U.S. Patent PP21,553
Southern Highbush Blueberry Variety

General Description

Meadowlark™ ‘FL01-173’ is one of the newest releases from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences blueberry breeding program.  Meadowlark™ ‘FL01-173’ may be used for early season production on deciduous plants from Orlando, FL to Gainesville, FL.


Plants of Meadowlark™ ‘FL01-173’ are very early-ripening and have an upright growth habit.  The plant of Meadowlark™ ‘FL01-173’ is vase-shaped with stout, upright stems, and a smaller plant stature. Meadowlark™ ‘FL01-173’ has a superior ability to leaf strongly during flowering.  Plants of Meadowlark™ ‘FL01-173’ have high yield potential and survive medium to well in field conditions, although plants may be susceptible to blueberry bud mites.


Fruit of Meadowlark™ ‘FL01-173’ ripens extremely early, about 10 days before that of ‘Star’.  Flowers of Meadowlark™ ‘FL01-173’ are 50% open by approximately February 3, and fruit of Meadowlark™ ‘FL01-173’ is 50% ripe by approximately April 24 in Windsor, FL.  Berries of Meadowlark™ ‘FL01-173’ average 2.45g.  Meadowlark™ ‘FL01-173’ has very open clusters of flowers and berries due to remarkably long pedicels and peduncles, which may be due to the presence of sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum) in its pedigree.  Meadowlark™ ‘FL01-173’ produces very loose berry clusters with medium berry detachment force and may have potential to be harvested mechanically.  Berries of Meadowlark™ ‘FL01-173’ have a mild flavor with a good balance of sugar and acid, and mature berries maintain quality for a long time on the plant.


  • Good yield potential for the early-mid season

  • Early bloom and ripening 

  • Very upright growth habit

  • Very open fruit clusters, with very high fruit firmness

  • Good mechanical harvesting potential

  • Susceptible to Xylella fastidiosa (bacterial leaf scorch) and bud mite

  • Grows better on well-drained soil

  • May require higher end recommended bee density for pollination


Fruit quality under optimal picking conditions (average of several years):

  • Large Fruit Weight/Size (2.6 grams/22.5 mm) similar to ‘Emerald’

  • Similar Fruit Brix levels (10.8) to ‘Emerald’

  • Very High Fruit Firmness (238.7 g/mm)

Performance 2018-2019 Season

Fruit Quality and Yield

The following plots show the most important fruit quality traits and yield, across the season.

The vertical lines in the yield plots indicate when 10%, 50% and 90% of the harvest was achieved during the season.


Dotted lines indicate the desired values for new cultivars:


  • Berry weight greater than 2g

  • Fruit Diameter greater than 14mm

  • Firmness higher than 150g/mm

  • Brix higher than 10%

  • TTA less than 1%

  • Brix/TTA higher than 14 units


Warning: Yield plot coming from harvesting of two bushes. Values may seem overestimated as all the fruit from the bush is harvested, and because this is harvest yield and no packed yield. Use this data to compare among cultivars and no to predict potential yield on your farm.


Measurements are in grams (g). To convert from grams to pounds (lb) use the following formula:

lb of fruit per bush = (g of fruit) x (0.002204)

Meadowlark_Citra FL_2019
Meadowlark_Central-North FL_2019
Meadowlark_Central-North FL_2018
License Availability

For licensing availability contact Florida Foundation Seed Producers (FFSP):


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