Growing Luther Burbank's "Wonderberry" bush from seed...

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by The Hollyberry Lady, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    London, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
    Hello UBC Friends:

    I recently sowed some of Luther Burbank's "Wonderberry" seeds, and wondered if anyone else has grown them before. I will show some pics as the seedlings grow. The berries are said to be edible and tasty.

    A Wonderberry bush grows up to 2 feet tall, with leaves about 6". It has berries just a bit larger than peas, that ripen from green to a very dark blue. They are said to be poisonous when green, but somewhat sweet when ripe.

    They were first named "Sunberries", and were developed in 1905 by Luther Burbank. He sold the rights to another dealer who then renamed them "Wonderberry". Burbank claimed that they were a cross of Solanum Nigrum Guineense and Solanum Villosum (from Europe) that he'd been working on for 25 years!

    Looking forward to trying them...

    : )
  2. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    gulf island, bc, canada
    They're alright; prolific producers of fruit, though I'd suggest 'tasty' is rather subjective in this case...they are quite sweet when fully ripe, but I could never get past the eggplant'ish flavour in the background, and decided that curiosity aside, I was better off growing blueberries. A hard flavour to describe; "nightshady" might best explain it. Always good to propagate Burbank's work, however. Tough plants as well: they'll grow with minimal care. If you've sown them recently, assuming you're growing them as an indoor crop? Worth noting they tend to get rangy, might need staking in a pot.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    Since based on your description the selection is a hybrid grex originating a long time ago I wonder how much existing progeny is like the original. Maybe Burbank got some seedlings that have better fruit than some or even most of the stock is producing now.

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