Loganberry

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Loganberry
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rubus
Species: R. × loganobaccus
Binomial name
Rubus × loganobaccus
L.H. Bailey

The loganberry (Rubus × loganobaccus) is an hexaploid hybrid produced from pollination of a plant of the octaploid blackberry cultivar 'Aughinbaugh' (Rubus ursinus) by a diploid red raspberry (Rubus idaeus).[1] The plant and the fruit resemble the blackberry more than the raspberry, but the fruit color is a dark red, rather than black as in blackberries. Loganberries are cultivated commercially and by gardeners.

Origin[edit]

The loganberry was derived from a cross between Rubus ursinus (R. vitifolius) 'Aughinbaugh' as the female parent and Rubus idaeus 'Red Antwerp' as the male parent (pollen source). It was accidentally created in 1883 in Santa Cruz, California, by the American lawyer and horticulturist James Harvey Logan (1841–1928).[2]

Logan was unsatisfied with the existing varieties of blackberries and tried crossing two varieties of blackberries to produce a superior cultivar. He happened to plant them next to plants of an old variety of red raspberry, 'Red Antwerp', all of which flowered and fruited together. The two blackberry cultivars involved in these experiments were probably 'Aughinburgh' and 'Texas Early' (a cultivar of Rubus velox)[3] which were two of the three varieties that Logan had planted in his yard that year. Logan then gathered and planted the seed from his cross-bred plants. His 50 seedlings produced plants similar to the blackberry parent 'Aughinbaugh', but were larger and more vigorous. One was the Loganberry; the others included the 'Mammoth' blackberry.[4] Since Logan's time, crosses between the cultivars of raspberry and blackberry have confirmed the Loganberry's parentage, with an earlier theory that the Loganberry originated as a red-fruiting form of the common Californian blackberry Rubus ursinus now disproved.[5] Progeny from Logan's original plant was introduced to Europe in 1897. A prickle-free mutation of the Loganberry, the 'American Thornless', was developed in 1933.

The 'Phenomenal' berry or 'Burbank's Logan', developed by Luther Burbank in 1905, is a similar raspberry-blackberry hybrid, but is a second-generation cross (i.e., two first-generation crosses between blackberry and raspberry were then crossed to each other). Other similar hybrids include the Nessberry which is a cross between a dewberry and a red raspberry,[1] and Youngberry, a three-way cross between blackberry, raspberry, and dewberry.[1]

The Loganberry has been used as a parent in more recent crosses between various Rubus species, such as Boysenberry (Loganberry × raspberry × blackberry),[citation needed] the Santiam blackberry (loganberry × California blackberry [R. ursinus]),[citation needed] and the Olallieberry (Black Logan × Youngberry).[6]

History[edit]

Loganberry farm in California in 1942.

Excerpt from Santa Cruz County; a faithful reproduction in print and photography of its climate, capabilities, and beauties (1896).

The Loganberry, being a variety unfamiliar to people in any other place, I will devote more space to its account than to others. From a circular giving its history I extract these notes:

The Loganberry originated with Judge J. H. Logan, of Santa Cruz, Cal., from whom it derives its name. Several years ago, growing in his garden, were plants of the Aughinbaugh blackberry and Red Antwerp raspberry. The plants, being near each other, had intermixed or grown together. The judge, having noticed that they bloomed and ripened their fruit together, conceived the idea of planting the seeds, from which planting resulted the production of the Loganberry.

He is entitled to all credit for the origination of this noble fruit, which will be a perpetual monument, placing his name beside those of Longworth, Hovey, Wilson and other originators of new varieties of fruit. He has even done more than they. He has produced a fruit or berry entirely unlike any in previous existence, a hybrid or mixture of two fruits, partaking of the characteristics of both of its parents. The Aughinbaugh blackberry, from the seed of which the Logan is supposed to have originated, has pistillate or imperfect flowers, which must have been fertilized by the pollen of the raspberry, producing this most singular and valuable fruit.

The vines or canes of the Loganberry grow entirely unlike either the blackberry or raspberry. They trail or grow upon the ground more like the dewberry. They are exceedingly strong growers, each shoot or branch reaching a growth of eight to ten feet in one season without irrigation, the aggregate growth of all the shoots on one plant amounting to from forty to fifty feet.

