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THE COMMON CHERRY-TREE.
LINNÆUS, Species Plantarum.
DE CANDOLLE, Prodromus.
Loudon, Arboretum Britannicum.
Grottier des parisiens,
Cherry-tree, Kentish pulemish Cherry" } BRITAIN.
Derivations. The specific name, caproniana, is said to be derived from capron, the hautbois strawberry, probably from the fruit of this tree possessing much more favour than that of the Cerasus sylvestris. Morello is either from morel, a species of fungus, (Morchella esculenta,) the flesh of which is of a similar consistency as that of this cherry; or, perhaps, from the French word morelle, a negress. May Duke is a corruption of Medoc, the province of France where this variety is supposed to have originated. Grotiier is said to be derived from aigreur, sourness, or sharpness, and is applied to this cherry, from the acidity of its fruit.
Engravings. Lindley, Pomologia Britannica ; Hoffy, Orchardists' Companion ; Loudon, Arboretum Britannicum, vi., pl. 114; and the figures below. Specific Characters. Branches spreading. Flowers in subsessile umbels, somewhat stalked. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, smooth, folded together.—Loudon.
less magnitude than the preceding species, and, in point of general appearance, may be included under three forms -Large trees with stout branches, and shoots proceeding from the main stem hori
WA zontally, or slightly inclining upwards; fastigiate trees of a smaller size; and small trees with weak wood, and divergent, drooping branches. The leaves vary so much, from the effects of cultivation, that it is impossible to characterize the sorts by them; but, in general, it has been observed, that those of the large trees are largest, and the lightest in colour, and those of the slender-branched varieties are the smallest, and of the darkest shade; the flowers are also the largest on the large trees. The fruit is round, melting, full of a watery juice, more or less flavoured, and almost always sensibly acid. The skin of the fruit separates easily from the flesh, and the flesh parts readily from the stone. It is commonly red, but in numerous varieties it passes into all shades between that colour and dark-purple or black.
Varieties. The common cherry, like many other kinds of fruit, has, by long cultivation, become exceedingly multiplied in its varieties, and new races, or new names, are constantly being added to our catalogues, which number, at present, at least three hundred. As it is impossible for us to enter, in detail, into all the modifications of these races, we have thought proper to present the following arrangement, which is based upon the classification adopted by Mr. Thompson, in his "Report upon the principal Varieties of Cherry cultivated in the Garden of the London Horticultural Society," published in the first volume of the second series of the “Transactions of that society. He appears to have founded his system principally upon the character of the edges of the leaves, the form and colour of the fruit
, the firmness or aqueousness of its flesh, its sweetness or acidity, and the colour of the juice.
1. C. v. UNDATIFOLIUM. Waved-edged-leaved Common Cherry-tree. The leaves of this race are waved on the margin, are generally large and pendent, with sharp, prominent veins beneath, coarsely serrated, of a thinner texture, and of a more yellowish-green than those of the C. v. integrifolium. The buds are pointed, the flowers large, proceeding from wood of not less than two years' growth. The petals are loosely set, and the stamens are slender and irregular in length, some being longer and others shorter than the style. Under this form are included the following varieties, which ripen their fruit, in England, in the order they stand; but somewhat later at Philadelphia and New York, until the longest days. of summer arrive, after which they ripen earlier.
a. Early Purple Guigne or Early Purple Griotte. This variety may be known by the long petioles of its leaves, and its very handsome, large, heartshaped, dark-purple fruit, with a rich, tender, purple pulp. It ripens from the beginning to the middle of June.
B. Werder's Early Black Heart; Werdersche frühe schwarze Herzkirsche, of the Germans. This variety originated in Prussia, prior to 1794. It is distinguished from the preceding by its shorter petioles, and large, obtuse, heartshaped, black fruit, with a firm, rich, juicy, purplish-red flesh, and ripens at about the same period.
Y: Bowyer's Early Heart, known by its obtuse heart-shaped, amber-coloured fruit, of a medium size, mottled with red, with a soft, juicy, sweet, white pulp. It ripens its fruit by the end of June, is a good bearer, and is regarded as one of the earliest of the light-coloured sorts.
