Australian Almond Variety – Vela
Vela is a highly spur bearing tree that is suited to planting in traditional or higher density orchards. The kernel has a similar appearance and taste profile to Nonpareil and may be suited to markets where Nonpareil is preferred over other varieties.
- Self fertile variety
- Spur bearing
- No alternate bearing
- High cropping capacity
|Growth habit||Upright to spreading|
|Nut location||Spurs and one year old wood|
|Flowering time||Early mid, full bloom 3 days earlier than Nonpareil|
|S compatibility genotype||S?Sf|
|Pollination||Self fertile variety. Cross pollination unnecessary. Good level of autogamy|
|Compatible Pollinators||Nonpareil, Carmel, Monterey, Carina, Capella, Maxima, Rhea|
|Length of flowering||Medium, approx. 3 weeks|
|Cropping regularity||Good. No alternate bearing|
|Bacterial spot tolerance||Very good|
|Harvest season||Mid to late|
|Husking ease||Good. Hull is easily separated from shell|
|Kernel size||Medium (1.8 g)|
|Shell texture||Soft shell|
|Double kernels||Less than 5%|
|Kernel appearance||Attractive, skin colour medium to light|
|Kernel composition||Oil 51.3%; oleic acid 64.2%; Vitamin E 41.03 mg/100g oil|
Vela is a soft shelled variety that has consistently out yielded Nonpareil by 12% over five years of yield assessments. It has superior fruit characteristics with a soft shell, full seal and large, sweet tasting, lightly coloured kernel. Vela’s main outstanding quality is its early precocity to crop on spur wood for its canopy size (12% more yield with 12% less canopy volume compared to the same age Nonpareil). The fully enclosed shell seal provides protection against insect and bird damage, whilst the hull detaches easily at harvest. Growth habit is slightly more upright to spreading compared to Nonpareil and has excellent spur growth for cropping. Vela flowers at the same time as Nonpareil and accordingly, can be used as a pollinator for Nonpareil or any of the other Californian or Australian varieties used in the Australian almond industry. Vela is self-fertile and doesn’t need cross pollination to successfully bear fruit, however cross pollination may still be beneficial.
Acknowledgements: Dr. Michelle Wirthensohn, University of Adelaide
The input and suggestions made by Australian almond processors, marketers and growers.
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This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the almond research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.