Denomination: 'Merced'
Botanical Name: Fragaria ×ananassa
Applicant/Holder: The Regents of the University of California
Innovation Alliances and Services - Office of the President
1111 Franklin Street
Oakland, California
United States of America
Breeder: Douglas Shaw, Davis, United States of America
Kirk D. Larson, Irvine, United States of America
Agent in Canada: Expert Agriculture Team Ltd.
46420 Prairie Central Road
Chilliwack, British Columbia
V2P 6H3
Tel: 604-795-2537
Application Date: 2013-04-30
Application Number: 14-8186
Protective direction granted: 2014-01-27
Grant of Rights Date: 2016-11-12
Certificate Number: 5375
Grant of Rights Termination Date: 2036-11-12

Variety Description

Varieties used for comparison: 'Benicia' and 'Ventana'

Summary: The plants of 'Merced' have many stolons whereas those of the reference varieties have a medium number. 'Merced' has a large leaf whereas 'Ventana' has a medium size. The inflorescence of 'Merced' has a medium number of flowers whereas that of 'Benicia' has many to very many flowers. The attitude of the hairs on the pedicel of 'Merced' is upwards whereas it is horizontal on both reference varieties. 'Merced' has a larger flower diameter than 'Ventana'. The fruit of 'Merced' is medium to large whereas it is large to very large for 'Benicia'. The calyx attachment of the fruit of 'Merced' is inserted whereas it is raised on 'Ventana'. The fruit cavity of 'Merced' is absent or small whereas it is of medium size in the reference varieties.


PLANT: upright growth habit, medium to dense foliage, medium to strong vigour, partially remontant type of fruit bearing

STOLONS: many, very weak to weak intensity of anthocyanin colouration, absent or sparse density of pubescence

LEAF: large, medium green on upper side, absent or weak blistering, weak to medium glossiness, no variegation
TERMINAL LEAFLET: equal in length and width, acute base, serrate to crenate margin, concave shape in cross-section
PETIOLE: short to medium, slightly outwards attitude of hairs
STIPULE: very weak to weak intensity of anthocyanin colouration

INFLORESCENCE: positioned at same level as foliage, medium number of flowers, upwards attitude of hairs on pedicel
FLOWER: calyx diameter larger than corolla, stamens present
PETALS: touching, equal in length and width, white on upper side

FRUIT: equal in length and width, medium to large, conical and cordate, very narrow to narrow band without achenes
FRUIT SKIN: medium to dark red, even or very slightly uneven colour, medium glossiness, slightly uneven surface
ACHENES: inserted below level of fruit surface
CALYX: inserted attachment, outwards attitude of sepals, slightly smaller to same diameter than fruit, strong adherence
FRUIT FLESH: medium to firm, medium to dark red, medium red core, absent or small fruit cavity

Origin & Breeding History: 'Merced' originated from the controlled cross between two unreleased germplasm accessions, Cal 3.92-8 and Cal 2.95-4 conducted in 2007 at the University of California in Davis, California, USA. The progeny initially designated as Cal 7.132-3 was asexually propagated by stolons in 2008 near, Winters, California. The variety tested under the designation 'C229' was selected based on productivity, fruit size, commercial appearance, flowering type (short day vs. day-neutral), plant architecture and its reaction to diseases, such as powdery mildew. Further testing was done at facilities in Watsonville, California, in Irving, California, and to a limited extent in grower fields starting in 2009.

Tests & Trials: Trials for 'Merced' were conducted in Chilliwack, British Columbia during the 2015 growing season. The plots were planted in late spring of 2015 in a randomized complete block design (RCBD). Each variety consisted of 4 replicates per variety with 5 plants per replicate (for a total of 20 plants of each variety). Plants were spaced approximately 30 cm between plants in the row and spaced approximately 2.5 metres apart between rows. Measured characteristics were based on 10 measurements. Mean differences were significant at the 5% probability level based on paired Student's t-tests.

Comparison table for 'Merced' with reference varieties 'Benicia' and 'Ventana'

Flower diameter (cm)

  'Merced' 'Benicia' 'Ventana'
mean 3.49 3.58 3.07
std. deviation 0.24 0.34 0.39

Click on image for larger view
Strawberry: 'Merced' (top) with reference varieties 'Benicia' (centre) and 'Ventana' (bottom)'

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