VARIETAL DESCRIPTION OF 'FRIDGE' TRITICALE
'Fridge' is a tall winter triticale which has had excellent winter survival in our EPB northern Great Plains nursery site. In general the variety is recognized by strong stems, dark medium green foliage color, and long, awnletted spikes. 'Fridge' is very similar in appearance to its sister variety 'Frostat', except that 'Fridge' spikes mature to a golden color at harvest, rather than dark bronze.
'Fridge' relies on rapid early growth and stand height to produce tonnage. Early tallness and straw strength can be used to help identify the variety.
Before anthesis foliage color of 'Fridge' is dark medium green (7.5GY 4/4 on the Munsell Color Chart for Plant Tissues). It appears to be darker than most triticales at the same growth stage except for 'Frostat', which has the same Munsell numbers. Leaves are short, about 20 cm and narrow, averaging 12 mm in width. The flag leaf is short, erect, and twisted.
Stems of 'Fridge' are hollow and straight; nodes are generally lacking in anthocyanin pigment. Auricle color is clear. At anthesis a slight waxy bloom appears on the undersides of leaves and on lower stems, giving the strand a slightly bluish color.
The neck is generally straight, although occasionally wavy necks can appear even on the same plant as straight necks. Neck hairiness is moderate. The hairy patch extends about 3.5 cm below the spike. Spikes are held erect but incline at maturity. Boot stage height is 94 cm on average. Mature height averaged 154.9 cm at our Upper Midwestern location, slightly taller than 'Frostat' and 'Pika'. Heading averaged about 2-3 days later than 'Frostat' and about a week earlier than 'Pika'.
'Fridge' spikes are narrowly oblong and dense, about 12 cm in length and 12 mm in width. Glumes are midlong and golden at maturity. Glume length is 11 mm and width is 4 mm. Glumes are very slightly pubescent, although this is only noticeable under magnification. The glume shoulder is wanting and beak is acute.
Spikes have a reduced number and length of awns, a feature which provides the possibility of late dough-stage feeding. There are very tiny awnlets near the base (2 to 9 mm) and a few longer awnlets (2 to 3 cm) in the upper half of the spike. A spike usually has fewer than 18 of the 2 to 3 cm awnlets. Awnlets are vertically appressed.
A few variant plant types that occur in 'Fridge' can be noted. Occasionally a spike is found to be fully awned, but the occurrence of this is less than 1:1000. Another rare variant is a shorter plant (about 3/4 normal height) having smaller spikes but having the same number of spikelets and all the other spike characteristics of 'Fridge'. This variant occurs at a ratio less than 1:1000.
Seed of 'Fridge' is tan and ovate. Kernel length is 8 mm and width is 3.5 mm. The brush area is large, and brush length is medium. Seed weight is 49 g / 1000 kernels. Test weight is 51 lb./bu.
'Fridge' is adapted to all cereal growing areas of the prairies. It has field resistance to leaf and stem rust and excellent lodging resistance. It usually matures early enough to escape fusarium head blight. Winter survival is best when planted by September1; at Brandon MB winter survival was 98%.