The list below details the commercial varieties of strawberries grown in Queensland and their availability. They are not available for purchase by the home gardener.
Festival: A variety developed by the University of Florida, this is currently the main variety grown in Queensland. It is a tropical short day variety with fruit production commencing relatively early and continuing throughout the season. Flesh is bright red with good flavour. Fruit are typically firm, deep red, attractive and conical shape. Fruit are also well displayed on long stems and therefore easily harvested. Some small sizing may occur, particularly towards the end of the season. Festival performs well under a range of weather conditions and shows good resistance to rain when not over fertilised.
Florida Fortuna: First commercially planted in Australia in 2010, Florida Fortuna has gained popularity amongst growers due to its large aromatic fruit and high, steady production. A short day cultivar, it usually produces fruit earlier than other varieties such as Festival and has the ability to maintain large to x-large sized fruit.
Florida Fortuna runners are naturally thin and weaker than other varieties and must therefore be heavily fertilised for the first three to four weeks after planting to ensure a vigorous plant. It is not recommended for second year plastic or organic production. Caution should be taken with early plantings, as immature runners often do not survive transplanting. Optimal planting time is from 28th March through to around the 8th April.
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QHI Rubygem: With early fruit production and a continuing supply throughout the season with good health, the QHI Rubygem is a popular variety for Queensland growers. Often planted alongside Festival to complement production, fruit is attractive, moderately dark red, glossy, short conical to slightly wedged, XL sized (20g) firm and resilient. Flesh is dark red, of medium acidity, and consistently good flavour. Amongst consumer panels, QHI Rubygem usually ranks highly and is therefore often sought out. Fruit are well displayed and easily harvested.
Suncoast Delight: The most recent commercial variety from the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Breeding Program (DAFF), Suncoast Delight has proved to be a consistent early producer of large conical shaped fruit. The fruit quality in terms of colouring appears to be at its best in warmer climates. During colder periods the fruit can hold white shoulders, however if left too long on the plant, the colour can turn quite dark. The plant itself appears to have more resistance to fungal diseases than other mainstream varieties and does not produce many runners in the fruiting field. Also an ideal variety for organic production.
Albion (Summer Production): Albion is a dayneutral variety that was released by the University of California. Fruit is typically long, conical and very symmetrical. Fruit has outstanding flavor and attractive internal and external fruit color. Albion has shown resistance to Verticillium wilt (Verticillium dahliae) and Phytophthora crown rot (Phytophthora cactorum).