The Indigo series varieties are sisters to ‘Borealis’ (breeding ID ‘9-94’) and
‘Tundra’ (breeding ID ‘9-84’). They were originally released as test varieties with
their original breeding IDs of 9-15, 9-91, and 9-92. All 5 of these varieties are
closely related and have the same mother and father. (According to Berries Unlimited: The cross is between Blue Velvet ( Kiev#8) and Tomichka ( F1 of “Delfin” that is F1 of Turchaninowi wild honeyberry from Primorskii kraii, Russian Far East) gave a good result.) The ‘Indigos’ were considered ‘runner-ups’ to ‘Borealis’ and ‘Tundra’. All 5 are occasionally referred to as ‘Row 9’ which is the seedling row that they grew up in.
Previous to their release we did propagation experiments where we found some
varieties easy and others difficult to multiply and root in tissue culture. I thought it
was a good idea to include additional selections for release, just in case one of the
2 named varieties was hard to propagate. As it turned out, 9-92 was hardest to
propagate and ‘Tundra’ was hard too. ‘Borealis’ and ‘9-15’ propagated at almost
twice the rate of ‘Tundra’. Since that time, some propagators have figured out
ways of propagating ‘Tundra’. But propagators and many growers want ed these
test varieties named. ‘Indigo’ was chosen because there are many ‘Blue’ names
out there; by these all starting out with ‘Indigo’, perhaps people might remember
that they are closely related.
Indigo Gem (formerly 9-15): The original bush was the most productive of ‘Row 9’, but berries were the smallest, and this was the only variety that was susceptible to mildew on leaves (others were classified as highly resistant). Also the fruit had a slight ‘chewiness’ that perhaps would indicate a more durable fruit. But in tests using a sorting line, ‘Tundra’ was always the best for being durable. Some growers have indicated that this variety grows more upright and faster too.
Indigo Treat (formerly 9-91): This variety seemed most similar to ‘Tundra’ with berries only about 10% smaller. But this variety was much easier to propagate than ‘Tundra’.
Indigo Yum (formerly 9-92): The berries on this variety are more stretched than the others. The original bush was noticed a year earlier than the others, which might indicate that it comes into production a little quicker. Since this variety was the hardest of all to propagate only a few nurseries have it. We quit propagating it at the U of SK and only a few propagators have this variety.