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Plum ‘Franzi®’
Plum ‘Franzi®’: the early ripening, large sized dessert plum variety

Fruit size, firmness and good taste are important characteristics for early ripening plum varieties. In this regard, ‘Franzi®’ has several advantages. Its fruit size is satisfying even in regions with low precipitation. The fruits can be picked about seven days after ‘Katinka’ and five days before ‘Cacaks Schöne’. Compared to other early ripening varieties, the taste is outstanding. The stone is free. The fruit can be used for fresh consumption and for bakery. Picking fruits is easy and efficient.

Outer fruit quality

The fruits are medium to large sized with a mass of 40-48 g and a diameter between 36-48 mm. The skin is blue to blue-violet (with very high fruit set blue-violet to violet). The fruits are oval with distinct wax bloom. The fruit stalk is of medium length, relatively thin and separates easily from the fruit flesh. In some years, some fruits might be slightly russeted which, however, is not a problem for selling the fruits.

Inner fruit quality

For an early ripening variety, the fruits have relatively high Brix values of 16-20 Brix. The titratable acid content is moderate with 5.7-10 g/l. The fruits taste explicitly sweet. The firm to very firm fruit flesh turns from green (when unripe) to yellow and dark yellow to slightly orange when fully ripe. Picking time starts as soon as the fruit flesh has turned fully yellow.

Fruits of young trees with low fruit set sometimes show few caverns near the pistil end of the fruits. In that case, some slight and undisturbing pectin deposits near the stone might occur in these fruits. This has not been observed on older trees. Up to now, broken stones have never been observed. The fruit flesh is stable even under hot weather conditions during ripening time.

The stone is completely free.

Tree characteristics

Trees of European plum variety ‘Franzi®’ are vigorous with upright, moderately branched shoots. Long shoots easily develop spurs with plenty of flower buds in the second year. The long shoots should not be pruned during the first years after planting; then they will easily come down to a horizontal position.

The variety is not resistant but tolerant to Sharka, that means in case of an infection with the Plum pox virus (PPV), Sharka symptoms only develop on the leaves but not on the fruits. “Poxes” have not been observed until now.

The flowering time is medium. So far, ‘Katinka’ and ‘Cacaks Schöne’ are recommended as pollinators. Completing studies on self-fertility and further pollinators are under way.

The Obstgroßmarkt Mittelbaden (OGM, Oberkirch) and the Vereinigte Großmärkte für Obst und Gemüse Rheinhessen (VOG, Ingelheim) fund the plum breeding programme at the Bavarian Centre of Pomology and Fruit Breeding. Their members will be granted a reduction of the licence fees.

About the plum breeding at the Bavarian Centre of Pomology and Fruit Breeding

The Bavarian Centre of Pomology and Fruit Breeding runs the worlds largest breeding programme for European plum (Prunus domestica). We are breeding for varieties which are best suited for present and future market conditions and consumer preferences. This progress will constitute a quantum leap in fruit quality of European plum fruits.

The fruits of the new generation of plum varieties should be tolerant to cracking and to Monilinia fruit rot, good shelf life, without endocarp splitting (caverns), without tendency to stone cracking, with completely free stone and the fruits must be suited for fresh consumption as well as for processing including bakery. However, excellent taste is of utmost importance. Selling fruits with perfect taste is the only way how to increase European plum consumption in the future. Indeed, consumer tests with the new plum varieties have shown that the repurchase rate is unexpectedly high.

Thus, fruits of those European plums can easily compete with peaches, apricots and Japanese plums. The availability of the new generation of plum varieties and therefore of regionally produced, tasteful and healthy food is a chance for the fruit growers and the consumers. Take your chance!

‘Franzi® is one of the first varieties of this new generation of European plum varieties. It was bred by Dr. Michael Neumüller at Technical University of Munich and at Bavarian Centre of Pomology and Fruit Breeding.