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New Zealand breeding program creates new red raspberry variety

'Moutere' produces early season high-grade berries for fresh market

A horticultural research team from New Zealand and Canada has introduced a new red raspberry cultivar. 'Moutere' is a new floricane fruiting red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) created in a planned breeding program at The Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Limited (recently renamed The New Zealand Institute of Plant and Food Research Limited (Plant and Food Research).

The name 'Moutere', a Maori word meaning "island", was chosen because the cultivar was selected near the rural area and townships (Upper Moutere and Lower Moutere) adjacent to Motueka, New Zealand.

The new cultivar was featured in the American Society of Horticultural Science's journal HortScience. The research team included Mark Joseph Stephens of Plant and Food Research, Chaim Kempler of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, and Harvey K. Hall of Shekinah Berries Ltd., Motueka, New Zealand.

Although no large-scale trials of 'Moutere' have been conducted, it performed well in British Columbia, Canada, and in the Nelson region of New Zealand in small-sized research plots over several years. According to the study authors, 'Moutere' should be well-adapted to U.S. hardiness zones 8 to 10.

The new variety is distinguished by high yields of large, uniform size, bright red berries. The fruit is suitable for consumption as early season high-grade fresh berries and is very attractive when packaged for the fresh market.

The scientists note that 'Moutere' will produce high yields of large attractive fruit in fertile soils with good management and sufficient winter chill. The plant adapts well to a wide range of environments and is a useful breeding parent for resistance to Raspberry Bushy Dwarf Virus (RBDV) and the North American raspberry aphid.

The new red raspberry cultivar is the subject of a grant of a U.S. plant patent. For licensee information on 'Moutere', contact the Plant Variety Management Team at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
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