Australian Almond Variety – Rhea
Rhea is an upright bearing tree that is suited to planting in traditional orchard densities. It is a paper shell with a closed shell seal to reduce kernel quality downgrades. The kernel itself has a hint of marzipan similar to Carmel and may be suitable for inclusion in the Carmel market.
- Cross-pollination needed
- High crackout percentage
- High cropping capacity
|Growth habit||Slightly open|
|Branching density||Medium high|
|Nut location||Mainly spurs and one year old wood|
|Flowering time||Early mid, full bloom 3 days earlier than Nonpareil|
|S compatibility genotype||S8S?|
|Compatible Pollinators||Nonpareil, Monterey, Peerless, Price, Carina|
|Length of flowering||Medium, approx. 3 weeks|
|Cropping regularity||Good. Low alternate bearing|
|Bacterial spot tolerance||Not tested as yet|
|Husking ease||Good. Hull is easily separated from shell|
|Kernel size||Medium (1.14 g)|
|Double kernels||No doubles|
|Kernel appearance||Attractive, skin colour light plump kernel|
|Kernel composition||Oil 54.7%; oleic acid 67.5%; Vitamin E 48.6 mg/100g oil|
Rhea is a paper-shelled variety that has consistently out yielded Nonpareil by 15% after eight years of yield assessments. The paper-shell has a fully sealed shell and, together with a thin hull, has crackouts around 35-40%. Rhea flowers early and is a suitable early pollinator for Nonpareil, replacing Price, Peerless and Monterey. Rhea needs cross pollination to successfully bear fruit. Rhea has a similar growth habit to Carmel, slightly spready and upright. It also has a slight marzipan after-taste similar to Carmel and may be marketed as a Carmel type.
Acknowledgements: Dr. Michelle Wirthensohn, University of Adelaide
The input and suggestions made by Australian almond processors, marketers and growers.
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