Generally Southern Highbush varieties are used to produce high quality fruit , though they are frequently lower yielding, very early in the season. Accordingly they are generally not used in areas where the risk of extremely low (below -5 C) temperature will put the flowering at risk.
Generally fruits in late October and November in most areas of South Africa . It is a Southern Highbush with excellent fruit quality and good travelling and holding characteristics. Though the fruit quality and size is about the best of the available cultivars the yield of this variety is rather low.
Fruits a little later than O'neal. A Souther Highbush which generally fruits about the second week of November in the warmer areas of South Africa. The fruit size is slightly smaller than O'neal , but a more vigorous and higher yielding cultivar.
A large fruited, good tasting cultivar. This variety is also more vigorous and higher yielding than O'neal fruiting late November and December. A disadvantage is a tendency to retain, in a percentage of the fruit, the stem which requires extra care on the part of the harvester to insure that all stems are removed. Despite this disadvantage its high yield and vigorous growth make it an attractive early season option.
Misty requires very little chilling and tends to fruit very early in the season, sometimes even in midwinter in the warmer areas of Southern Africa. This can be a problem when exporting as Northern hemisphere fruit is cheap and plentiful through September. But for out of season local sales and for early season fruit in areas where fruiting is not too early it is a good bet. In very cold areas the variety must be used with caution as freezing of flowers can occur if the temperatures drop below -5C.
Sharp blue was and to some extent still is the mainstay of the Australian Blueberry industry. The fruit is large though the taste is rather average. The plant however is extremely vigorous and the yield is high and precocious. In Australia the plant produces several flushes of fruit a year making it virtually a year round producer in the warmer areas of that country. The plants are only recently available in South Africa so our experience is somewhat limited here.