- Season: Very early ripening
- Main characteristic/s: Attractive, very uniform fruit; fresh market sales
- Breeder: USDA-ARS, Corvallis, USA
Characteristics of Metolius
- Early ripening
- Very uniform conical shape
- Fresh market sales
- Pleasantly sweet flavour
- Excellent fruit firmness
Together with Obsidian, Metolius is the earliest ripening blackberry variety in the Pacific Northwest. The 50% pick date is some 4-5 days ahead of Siskiyou, 7 days before Marion and 2.5 weeks before Waldo.
The fruit of Metolius are attractive, very uniformly conical shaped, very glossy and have an excellent black colour. Fruit have excellent firmness, being firmer than Marion and Obsidian and similar to Siskiyou. When harvested at the full-black stage Metolius has a very good, pleasant, sweet flavour. Good processed fruit quality.
Metolius produces comparable yields to Black Diamond and Marion, but lower than Obsidian. Fruit are uniformly medium sized, being smaller than Obsidian and Siskiyou, and averaged 5.6g in trials in the USA.
Metolius has been free of serious cane, leaf of fruit diseases in the USA. The variety has not shown to be particularly susceptible to Septoria leaf spot, purple blotch, cane or leaf rust.
Use of the Variety
Metolius has excellent potential as early season variety for the fresh market. Compared to Obsidian, the fruit of Metolius appear to have superior firmness and greater uniformity, whereas Obsidian is higher yielding and produces larger fruit. While it also produces an excellent processed product, its thorniness will inhibit its uptake for machine-harvested, processed markets. Metolius is expected to perform well in countries where trailing blackberries grow successfully, including Chile, New Zealand, UK, and the Mediterranean region.
Metolius is a non-protected variety. Metolius is available from the following licensed propagators:
Propagation Licence Holders
Sales Licence Holders
Growing-on / Transformation Licence Holders