Chelsea Pensioner originates from a cross between two unnamed selections, one from UK germplasm and one from Italian germplasm.
Chelsea Pensioner is a late season variety, starting to ripen six days after Elsanta and two to three days before Florence. It gives a concentrated peak of production late in the season.
Fruit are deep red in colour and tend to darken, but they stay bright with a good gloss. Fruit shape and regularity have been consistently good, but the achenes are prominent, similar to or only slightly more so than Symphony. Little or no bruising was observed in two trials, even when the fruit was held overnight, but some berries had a non-coloured, less ripe `neck` around the calyx in one trial. Comments on flavour have been consistently very good (`juicy and sweet `), though the non-coloured area around the calyx is poor for flavour if not fully ripened.
The deep red colour and prominent achenes means Chelsea Pensioner is most suitable for direct sales, pick-your-own and the amateur market.
No serious diseases or pests problems have been observed, even though nearby plots had serious mildew infections.
Use of the Variety
Chelsea Pensioner is a late season variety producing good yields of attractive, firm berries with excellent flavour. It withstands high summer temperatures better than Florence in respect of colour and firmness, and is preferred to this variety in hot years.