Organic aubergine growers have plenty of choice at Rijk Zwaan: strong, reliable varieties that perform well in hot summers. The innovative CleanLeaf aubergines represent a new generation. Here, our specialists Florian Friedrich from Germany and Aureliano Cerezuela Márquez from Spain present their favourite varieties.
Varieties for greenhouses
The oval black Tracey RZ is the standard variety for organic growing in high-tech greenhouses. It offers growers a high yield potential in terms of both number of fruits and overall yield. Friedrich, Crop Specialist at Rijk Zwaan Welver, comments: “Tracey RZ is strong against Mucor and red fruits, which is an important advantage in hotter summers. It produces high-quality and uniform fruits with a small calyx and a dark glossy skin colour.”
Oval black Jaylo RZ is an ideal choice for mid-tech organic growers. “This variety is a strong crop with an early and high yield. The high-quality fruits are dark purple, spineless and uniform,” Friedrich continues.
Angela RZOval striped Araceli RZ has spineless fruits with very stable colouration. Friedrich: “The oval striped is a small but growing organic segment within and outside of Germany. Araceli RZ has good vigour and this variety is strong aainst yellow fruits in hot summer periods.”
The other oval striped variety, Angela RZ, is also a dependable choice for organic growers. The plant is medium-long, vigorous and open. Angela RZ performs well under many different growing conditions. The purple and white striped fruits have white flesh and a very good shelf life.
Rijk Zwaan offers organic growers strong varieties for other niche segments in the aubergine market. For example, Sabelle RZ is an Italian Ball, a gourmet aubergine type for food lovers. “We also sell seeds of oval white, round black and long cylindrical black types. Organic growers can contact their Rijk Zwaan specialist for more details,” Friedrich explains.
Varieties for protected cultivation
Thelma RZ was the first thornless oval black aubergine to be introduced. Cerezuela, Crop Specialist at Rijk Zwaan Ibérica, states: “This trusty variety is still going strong. Spanish growers are loyal to this aubergine because it is very strong against Botrytis. Thelma RZ gives growers continuous production with high-quality fruits from start to finish, and the fruits also have a long shelf life.”
The oval black Kesia RZ is the first CleanLeaf variety. CleanLeaf represents a new generation of aubergine varieties with very few trichomes (hairs), which helps growers to cultivate residue-free products more efficiently and predictably. “This is very good news for organic growers. Thanks to having fewer hairs, these varieties are less attractive than conventional varieties to both whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) and thrips larvae (Frankliniella occidentalis),” says Cerezuela.
Lydia RZ is a purple and white striped variety. “Organic growers like the versatility and vigour of this variety. It sustains its attractive colour throughout the whole season. Moreover, it has a good shelf life, firm white flesh and a mild flavour,” Cerezuela adds.
In terms of ongoing breeding activities, we are currently developing a green-red striped aubergine. This variety stands out thanks to its striking appearance, excellent shelf life and delicious taste. Just like the purple and white striped variety, the flesh of this variety stays white and crunchy. This variety will be ready for market launch in the near future.