Judibell (formerly EM965) was bred at East Malling Research and was first selected in 1996. It has a complex pedigree, which includes Pandora and Elsanta as grandparents.
Berries are attractive with a uniform shape and orange red skin colour. Skin and flesh are medium firm and the berries are juicy with a pleasant flavour and higher brix than Elsanta (average 8.5).
Yield and Fruit Size
Plants produce a moderate yield and fruit size is similar to Elsanta.
Judibell has an exceptionally late season with 50% harvest typically 35 days later than Elsanta. This late cropping is the result of Judibell having an extended period of dormancy. In most seasons the plants remain dormant until mid May in southern England.
Judibell will be most suitable for growers in the pick your own and direct sales sector.
The plants have intermediate vigour and are quite dense. The fruit is partially hidden by the foliage. Runner production is late to commence and thus less prolific than most other June bearer varieties.
In tests at East Malling plants have shown good resistance to wilt (Verticillium dahliae) and crown rot (Phytophthora cactorum) combined with partial resistance to powdery mildew (Sphaerotheca macularis) and black spot (Colletotrichum acutatum).
Use of the variety
The exceptionally late season of Judibell gives it a unique slot in the cropping calendar, being later than Sophie and Pandora. The variety has good all round disease resistance and should perform well in traditional, low input growing systems. In southern England most production will typically be in the second half of July and Judibell thus offers growers a convenient opportunity for extending their season after Florence. This will be particularly useful for growers in the pick your own and direct sales sector.