8. Knight's Early Black. This variety was originated by T. A. Knight, Esquire, in 1810, from the bigarreau and May Duke. Its fruit is very handsome, is large, ohtuse heart-shaped, black, with a rich, purplish flesh, of an excellent quality, and ripens about the end of June.
€. Black Eagle, a variety produced by Miss E. Knight, of Downton Castle, in 1806. It succeeds well as a standard, is a good bearer, and may be known by its roundish heart-shaped, black fruit, of a medium size, with a rich, tender, dark-purple pulp, and ripens early in July.
6. Downton, a variety produced also by Miss Knight, prior to 1818. It is a good bearer, and is distinguished by its roundish heart-shaped, pale-yellow, and red fruit, of about a medium size, having a rich, juicy, pale, amber-coloured pulp, and ripens from the beginning to the middle of July.
1. Elton, a much esteemed and productive variety, originated by the same lady as above, in 1806. It may be known by its large size, heart-shaped, paleyellow and red fruit, with a very rich, sweet, whitish pulp, and comes to maturity at about the same period as the Downton variety.
0. Flesh-coloured Bigarreau; Bigarreau couleur de chair, of the French. This variety may be known by its pendulous branches, large, obtuse heartshaped, very shining, white and red fruit, with a tender, whitish pulp. It is regarded as a good bearer, and matures from the beginning to the middle of July.
4. Black Tartarian, known also by the names of Circassian Cherry, Superb Circassian, Black Russian Cherry, Fraser's Black Heart, and Ronald's Black Heart. This variety is said to have originated in Spain, whence it was transmitted to Russia, and was carried from the last-named country to England by the late Mr. John Fraser. In the account given of it, however, in the " Pomona Londinensis," it is stated to have been introduced into Britain from Circassia, by Mr. John Ronalds, of Brentford, in 1794. It is distinguished for its large, obtuse heart-shaped, shining, purplish-black fruit, with an uneven surface, containing a rich, tender, juicy, purplish flesh, and differs from many other varieties in hanging in clusters, which enables it to be easily gathered. It is a cherry of great excellence, bears plentifully as a standard, and when ripe, which usually occurs early in July, it readily commands, in market, double the price of the ordinary kinds. This tree is also valuable, not only for its fruit alone, but from its vigorous growth, spreading branches, and symmetrical form, it is well adapted for the purposes of ornament, and is worthy of general cultivation.
*. Büttner's Yellow; Büttnersche gelbe Knorpelkirsche, of the Germans. This variety was originated by M. Büttner, of Halle, prior to 1803. It succeeds well as a standard, is a good bearer, and may be known by its roundish, yellowish fruit, of a medium size, containing a sweet, pale-yellow pulp, and is ripe about the middle of July.
h. Waterloo, distinguished by its large, obtuse heart-shaped, purplish-red fruit, with a tender, purplish-red flesh, and is ripe in July. It is but a moderate bearer, and requires to have its branches trained widely apart.
u. Bigarreau or Graffion, a very handsome, and much cultivated fruit, particularly for the London market. It is an abundant bearer, and may be known by its large, obtuse heart-shaped, white and red fruit, with a firin, sweet, whitish pulp, and is usually ripe by the end of July,
v. Florence. This variety was introduced into Britain from Italy by J. A. Hublon, Esquire, in 1780. it does not bear well when young, but abundantly when the trees become older. Its fruit is large, of an obtuse heart-shape, and of a pale-amber and red colour, filled with a rich, sweet, juicy pulp. It ripens, in England, in August, and several weeks earlier at New York.
8. Hildesheim's Late Bigarreau; Bigarreau tardif de Hildesheim of the French; and Hildesheimer späte Herzkirsche, of the Germans. This variety is the latest of all the pale-coloured cherries, often not ripening, in England, before September. It is a good bearer, and may be distinguished by its heart-shaped, red and yellow mottled fruit, of a medium size, containing a firm, sweet, paleyellow pulp. .
