Rubus subgenus Rubus Watson 'Ponca'
Originated from a cross of A-2406 x A-2253T
Variety denomination - 'Ponca', tested as A-2538T
Plants are thornless
Bushes have erect canes
Fruit weight is 6 g
Berries have a rounded shape
Fruiting habit - floricane fruiting (summer-bearing)
Begins to bloom in the first week of May
Harvest season starts in the second week of June
Productivity is 5 kg per plant
Soluble solids - 13.4%
Acidity - 0.54%
Cold hardiness is good
Heat tolerance is moderate
Country of origin - United States
Patent US PP33,330 P2 dated August 09, 2021
Current status - cultivated (actual)
Ponca (Sweet-Ark Ponca) offers the top of flavor from one of the world’s leading public blackberry breeding programs. Ponca was selected by John R. Clark, and this cultivar is the twentieth blackberry from the fruit breeding program of the division’s Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station.
Ponca is floricane-fruiting medium-sized thornless blackberry cultivar. Bushes are moderately vigorous and very prolific. Plants are low in height, about 1,5 m when properly tipping. Primocanes and floricanes are erect in growth habit. Berries and flower clusters are medium-large, cymose, and are mostly borne on the periphery of the plant canopy, providing easy access to harvest.
The canes can be trained to a self-supporting hedgerow although it is beneficial to use a trellis with supporting wires to prevent canes from falling over due to wind or heavy fruit loads.
The bloom period of the Ponca cultivar begins in the last week of April. Flower fertility is high and clusters are well filled. Flowers are big (about 40 mm in diameter), have white color. Berries ripen in the first week of June. The average floricane fruiting period is 55 days. Fruit yield on floricanes averages 5.8 kg per plant.
Average berry weight is about 6 g, slightly larger than Osage and nearly the same as Caddo. The fruit is round, slightly oblong in shape and glossy with a uniform black finish. Size is maintained well throughout the entire harvest season. Ponca cultivar exhibits excellent fruit fertility with full drupelet set.
The fresh fruit rates very well in flavor and is a noteworthy attribute of the cultivar and is comparable to Osage and Caddo. Consistent flavor was noted at repeated observations of fruit of this cultivar over the years of evaluation including after rain events that can reduce flavor and overall fruit quality. The flavor is sweet and sub-acid.
Storage potential of fresh fruit of the new cultivar is good and overall comparable to Osage and Caddo, berries are very firm.
Ponca is disease-resistant. Plants and fruit have shown no evidence of anthracnose and no evidence of susceptibility to orange rust. Plants have shown slight susceptibility to cane and leaf rust.
Winter hardiness has been comparable to Ouachita and has shown very little injury to a low of minus 17 С.
|Blackberry||Berry weight, g||Size, LxW, mm||Soluble solids, %||Acidity, %||Ratio|
On the basis of Threlfall et al.’s (2016) findings on ideal composition parameters for fresh-market blackberries and according to market research, made in 2020 by Threlfall and John Clark et al.’s, Ponca have the most ideal composition of the cultivars evaluated, with a 12.83 soluble solids/titratable acidity ratio, 10.40% soluble solids, and 0.82% titratable acidity.
2. Summer tipping of primocanes at 1.1 m;
3. Use a hedgerow training system including a trellis;
4. A single application of liquid lime sulfur (94 L/ha) each spring at budbreak for control of anthracnose;
5. Use insecticides for spotted-wing drosophila control during the harvest season;
6. Plant spacing at least 0.6 m;
Download Ponca patent US00PP33330P2