Malling™Pearl, trialled as EMR286, was bred at East Malling Research and first selected in 2001. It has a complex pedigree including Evita, Selva, Elsanta, Providence and Etna.
The fruit has a regular conical shape and attractive appearance with mid red colour and a glossy skin finish. The berries are firm with a juicy texture and sweet flavour, resulting in excellent eating quality. Shelf life is good and brix levels have been consistently higher than Everest in trials at East Malling.
Yield and Fruit Size
The yield is similar to Everest but the average fruit size is larger, with a significantly higher proportion in the large size category (>35mm). The percentage waste is low.
Season and cropping pattern
If planted in spring, harvesting will begin in July and continue until October. In trials at East Malling 60% of the production has been in July/August and 40% in September/October, which is a similar pattern to Everest. To maximise the yield it is essential to use protection with polythene tunnels in the later part of the season.
Malling™Pearl is suitable for supermarkets and direct farm sales.
Plants have similar vigour to Everest but runner production is greater and it is important to remove the runners regularly to maximise yield.
Malling™Pearl is moderately resistant to powdery mildew (Sphaerotheca macularis). Susceptibility to other diseases has not yet been assessed.
Use of the variety
Malling™Pearl is a high quality everbearing variety that will crop heavily over a long season, offering continuity of supply for all types of retailing.