2. C. V. INTEGRIFOLIUM. Entire-leaved Common Cherry-tree. The leaves of this variety are generally smaller, and of a deeper green than those of the C. v. undatifolium ; and have their edges plain, with the veins beneath, as they approach the margin, almost buried in the parenchyma, which is thicker than in the last-named variety. The petioles support the leaves erect, or at least from hanging loosely and pendent. The flowers expand widely, and the petals do not hang loose, but form a regular cup-shaped flower, with strong stamens, generally shorter than the style. Under this division may be recognized the following varieties, that ripen in England at the time specified below, but later or earlier in the United States, according to the circumstances under which they grow
a. May Duke ; Royale hâtive, of the French. This variety forms a mediumsized or low tree, with an erect fastigiate head. It may be known by its large, roundish, dark-red fruit, with a rich, tender, juicy, red pulp, which usually ripens about the end of June. There is another variety nearly allied to this, called Jeffrey's Duke, which was originated by Mr. Jeffrey, nurseryman, at Brompton Park, in 1780. This tree differs from the May Duke, in being of a more compact growth.
B. Belle de Choisy or Ambrée de Choisy, a variety which originated at Choisy, near Paris, in 1760. Its fruit is large, roundish-oblate, red, mottled with amber, and has a tender, sweet, juicy pulp. It is a moderate bearer, and ripens its fruit from the beginning to the middle of July.
7. Royal Duke; Royale tardive, of the French. The general habit of this tree resembles that of the May Duke. It is a good bearer, and arrives at maturity from the middle to the end of July. It may be known by its large, oblate, dark-red fruit, with a rich, tender, juicy, reddish pulp.
8. Kentish Cherry; Montmorenci à longue queue, of the French. This variety forms a round-headed tree, with somewhat slender, pendulous shoots, and is regarded as a very productive bearer. It may be distinguished by its oblate, bright-red fruit, of a medium size, with a juicy, acid, whitish pulp, and arrives at maturity from the middle to the end of July.
8. Flemish Cherry; Montmorenci à courte queue, of the French. This variety only differs from the Kentish Cherry, in being more upright in its growth, and a less productive bearer.
$. Ostheim Cherry; Cerise d Ostheim, of the French. This variety originated on the Rhone, in 1750. It forms a dwarfish, weeping tree, and bears abundantly on the one-year-old wood. It is distinguished by its globose, darkred fruit, of a medium size, with a sub-acid, claret-coloured pulp, and ripens about the end of July.
m. Late Duke; Anglaise tardive, of the French. This variety is a great bearer, and may be known by its large, obtuse heart-shaped, dark-red fruit, with a rich, juicy, amber-coloured flesh, and is ripe in August.
0. Morello or Milan Cherry forms a low tree, with a spreading, somewhat pendulous head. It is most prolific in flowers and fruit, the latter ripening late in August or early in September, and, from not being so greedily eaten by birds, as most other kinds, it hangs on the trees for a long time. It is distinguished by its large, obtuse heart-shaped, dark-red fruit, with an acid, juicy, purplish-red flesh, and by its growing on the one-year-old wood. It is excellent for preserving, and for brandy.
The five following varieties are particularized by Loudon, as being purely ornamental :
3. C. y. FLORE SEMIPLENO. Semi-double Common Cherry-tree. 4. C. v. FLORE PLENO. Double-flowered Common Cherry-tree. "All the stamens of this variety,” Mr. Loudon says, "are changed into petals; and the pistillum into small, green leaves which occupy the centre of the flower. The flower is smaller and less beautiful than that of the double mérisier; but, as the tree does not grow so high, and as it can be grown as a shrub, it is suitable for planting in situations where the other cannot be introduced.” It is commonly grafted on the Cerasus mahaleb. " The flower is interesting in a physiological point of view,” continues Mr. Loudon, "on account of its central green leaves, illustrating Goethe's doctrine of vegetable metamorphoses."
5. C. V. PERSICIFLORA. Peach-blossomed Common Cherry-tree, with double, rose-coloured flowers. This variety was known to Bauhin and to Tournefort, but at present, it is said to be very rare in collections.
