Suncoast Delight: A relatively recent commercial variety from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Breeding Program (QDAF), Suncoast Delight produces large conical shaped fruit. During colder periods the fruit can hold white shoulders, however if left too long on the plant, the colour can turn quite dark. Colour is generally red to deep warm red. Easily bruised so should be handled carefully during harvest.
Red Rhapsody: Also from the local QDAF breeding program, Red Rhapsody became available to growers to trial in the 2015 season, and has proven popular in southern Queensland operations since then. Its performance indicates it’s potential to be a prominent early season variety. The variety consistently shows to be a moderately early producer of extra-large sized, glossy dark red fruit. The fruit itself has been large and conical with a pleasant flavour. Taste tests conducted at past strawberry industry field days rates Red Rhapsody similar to Florida Fortuna. At times, white shoulders contrasting against dark red skin are noted and are likely to relate to weather conditions.
Sundrench: The QDAF selection Sundrench has sparked grower interest mainly due to its early production of large sized fruit and high yield potential. Trials will continue to assess Sundrench, as its dark skin colour and limited weather tolerance may limit its commercial viability. Berries can be soft and juicy, although care is needed when handling.
Parisienne Kiss: Another QDAF selection, Parisienne Kiss has shown some promise within Research Farm plots and first year on farm trials, due to its moderately high production of very large, red glossy fruit, the majority of which are a broad-conical shape with good flavour. Fruit has soft flesh and are susceptible to rain.
Festival: Festival is a tropical short day variety from the University of Florida breeding program. Fruit production commences relatively early and continues 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. A few small sizes may occur, especially towards the tail end of the season. Festival produces very few misshapen or unmarketable fruit and therefore is an easy variety to pack. Performs well under a range of weather conditions and has again shown good resistance to rain
Florida Fortuna: A variety from the University of Florida, Florida Fortuna has gained popularity amongst growers due to its large aromatic fruit and high, steady production. Fruit is firm yet juicy, colour is glossy, bright to dark red with a warm red interior and smooth appearance. Fruit are mostly conical with some early season fruit being more elongated. Extreme weather conditions can cause misshapen fruit, which often resolves itself when conditions improve.