Ponca Blackberry, upright, floricane type
2-gallon sized potted blackberry plant
Ponca is the 20th cultivar from the University of Arkansas’s blackberry breeding program (selected by John Clark in 2012). Berry size is medium to large, small seed size and very sweet flavor. Ponca ripens in the early to mid part of the blackberry season. On our farm, usually in conjunction with Osage and Caddoo. Berries maintain firmness after picking, and a notable quality of Ponca was that excessive rain did not diminish flavor, as can happen with many bramble fruits. The canes can be maintained at 4-5 feet tall as Ponca is a more compact grower (shorter inter-node length than most blackberries) than other upright cultivars. This makes it very useful for smaller spaces and potentially potted culture (for USDA zones 6 and warmer). Yield on mature plant (3-4 years after planting) is going to be around 4-5kg (8-11#). Picking of berries can range over 3-4 weeks, and sometimes up to 50 days (more southerly zones).
Hardiness of the floricanes is rated to similar cultivars from the AR program, at minus 17F/ minus 27.2C.
Hardy in USDA zones 5b-9b.