6. C. v. FOLIIS VARIEGATIS. Variegated-leaved Common Cherry-tree.
7. C. v. SEMPERFLORENS. Ever-flowering Cherry-tree; Weeping Cherry-tree, Allsaints Cherry, of the English; and Cerise de la Toussaint, Cerise de St. Martin, Cerise tardive, of the French. This variety is distinguishable by its drooping branches, ovate, serrated leaves, and globose, red fruit.
When grafted standard high, on the common wild cherry, (Cerasus sylvestris,) it forms a truly desirable small tree, to stand singly in a lawn. It grows rapidly for eight or ten years, and acquires a spherical head, eight or ten feet in height, and ten or twelve feet in diameter, with the extremities of the branches drooping to the ground, flowering and fruiting during almost the whole summer.
Geography and History. The Cerasus vulgaris is regarded by all ancient authors, as a tree of Asiatic origin; but whether it is truly indigenous to any part of Europe, several modern writers differ in opinion. Pliny states that it did not exist in Italy till after the victory which Lucullus won over Mithridates, king of Pontus, sixty-eight years before the Christian era. He tells us that, “In twenty-six years after Lucullus planted the cherry-tree in Italy, other lands had cherries, even as far as Britain, beyond the ocean." He mentions eight kinds of cherries as being cultivated in Italy, at the time he wrote his “Natural History," which was A. D. 70. “The reddest cherries," says he, "are called apronia; the blackest, actia ; the Cæcilian are round. The Julian cherries have a pleasant taste, but are so tender that they must be eaten when gathered, as they will not endure carriage.” The Duracine cherries were esteemed the best, * but the Picardy and Portuguese cherries were most admired. The Macedonian cherries grew on dwarf trees; and one kind is mentioned by the above-named author, which never appeared ripe, having a hue between green, red, and black. Hé mentions a cherry that was grafted, in his time, on a bay stock, which circumstance gave it the name of laurea ; this cherry is described as having an agreeable bitter flavour. “The cherry-tree," continues he, "could never be made to grow in Egypt, with all the care and attention of man.” According to Abbé Rosier, Lucullus brought into Italy only two superior varieties of cherry; the species which were the origin of all those now in cultivation, being, before his time, indigenous to Italy, and to the forests of France, though their fruit was neglected by the Romans. It is affirmed by Faulkner, in his “Kensington," that the cherry was introduced into Britain about A. D. 53. Gerard, in his “ Herbal,” published in 1597, figures a double and a semi-double variety of cherry; and, of the fruit-bearing kinds, says there are numerous varieties, among which he mentions the "morello or morel," and the “Flanders or Kentish cherries." At present, the common cherry is extensively cultivated as a fruit-tree, throughout the temperate regions of the civilized globe; but it does not thrive in very high latitudes, nor within the tropics, unless grown at considerable elevations. It is found in Russia as far north as latitude 55° or 56°; and ripens its fruit in Norway and East Bothnia, as far as latitude 63o. It is also found in the north of Africa, and on several islands in the Mediterranean, but it does not attain so large a size in the last-named places as in higher latitudes.
The introduction of the common cherry into the United States, dates back to the earliest periods of their settlements. Some of the oldest trees of this species, known to exist in this country, are on the estate of Mr. Lemuel W. Wells, in Yonkers, New York, and at Point Pleasant, Bristol, Rhode Island, on the estate of Mr. Robert Rogers. Those of the latter place are said to have been planted over two hundred years.
Soil, Situation, Propagation, &c. The same as recommended for the Cerasus sylvestris (gean.)
Accidents, Diseases, foc. The common cherry-tree is not particularly liable to be broken by high winds, nor by excessive weight from snow or ice; but, as a fruit-tree, its branches are frequently broken by carelessness in those who gather the fruit. Like its congener, the gean, it is subject to the flowing of gum from the wounded parts. Several species of wood-pecker, (Picus,) are said to be particularly fond of picking holes in this tree, in search of worms. On this subject,
It was the opinion of Loudon that the Julian and Duracine cherries, mentioned by Pliny, were vari. eties of the Cerasus sylvestris.