U.S. Patent (USPPAF)
Southern Highbush Blueberry Variety
Optimus is an early season, high-yielding cultivar developed for machine harvesting
Cultivar name: Optimus (selection code FL08-262)
Recommended for Florida: yes
FL region best adapted to: north-central and central Florida (trials being performed in south-central Florida)
Production system: performs well in the deciduous system; additional data to be gathered for evergreen system
Hydrogen cyanamide: possible; can perform well with a low dose. Trials being performed.
Machine harvestability: Possible; has performed well in machine harvest trials.
Per plant yields (Density 1,452-1,742 plants/acre):
- North-central FL (2018-2019): 6.7 – 10.8 lbs/plant, average 9.3 lbs/plant
- Central FL (2018-2020): 6.5 – 7.0 lbs/plant, average 6.7 lbs/plant
Known disease susceptibility: none observed to date
Known insect damage susceptibility: none observed to date
Fruit quality data:
- Fruit Firmness: 199 – 255 g/mm, average 234 g/mm, higher than Emerald and Farthing
- Berry Weight: 1.5 – 2.1 grams, average 1.7 grams, lower than Emerald
- Berry Diameter: 15.0 – 17.5 mm, average 15.8 mm, smaller than Emerald
- Brix: 10.2 – 13.1, average 12.3, higher than Emerald, similar to Kestrel
- Brix/Acid Ratio: 22.0 – 103.8, average 47.4, better than Emerald
- Fruit Scar: normal (small and dry), similar to Emerald
- Wax/Bloom: high
- Fruit Defects: none observed
- Flavor Score: 24.6 – reference Emerald (19.9), Kestrel (29.2)
- Aroma: none
Cultivars with overlapping timing of flowering:
- North-central FL – Patrecia, Vireo, Magnus
- Central FL – Arcadia, Avanti, Chickadee
Chill Requirement: 150-200 hours (Here is a Chill hour zonemap of Florida)
Other information: Great early yield potential, fits well with FL window. Very well suited for machine harvest. Good natural early leafing. Mid-sized berry may not be preferred by hand pickers.
License availability: For a list of current nursery licensees in the USA, click here.
Fruit Quality and Yield
The following plots show the most important fruit quality traits and yield, across the season.
The vertical lines in the yield plots indicate when 10%, 50% and 90% of the harvest was achieved during the season.
Dotted lines indicate the desired values for new cultivars:
Berry weight greater than 2g
Fruit Diameter greater than 14mm
Firmness higher than 150g/mm
Brix higher than 10%
TTA less than 1%
Brix/TTA higher than 14 units
Warning: Yield plot coming from harvesting of two bushes. Values may seem overestimated as all the fruit from the bush is harvested, and because this is harvest yield and no packed yield. Use this data to compare among cultivars and no to predict potential yield on your farm.
Measurements are in grams (g). To convert from grams to pounds (lb) use the following formula:
lb of fruit per bush = (g of fruit) x (0.002204)