Tayberry was originally bred at the Scottish
Crop Research Institute which is located just outside of Dundee.The
following information has been kindly provided by them.
breeding group at SCRI released `Tayberry' in 1979. It was bred
by Derek Jennings, the Rubus breeder at the time, and his interest
in the various taxonomic sections of Rubus led him to experiment
with hybrid berry production. From a tetraploid raspberry breeding
line crossed with the blackberry variety 'Aurora', a high quality
octoploid type from Oregon, he selected the 'Tayberry', a hybrid
between these two parents but with its own unique traits, notably
an aromatic quality and unique flavour. 'Tayberry' was a big commercial
success in both the UK and North America, particularly with home
garden and self-pick growers. Even now, almost thirty years after
its release, it remains one of the most readily identifiable SCRI
products for the general public in the UK. From a cross between
'Tayberry' and one of its sister seedling, a similar hybrid named
'Tummelberry' was released in 1983, but it never reached the popularity
of 'Tayberry'. An improved spine-free 'Tayberry' was discovered
by Derek in 1996 in a Buckinghamshire allotment, and this was released
under the name 'Buckingham Tayberry'.
similar to blackberries in that it picks with the plug in, rather
than with the plug removed as in raspberry. It should be picked
when the fruit is dark burgundy in colour. The berries are long
and conical, with a high drupelet number, and the fruit ripens quite
early compared to blackberries. The berries are presented on short,
strong laterals, making it easy to pick. The relatively short shelf-life
has meant that these days `Tayberry' is generally found in home
gardens or on self-pick farms rather than large-scale commercial
raspberry farms. There are quite a few products that use `Tayberry'
fruit, such as jams, wines/beers, etc.
The naming of
the fruits bred at SCRI generally follows a convention where the
raspberries have the prefix `Glen' (as in `Glen Ample'), the blackcurrants
`Ben' (as in `Ben Lomond') and the blackberries `Loch' (as in `Loch
Tay'). `Tayberry' was named to reflect both its `place of birth'
and the novel character of the fruit.
the breeder of `Tayberry', retired from SCRI in the late 1980s,
but he is still actively breeding fruit in Kent. He is regarded
as one of the key figures in berry fruit breeding of recent times.
For a more detailed
account of breeding activities at SCRI there is a web portal (www.fruitgateway.co.uk)
that contains sections covering their work. More detail can also
be found in Derek Jenning's book entitled `Raspberries and Blackberries:
Their Breeding, Diseases and Growth' (pub. Academic Press, 1988).