Columbia Star, a new blackberry variety, bred at Oregon State University, USA, is especially known for its wonderful flavour, meaning that consumers just want to keep eating it. This particular flavour aspect is founded on a combination of high sugars and low acids. The balance of these components delivers an eating experience that makes Columbia Star a true dessert blackberry.
The variety has a number of other important features that make it a real winner. In addition to the excellent taste, the fruits of Columbia Star also have an excellent texture and strong firmness. This means that the variety’s fruit quality is well-maintained post-picking. The berries are large (7.6g on average in replicated tests) and have good, long shape. The cultivar has an excellent shine coupled with a good, dark fruit colour which is also retained post-harvest.
Yields of Columbia Star are high, with over 8.5kgs per plant being achieved in scientifically proven test plots. The fruiting season is early, meaning that it can be targeted at times when fruit prices are better.
Columbia Star can be grown in a range of climates due to the plant’s tolerance to cold winter conditions as well as the fruit’s ability to perform well in hotter picking seasons. It is also a well-rounded blackberry variety that is adapted to both hand-picking as well as machine harvesting. This versatility means that the variety offers growers considerable flexibility and the option of picking for both the fresh and processing markets.
We have been lucky enough to sample Columbia Star ourselves while on a trip to Oregon earlier this year. You can see more of this on the YouTube link below:
Suffice to say, we were extremely impressed by all aspects of Columbia Star. It offers a really superb combination of excellent flavour and high yields of very firm berries early in the cropping season.