'TAMIR' AND 'HERUT', TWO NOVEL ISRAELI STRAWBERRY CULTIVARS BRED TO PRODUCE EARLY HIGH QUALITY FRUITS FOR LOCAL AND EUROPEAN MARKETS
Strawberries are grown in Israel during the winter season, with fruit being harvested from early November to May. Most of the strawberry cultivars grown commercially in Israel originate from the national breeding program of the Volcani Institute. Israeli growers have a very narrow window of opportunity in the international market, exporting their premium berries to the European markets before yields arrive from Egypt, Morocco and Spain. Approximately 20% of Israeli fresh strawberry yields (2,000 tons) are exported before, during and after the New Year holidays and bring very high prices. AROs cv. Herut, which was selected in 1998, is an infra short-day, anthracnose-resistant cultivar. It produces an attractive sweet fruit over an extended period in Mediterranean subtropical climates and similar environments. The Herut cultivar is preferred for its early production of high percentage marketable uniform fruits. Herut has large (~24 g) conical fruits with a medium to deep red color. These fruits are moderately firm and have an excellent aromatic, sweet (TSS = 8.5-9.5) flavor. AROs cv. Tamir, is an infra short-day cultivar developed for the Israeli growers as the earliest harvested cultivar in Israel, producing high quality berries for the English and continental European markets from early November. Tamir has recently been released for commercial cultivation and its agronomical adaptation to different environments and its susceptibility to crop diseases are being tested in extensive field trials. Tamir has large (~25 g), firm, conical fruits that exhibit a bright red color with minor blotching variations. The fruit achenes, which are yellow to light red and slightly protruded, give the fruit its nice appearance and, together with its sweet taste, make it a premium berry. These two new ARO strawberry cultivars will provide Israeli growers with added benefits and should increase their profits.
Dai, N., Tanami, Z., Slotzky, S., Lifshitz, C., Koch-Dean, M., Freeman, S. and Gnayem, N. (2009). 'TAMIR' AND 'HERUT', TWO NOVEL ISRAELI STRAWBERRY CULTIVARS BRED TO PRODUCE EARLY HIGH QUALITY FRUITS FOR LOCAL AND EUROPEAN MARKETS. Acta Hortic. 842, 557-560
breeding, infra short-day, Fragaria × ananassa