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clearings south of Temuco.13 It is also highly prized in city gardens and is sometimes used as a border hedge. The sweeping branches establish roots when they contact the ground, and ugni can be easily propagated from such offsets as well as from cuttings and seed. In addition, researchers at the University of Concepción, Chile, have developed techniques for large-scale production of selected types using tissue culture.

The plant reportedly bears well on the coast of California, is commonly grown as an ornamental in the southern United States, and is also found in New Zealand.14

PROSPECTS

The Andes. At present, little or no effort is being exerted to cultivate or domesticate most of these Andean berries. Research is now needed to determine their range, types, and distribution. Additional information on the phenology and morphology should be gathered and an evaluation made of the commercial potential of each species, including the technical problems to be overcome. These results could then be used to direct attempts at domestication and improved use. Germplasm collections will almost certainly turn up the high-quality specimens needed for large-scale success. The development of basic cultivation practices will enable plantations to be established and management strategies to be formulated.

It is likely that domestication of the wild species will produce a cultivated fruit larger and sweeter than today's. However, there is also promise for the wild berries, as many people prefer their tartness. The existing stands of wild and semidomesticated plants can be made more productive by pruning to produce fruiting laterals, instead of leaving them to develop unchecked, as is now the case.

Efforts to exploit these berries will probably be successful—as is being demonstrated in the departments of Cundinamarca and Boyaca in Colombia. There, small-scale growers have organized into farmers' cooperatives, and have created a prosperous agroindustry based on the mora de Castilla.

Emerging technologies could make these fruits even more valuable commercially. For example, in North America, the drying or freezing of fruits to extend their marketing season has not been as effective with blueberries as it has been with other fruits. However, explosion


13 It is sometimes confused with murtilla blanca (Ugni candollei), which is restricted to the Chilean coast, and which has larger leaves and larger berries.
14 W.R. Sykes writes that “it is a fairly common garden plant in many cooler parts of New Zealand because it tolerates −10°C without seeming to suffer any damage.”


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