- Super firm “crunchy” berry texture
- Exceptionally good post-harvest storage
- Pleasant and consistent taste
- Medium to large size and uniform shape
- Little to no red-druplet reversion
- Thornless, vigorous and erect canes
- Floricane-fruiting with secondary crop potential
- Early to mid-season harvesting
Fruit firmness is a noteworthy characteristic and is crispy in texture, and is consistent whether in rainy or dry periods of fruit maturity. Storage potential of fresh fruit is extremely good. Red drupelet reversion was very low. The overall postharvest storage potential of fresh fruit of this cultivar is one of the best if not the top performer among the University of Arkansas blackberry varieties. Fruit size of this cultivar is maintained well throughout the entire harvest season. Kelly exhibits excellent fruit fertility with full drupelet set. The fruit is round in shape and glossy with a uniform black finish. The floricane fruit is medium, slightly larger than ‘Osage’. Fruit and flower clusters are medium-large, and are mostly borne on the periphery of the plant canopy, providing easy access to harvest. Flower fertility is high and clusters are well filled.
The fresh fruit rates very well in flavor and is a noteworthy attribute of the cultivar and is comparable to or exceeding that of ‘Osage’, and ‘Natchez’. Consistent flavor was noted at repeated observations of fruit of this cultivar over the years. The flavor is sweet and sub-acid. The soluble solids concentration averages 11.1% on shiny black fruit.
Plants of the new cultivar are vigorous and prolific and row establishment following planting is rapid. Both primocanes and floricanes are erect in growth habit. The canes can be trained to a self-supporting hedgerow although it is beneficial to use a trellis with supporting wires to prevent canes from falling over due to wind or heavy fruit loads. The plants are thornless.