Black Cherry Soda
As a photographer I am simply in love with this plant. Each day brings more vivid contrasting colors and just when I thought I had seen the most pink buds ever, it turns a even cooler color. I first tasted a small piece of this strain about 6 months ago and I am rarely impressed with stray samples that come around but this one got my attention. If you follow my work you know that I never really loved the Black Russian strain I worked with a few years back and I let the parents go. This strain which we do not know the parentage of has a similar flavor but the Black Berry is much more pronounced and it has a much denser structure and a ton more visible resin. The trichomes are stacked together and have a pink/magenta hue to them in my macro close ups. I asked one of my colleagues in the medical community" Dioxide" if I could get a cutting and a few weeks later he let me know he had secured a cutting. The only problem was that it was sick and it had mites and who knows what else so Dioxide transplanted the cutting and put her into his plant hospital. Once the plant was free of bugs and healthy enough to take fresh cuttings from he did so. The clones rooted about 7 days later and I was happy to learn one had my name on it. I also put the clone into quarantine which means I kept it separate from my main medical garden and made sure it was pest free for a few weeks before introducing her into my main area.
The plant grew well but very little side branching occurred and I had to top her several times to form a nice bush which took some additional time. I grew the plant under 18/6 light schedule until she was 30" tall with multiple heads. Once the plant was placed into the flowering room (12/12) it was only a few weeks before the pink coloring started to show. I have pictures at week 3 that already show the plants unusual trait of a pink inner bud while the leaves remain dark green. By week 4 of budding the plant was covered in resin and a vibrant light pink color. The plant was grown in my super soil and until day 30 fed only water. At day 30 I like to give the plants some sugars and starches and apply Bud Candy and Sucanat ( Raw Sugar) which increases resin production and enhances smell. This is an old trick farmers have been using for years but it also feeds the many beneficial microbes in my soil. Week six brought a deep magenta coloring covered in resin so deep the upper buds look frosted. The smell was like Black Berry wine or maybe even liquor with a hint of something else we call "Soda". The combination of smells is very strong when the plant is moved around and each time my arms are just covered in resin and feel sticky.
Is the plant good enough to breed with? I haven't determined that but I won't be killing the clone anytime soon. We are growing out a Devil Berry hybrid that has solid purple leaves and is also known for its Berry taste so that is one possible pairing. The first outcross we would consider is with our Space Queen male. He could make a turnip potent if you bred him to one so that's usually my first step. If we do and if that increases potency and the plant looks like a good stable mother we might explore further.
By day 51 the plant doesn't even look real in person much less in pictures. If anyone is thinking these photo's have been doctored they haven't. I don't know how and I use simple CFL bulbs and reflectors and the only thing I do in Photoshop is Resize for the web. This plant is actually this color and in fact as I said maybe a little more stunning in real life. The one big difference though between my eye and my Sigma 105 MM Macro lens and my eye is to me it looks mature. Every hair withered and they have changed to a rust color. The camera how ever allows me to zoom in using Photoshop and magnify the trichome heads. This allows me to see clearly how many are clear, cloudy, and starting to turn amber. This is the true indication of floral maturity and I like to harvest when 30% of the heads are the color of Cola. I don't always pull this off and when I have needed the room I have harvested to soon and missed this perfect window. So I have harvested the two main cola's to allow more light on to the juicy second shelf buds that were shaded the upper buds and the massive fan leaves that were attached.
I have now smoked a few different samples of this colorful strain and I enjoy smoking it very much. It has a high "smokability" factor because it taste so good but also because its not as potent as some of my hybrids. The flavor is indeed of Blackberry's and the taste comes through the smell very well. There is an underlying "Kush" smell but its mild and this is one of the best tasting strains of its type that I have tasted to date. I can easily take in 5-7 small bowls of this strain when something like my Vortex or Space Bomb would medicate me in 2-3 of the same size bowls. If we make a hybrid I will document that process as well and you can follow along in the next part of this story.
I hope your as blown away by the looks of this plant as I am but until I decide what to do with her you will just have to take my word. Yes it taste as good as it looks!