Georgia Dawn™

At a Glance

Georgia Dawn™ is a Southern highbush (mostly Vaccinium corymbosum) with good plant vigor with an upright growth habit and narrow crown. It is early flowering (February-March) and ripening (end of April and early May). No notable disease or other pest problems have been observed for Georgia Dawn™ that are not common for other varieties.


This variety is very early ripening—in seven to twelve days earlier than the varieties Rebel and Star in south Georgia and more than two weeks earlier than Emerald—and should be grown with overhead sprinkler frost protection for more reliable production.

Georgia Dawn™ has medium to large berries with good flavor. It has good fruit scar and firmness.


Yield estimates are typically as good as for Star and Emerald, although usually somewhat less than the high-yielding Rebel.


Georgia Dawn™ should be grown with frost protection (overhead sprinklers). It may be suitable for mechanical cultivation. While the variety is self-fertile, a companion variety would be good for pollination; Rebel is suggested.


Originally known as TH-819, the Georgia Dawn™ blueberry originates from a cross of ‘Star’ X ‘Bladen’ developed by D. Scott NeSmith of the University of Georgia in 1998. Georgia Dawn™ is a 2011 release by the University Of Georgia College Of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the University of Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station. This protected blueberry variety can be sold only by individuals licensed by the University of Georgia Research Foundation (UGARF) and Georgia Seed Development (GSD). USPP applied for.


D. Scott NeSmith

D. Scott NeSmith

Dr. D. Scott NeSmith’s blueberry research program at the University of Georgia emphasizes new variety development as well as cultural management of blueberries for the southeastern United States.

Since taking over the UGA blueberry breeding program in 1998, Dr. NeSmith has released and patented 10 new commercial blueberry varieties and two ornamental blueberry varieties. His breeding program is now considered one of the most active low- to-mid chill blueberry programs in the world.  He joined UGA in 1990.

Dr. NeSmith has expanded UGA’s program globally through collaborative projects throughout the U.S. and many other countries including South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Japan, Europe, Morocco, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Peru, and Mexico. Much of his cultural management research has been with growth regulators in blueberries.  He also conducts experiments on plant establishment, pollination, and post-harvest quality.

Dr. NeSmith is a member of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS) and the International Society for Horticultural Sciences.  He is a past President of the Southern Region ASHS and has served as an Associate Editor for the ASHS journal, HortScience. 

Dr. NeSmith has received the D.W. Brooks Excellence in Research Award from UGA and in 2011 was selected as a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences.  He has published more than 250 research papers, including more than 97 in refereed journals, and has received two awards for outstanding publications.

He graduated from the University of Georgia with B.S. and M.S. degrees. He obtained his Ph.D. from Michigan State University.


  • Department of Horticulture
  • University of Georgia, Griffin Campus