultivars.

Photo: Judy Sedbrook

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010