Prime-Ark® 45 is the third primocane-fruiting blackberry from the U of A’s trademarked Prime-Ark® product line, said John R. Clark, University Professor of horticulture. Using unique genetics developed through conventional crossbreeding at the U of A, primocane-fruiting blackberries produce two crops each year for an extended picking season.
Most blackberry plants produce flowers and fruit on floricanes, canes that don’t begin bearing fruit until their second year. In addition, Prime-Ark® 45 produces berries on primocanes, or first-year canes, Clark said. Floricane berries on Prime-Ark® 45 are ready for picking from early to mid-June, Clark said. Primocane berries are ready for picking around August and can last into the fall until frost
Clark said yields are very good, especially for the June crop, exceeding those of the previous primocane-fruiting variety Prime-Jim. The floricane blackberries are medium to large in size, Clark said. The primocane berries are smaller in Arkansas, though they are substantially larger in more moderate summer climates such as Oregon and California. “Fruit quality and flavor is a substantial improvement over earlier primocane-fruiting varieties,” Clark said. “And the berries are well-suited for storage and shipping. Sugar level was rated at a 10 just under Ouachita, so quality of fruit is excellent.