Redcurrant variety may have potential to replace popular Dutch variety, says German breeder

Artevos redcurrants

German fruit breeder Artevos says it has identified a potential long-term replacement for the popular redcurrant variety Jonkheer van Tets, an early-harvesting Dutch winter type that produces sweet-sour berries.

Registered under the name Marlena, the company’s yield-resistant alternative also ripens “very early”, around mid-June, and is said to yield “very high-quality” currants that are resistant to premature dropping of flowers – otherwise known as trickling.

“For years, currant producers have been looking for a replacement for the currant variety Jonkheer van Tets. Finally, there is a worthy competitor,” said Artevos in a press release.

“What makes Marlena special is its early ripening time coupled with a strikingly sweet taste,” the release continued. “The large berries form a line on the cluster and retain their bright red colour until fully ripe.

“The very good distribution of the medium-sized bunches on the shoots, as well as the large berries, contribute to the best harvesting possibilities and a higher picking efficiency, which is becoming an increasingly important criterion in the face of rising labour costs.”

Marlena was discovered in 2012 as a mutation of a German variety called Red Lake, and has been produced by a number of growers over the past few years.