Cowichan

  • Season: Mid-season variety
  • Main characteristic/s: Suitable for fresh market and machine harvesting
  • Breeder: Pacific Agriculture Research Centre, Canada
Characteristics of Cowichan
  • Midseason cropping at a similar time to Tulameen
  • High fruit yields
  • Good fruit quality
  • Shows some tolerances to the main raspberry disease
Cropping Season
Mid-season, fruiting at a similar time to Tulameen.

Fruit Quality
Cowichan fruit are long and conical with bright, medium red colour, while the flavour is not as distinct as Tulameen. The percent post-harvest fruit rot of Cowichan is lower than that of Tulameen. Fruit was rated as being of very good fruit quality when hand harvested for the fresh market under extreme heat conditions.

Fruit Yield
In replicated machine harvesting trials planted in 2001 Cowichan produced the highest yield and had the highest rated fruit quality.

Plant Characteristics
Cowichan is a vigorous growing cultivar with a strong upright habit and canes bare long, strong, upward-growing laterals allowing fruit to be well spaced. Spines are present in the lower 40 cm but there are very few spines at the top of the cane.

Disease Resistance
Cowichan is resistant to the common biotype of Amphorophora agathonica, the North American aphid vector of the raspberry mosaic virus (RMV) complex. Cowichan has never tested positive to the common strain of RBDV that is present in North America. However, it was never exposed to the other strains and therefore its reaction is unknown. Exposure to Phytophthora fragariae var. rubi in greenhouse pot tests showed that Cowichan was more resistant than its parent Qualicum and less resistant than Newburgh. In field conditions it appears to be relatively resistant to root rot causing organisms. Cowichan has been moderately susceptible to spur blight Didymella applanata, has low susceptibility to cane Botrytis (B. cinerea) and is much less susceptible to anthracnose (Elsinoe veneta) than its parent Qualicum.

Use of the Variety
Cowichan is a multi-purpose cultivar suited for both fresh market and processing uses. The cultivar is very quick to establish and produce high yields after the first planting year. In large-scale grower trials in British Columbia and Washington State, Cowichan has shown itself well suited to mechanical harvesting.

Plant Supply
Cowichan is a non-protected variety. Cowichan is available from the following licensed propagators:

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