Denomination: 'Aurora'
Botanical Name: Vaccinium corymbosum
Applicant/Holder: The Board of Trustees of Michigan State University
246 Administration Building
325 E. Grand River Avenue, Suite 350
East Lansing, Michigan
United States of America
Breeder: James F. Hancock, Michigan State University, East Lansing, United States of America
Agent in Canada: Expert Agriculture Team Ltd.
46420 Prairie Central Road
Chilliwack, British Columbia
V2P 6H3
Tel: 604-795-2537
Application Date: 2003-01-23
Application Number: 03-3918
Grant of Rights Date: 2006-10-25
Certificate Number: 2606
Grant of Rights Termination Date: 2024-10-25

Variety Description

Varieties used for comparison: 'Liberty', 'Elliott', 'Darrow' and 'Brigitta'

Summary: 'Aurora' has a more upright vigorous growth habit than 'Elliott' and 'Darrow'. The amount of branching in 'Aurora' is greater than in 'Elliott' and 'Liberty'. 'Aurora' has a slightly wider leaf than 'Darrow' and 'Brigitta'. The shape of the leaf base in 'Aurora' is acute while it is obtuse in 'Liberty' and 'Brigitta' and rounded in 'Elliott'. The midvein on the leaf of 'Aurora' has stronger pubescence than 'Elliott', 'Liberty', 'Darrow' and 'Brigitta'. 'Aurora' has a blue green upper surface leaf colour while it is dark green in 'Elliott' and 'Liberty' and grey green in 'Brigitta'. The time of bud burst for 'Aurora' is later than 'Elliott', 'Darrow' and 'Brigitta'. 'Aurora' begins flowering later than 'Darrow' and 'Brigitta'. The flower of 'Aurora' is slightly smaller than 'Liberty'. 'Aurora' has weaker intensity of anthocyanin colouration of the flower petals than 'Elliott', 'Liberty' and 'Brigitta'. The number of berries per cluster in 'Aurora' is greater than in 'Elliott', 'Liberty' and 'Brigitta'. 'Aurora' has a weaker fruit glaucosity than 'Elliott', 'Liberty' and 'Brigitta'. The fruit in 'Aurora' is softer than 'Liberty' but firmer than 'Elliott'. 'Aurora' has more acidic less sweet tasting fruit than 'Darrow' and 'Brigitta' but slightly sweeter and less acidic than 'Elliott'. The fruit of 'Aurora' ripens later than 'Liberty', 'Darrow' and 'Brigitta'.


'Aurora' is a tetraploid highbush blueberry variety with an upright to bushy growth habit and a strong amount of basal suckering and branching. The stems have absent or very sparse pubescence. The fully developed leaf is medium to broad in width with an acute shaped base and moderate pubescence along the midvein. The upper surface of the leaf is blue green in colour.

The time of bud burst and time of flowering of 'Aurora' is late. 'Aurora' has a small to medium sized flower with very weak to weak intensity of anthocyanin colouration of the petals. The fruit cluster is medium in tightness with a large number of berries. The fruit of 'Aurora' is medium to large in size with an elliptic shape in longitudinal cross section. The main colour of the unripened fruit is light green. The mature fruit has weak to medium glaucosity, a very small to small sized scar and is dark blue in colour after removal of the bloom. The fruit is medium in firmness, medium in sweetness with medium to high acidity. The fruit of 'Aurora' ripens very late in the season.

Origin & Breeding History: 'Aurora' originated from a controlled cross made in 1991 at Michigan State University. Emasculted flowers of the highbush variety 'Brigitta' from Australia were pollinated with pollen from the northern highbush variety 'Elliott'. The seeds were germniated, grown in a greenhouse for one year and then field planted at Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA. 'Aurora' was selected from a group of 54 siblings in 1997. The original selection has been evaluated at Benton Harbor for 11 years.

Tests & Trials: Test and trials were conducted in Abbotsford, British Columbia during the summers of 2004 and 2005. There were 2 rows of plants 1.5 metres apart with a plant spacing within the row of 0.75 metre.

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