Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Fruit Production
Wyldewood first release from elderberry project


September 27, 2010
By Fruit & Vegetable

Topics

September 23, 2010,
Springfield, MO—The American elderberry is showing promise as a profitable
commercial fruit crop. Traditionally used for making jelly, juice, and wine,
elderberry is becoming increasing important in North America’s burgeoning
nutraceutical industry.

September 23, 2010,
Springfield, MO – The American elderberry is showing promise as a profitable
commercial fruit crop. Traditionally used for making jelly, juice, and wine,
elderberry is becoming increasing important in North America’s burgeoning
nutraceutical industry.

Historically, elderberries
have mostly been harvested from the wild; researchers have made recently made
efforts to select or develop improved cultivars. Increased interest and
emerging markets are encouraging scientists to develop improved elderberry
cultivars that yield consistent, superior production. Scientists from the
University of Missouri have introduced a new variety named Wyldewood, a tall,
vigorous elderberry plant that consistently produces heavy yields, is efficient
to harvest, and produces fruit well-suited for processing.

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The Elderberry Improvement
Project was initiated at Missouri State University and the University of
Missouri
in 1997 with the goal of developing American elderberry cultivars.
Wyldewood is the first cultivar released from the program.

Originally described and
tested as Brush Hills 1 and Wyldewood 1, the new release was identified and
collected from the wild by Jack Millican in 1995 near the community of Brush Hill,
Oklahoma. The cultivar was named in honor of Wyldewood Cellars Winery of
Mulvane, Kansas, a leading promoter of elderberry production in the Midwest and
a supporter of the Elderberry Improvement Project. Wyldewood was tested and
observed beginning in 1998 at two locations in southern Missouri.

According to corresponding
author Patrick L. Byers of the University of Missouri Cooperative Extension
Service
in Springfield, Wyldewood outperformed the standard Adams II elderberry
in yield potential and berry size; Wyldewood berry weights ranged from a low of
52 mg to a high of 111 mg. The harvest season for Wyldewood is generally 14 to
26 days later than the standard Adams II, with harvest usually beginning in
late July.

A limited number of
unrooted cuttings of Wyldewood are available for test purposes from University
of Missouri
and Missouri State University by contacting the authors.