This blog reviews the latest products, plants and innovations in gardening. It also provides a link for my many gardening friends who are members of the GardenMessenger and Seedmessenger Yahoo groups and their sub-groups that I moderate.

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Location: Australia

I am a semi-retired UK botanical garden curator and former international horticultural consultant, who has worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia. I spend part of the year in Australia and part in Europe, mainly due to family and work commitments. I earn my living from writing and editing Internet copy, articles and books. I have written over fifty books on gardening and have been translated into twenty-four different languages. I am a former UK Garden Writer of the Year and a previous Quill & Trowel Award Winner from the Garden Writer’s Association of America. I am interested in developing gardening communities on the Internet and I manage the popular GardenMessenger Yahoo group, along with its various sub-groups like PondMessenger and SeedMessenger. I also edit International Water Gardener and its associated regional web-sites.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A New Disease Resistant Gooseberry

Gooseberry 'Jeanne'

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in the United States have developed and released a new disease and pest-resistant dessert gooseberry called ‘Jeanne’. Sweet and sturdy, this new high quality, late-fruiting gooseberry was developed by ARS scientists at the National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) in Corvallis, Oregon. ‘Jeanne’ is named for a former NCGR employee. As with other Ribes species, gooseberries are generally susceptible to white pine blister rust. While the disease causes them little harm, it can be devastating or fatal to pine trees. The ‘Jeanne’ cultivar is highly resistant to white pine blister rust and to powdery mildew, the latter being the greatest threat to global gooseberry production. The plant's robustness protects it from insect threats as well. ‘Jeanne’ has a strong resistance to pests like aphids and sawflies. This and its high-quality fruit make it ideal for home garden plantings or commercial gooseberry production.

How does Jeanne measure up against other cultivars? According to NCGR research leader Kim Hummer, it produces green berries which ripen to a deep red as they mature. It also boasts a higher yield than similar cultivars such as ‘Invicta’ and ‘Captivator’. Scientists project that ‘Jeanne’, whose dark, sweet berries are well suited to desserts, juices and jams, could extend the production season for gooseberries because it blooms and produces fruit about one to two weeks later than other red gooseberry cultivars. The NCGR has provided ‘Jeanne’ plant material to several nurseries that will propagate the gooseberry for sale to home gardeners.
Photo: USDA

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