The canes or vines are very large-- without the thorns of the blackberry bushes--but have very fine soft spines, much like those of raspberry bushes. The leaves are of a deep green color, coarse and thick, and also like those of the raspberry. The fruit is as large as the largest size blackberry, is of the same shape, with globules similar to that fruit, and the color, when fully ripe, is a 'dark bright red'. It has the combined flavor of both berries, pleasant, mild, vinous, delightful to the taste and peculiar to this fruit alone.

It is excellent for the table, eaten raw or cooked, and for jelly or jam is without an equal. The seeds are very small, soft and not abundant, being greatly different from both its parents in this respect. The vines are enormous bearers, and the fruit is very firm and carries well.

The fruit begins to ripen very early-- the bulk being ripe and gone before either blackberries or raspberries become plentiful. In filling in a place just ahead of these fruits the market value of the Loganberry is greatly enhanced. In ordinary seasons the fruit begins to ripen from the middle to the last of May. When extensively planted and generally known, this berry is destined to take front rank owing to its earliness, large size, beautiful appearance, superior quality, and delightful flavor, together with its firmness and good carrying or shipping quality.

Mr. James Waters, of this valley, has sole right with this vine.

Due to its high vitamin C content, the loganberry was used by the British navy at the beginning of the 20th century as a source of vitamin C to prevent sailors from getting scurvy much the same as the British did with limes during the late 18th century (hence the American term for the British, "limey"). During this period at the beginning of the 20th century, the largest proportion of loganberries grown for the British navy (roughly 1/3) were grown on a single farm in Leigh Sinton, near Malvern in Worcestershire, England, run by the Norbury family where Sir Edward Elgar taught the piano. The farm is still running today although hops replaced loganberries and since then cereal crops and oil-seed rape have replaced the hops.

Cultivation[edit]

Loganberries in blossom

Loganberry plants are sturdy and more disease- and frost-resistant than many other berries. However, they are not very popular with commercial growers due to several problems which increase labor costs, since the plants tend to be thorny and the berries are often hidden by the leaves. Additionally, berries of varying maturity may grow on a single plant, making it difficult to completely harvest each plant. Loganberries are therefore more commonly grown in household gardens.

A loganberry bush usually produces about ten canes (vines). The canes are not as upright as its raspberry parent, and tend instead to vine more like its blackberry parent. Growth can be undisciplined, with the canes growing five or more feet in a year. Some gardeners train the canes fanwise along a wall or a wire frame. Old canes die after their second year, and should be cut away as they can become diseased, and also hinder harvesting.

The loganberry fruits earlier than its blackberry parent. Fruit is produced for about two months, generally from mid-summer until mid-autumn, with a plant at a given time mid-season bearing fruit in different stages, from blossom to maturity. The berries are generally harvested when they are a deep purple color, rather than red. Each bush can produce 7 kg to 8 kg (15 lb to 18 lb) of fruit a year. Plants continue to fruit for around 15 years, and can also self-propagate.

The cultivars 'Ly 59'[7] and 'Ly 654'[8] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Uses[edit]

Loganberries may be eaten fresh without preparation, or used for juice or in jams, pies, crumbles, fruit syrups, and country wines. In common with other blackberry/raspberry hybrids, loganberries can be used interchangeably with raspberries or blackberries in most recipes.

In the UK fresh or canned (tinned) loganberries are often paired with English Sherry trifle, or their juice (or syrup) paired with the Sherry wine.

Loganberry is a popular beverage flavoring in western New York State and parts of southern Ontario. Loganberry drink (a sort of fruit punch) can be found on store shelves throughout the area, and several fast-food franchises sell it as well as milkshakes flavored with loganberry syrup.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Darrow, G.M. (1955). "Blackberry—raspberry hybrids". Journal of Heredity 46 (2): 67–71. 
  2. ^ Rieger, Mark (2006). Introduction to Fruit Crops. Routledge. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-56022-259-0. 
  3. ^ Gourley, Joseph Harvey (1941). Modern Fruit Production. Macmillan Company. p. 523. 
  4. ^ J. H. Logan: "The Loganberry and the Mammoth blackberry are the only plants of any value that I have originated" in E. J. Wickson, "Notes on California Plant Breeding", Memoirs of the Horticultural Society of New York (1902).
  5. ^ Anderson, E. 1952. Plants, man, and life. Little, Brown and Company, Boston page 56
  6. ^ Brooks, R.M.; Olmo, H.P. (1972). Register of new fruit and nut varieties. University of California Press. p. 38. 
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Rubus × loganobaccus 'Ly59'". Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Rubus × loganobaccus 'Ly654'". Retrieved 2 June 2013.