Denomination: 'Zonga'
Botanical Name: Malus domestica
Applicant/Holder: Better3fruit N.V.
Willem de Croylaan 42
Breeder: Inge De Wit, Better3fruit N.V., Heverlee, Belgium
Agent in Canada: Summerland Varieties Corp. (SVC)
105-13677 Rosedale Avenue
Summerland, British Columbia
V0H 1Z5
Tel: 250-494-5164
Application Date: 2012-01-03
Application Number: 12-7456
Protective direction granted: 2012-01-03
Grant of Rights Date: 2016-11-16
Certificate Number: 5380
Grant of Rights Termination Date: 2041-11-16

Variety Description

Varieties used for comparison: 'Royal Gala' and 'Ambrosia'

Summary: The internode of the one-year-old shoot of 'Zonga' is shorter than that of 'Royal Gala'. The distal half of the one-year-old shoot of 'Zonga' has medium density pubescence while that of 'Royal Gala' has very sparse pubescence. The leaf of 'Zonga' is shorter than the leaf of 'Royal Gala'. The petiole of 'Zonga' is longer than that of 'Ambrosia'. The arrangement of the petals of the flower of 'Zonga' are overlapping whereas they are non touching for 'Royal Gala'. The fruit diameter of 'Zonga' is smaller than that of both reference varieties. The eye of the fruit of 'Zonga' is large while it is medium sized for 'Royal Gala'. The pattern of the overcolour of the fruit of 'Zonga' is flushed, striped and mottled while the overcolour pattern of 'Royal Gala' is a weakly defined flush with strongly defined stripes and that of 'Ambrosia' is a solid flush with weakly defined stripes. The fruit skin of 'Zonga' has a medium number to many lenticels while that of 'Ambrosia' has few to a medium number of lenticels. The time of flowering begins mid-season for 'Zonga' while it begins late in the season for 'Royal Gala'.


TREE: medium vigour, ramified type, spreading growth habit, bearing fruit on long shoots only
ONE-YEAR OLD SHOOT: medium thickness, medium brown on sunny side, medium pubescence, few to medium number of lenticels

LEAF: outwards attitude, medium length to width ratio, medium to dark green, serrate type one margin, medium pubescence on lower side
PETIOLE: small amount of anthocyanin colouration extending from base

FLOWER: begins flowering mid-season, dark pink at balloon stage, large diameter when pressed into horizontal position, petal arrangement overlapping, stigma same level as anthers

FRUIT: small extent of anthocyanin overcolour on young fruit, medium size, medium to large height to diameter ratio, conic shape, moderate ribbing, moderate crowning at calyx end, large eye, long sepals, absent or small area of russet around stalk, on cheeks and around eye basin, moderately open aperture of locules
SKIN: absent or weak bloom, moderate greasiness, yellow green ground colour, medium width stripes, small to medium sized area of light to medium red overcolour distributed in a flushed, striped and mottled pattern
LENTICELS: medium to many, small to medium size
STALK: medium to thick, medium to deep and medium width stalk cavity
EYE BASIN: shallow to medium depth, medium to broad
FLESH: medium firmness, cream colour

QUALITY: early harvesting maturity, early eating maturity

Origin & Breeding History: 'Zonga' originated from a controlled cross between the variety 'Alkmene', as the female parent, and the variety 'Delcorf' (Delbarestival), as the male parent in May 1988 in Rillaar, Belgium. The objective of the breeding program was to develop a new apple variety which produced fruit with a crisp and juicy pulp, good storage capacity and shelf life. In 1994, first fruit of this variety was produced and selected for propagation and tested. In the winter of 1994 to 1995, trees were grafted onto M9 rootstocks. Between 1999 and 2004, additional selection and asexual reproduction occurred. 'Zonga' was selected based on its fruit quality, storability and shelf life.

Tests & Trials: The comparative trial of 'Zonga' was conducted in 2014 and 2015 in the Summerland Varieties Corporation test plot, at 4200 Block, Highway 97, in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada. The trial was planted in 2012 and included 8 trees each of the candidate and reference varieties which were grafted onto rootstock variety 'M9' using a super spindle planting scheme. The trees were planted 0.45 metres apart in rows that were spaced 3 metres apart from each other. Observations and measurements were taken from 8 plants, or 10 parts of plants, of the candidate and reference varieties.

Comparison tables for 'Zonga' with reference varieties 'Royal Gala' and 'Ambrosia'

Internode length of one-year-old shoot (cm)

  'Zonga' 'Royal Gala' 'Ambrosia'
mean 2.3 3.1 2.4
std. deviation 0.4 0.5 0.4

Leaf blade length (cm)

  'Zonga' 'Royal Gala' 'Ambrosia'
mean 8.7 10.4 8.9
std. deviation 1.0 1.1 0.8

Petiole length (cm)

  'Zonga' 'Royal Gala' 'Ambrosia'
mean 3.2 2.4 2.7
std. deviation 0.5 0.3 0.3

Fruit diameter (cm)

  'Zonga' 'Royal Gala' 'Ambrosia'
mean 7.1 7.9 8.1
std. deviation 0.3 0.3 0.4

Click on image for larger view
Apple: 'Zonga' (left) with reference varieties 'Ambrosia' (centre) and 'Royal Gala' (right)

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