Pyrularia edulis A. DC. Santalaceae.
This is a large tree whose drupaceous fruit is used
for food. The fruit is eaten by the natives.
P. pubera Michx. BUFFALO-NUT. OIL-NUT.
Pennsylvania to Georgia.
The plant yields an edible fruit, according to
Pyrus (Malus) angustifolia Ait. Rosaceae. AMERICAN CRAB.
This species differs little from the P. coronaria of which
it may be a variety. Its range is not well known but it occurs in Virginia,
Kansas and the western states. It is good for preserves and sauces.
P. (Aronia) arbutifolia Linn. f. CHOKEBERRY.
Josselyn mentions its fruit as "of a delicate,
aromatic taste but somewhat stiptick." The fruit is well known for its
puckery quality, but occasionally a variety is found which is rather
pleasant tasting and is eaten by children.
P. aria Ehrh. CHESS APPLE. WHITE BEAM TREE.
Europe and northern Asia.
The berries of this species occur in the
debris of the lake settlements of Switzerland. Johnson says the fruit is
edible when mellowed by frost and that, fermented and distilled, it
yields a good spirit. Dried and formed into a bread, it has been eaten in
France and Sweden in time of scarcity. In India, the fruit is eaten when
P. (Sorbus) aucuparia Ehrh. MOUNTAIN ASH. QUICKBEAM. ROWAN
Europe and northern Asia.
This species is a native of Europe but is
cultivated for ornament in America and, in France, is grafted on the
service tree to increase the size of the berries. The round fruit is small,
scarlet, very juicy, sour and bitter but, when made into a jam, is called
Palatable. In Wales and the Scottish Highlands, in Livonia, Sweden and
Kamchatka, the berries are eaten when ripe as a fruit, and a liquor is
produced from the femented berries. In various parts of the north of
Europe, in times of scarcity, the dried fruit is ground into a meal and is
used as a bread-food.
P. (Malus) baccata Linn. SIBERIAN CRAB.
Himalayan region and northern Asia.
This species is cultivated in our
gardens for ornament and is highly esteemed for preserving. The fruit,
in India, says Brandis, is small and sour but palatable, with a true
apple flavor. It is much prized by the Hill People.
P. betulaefolia Bunge. BIRCH-LEAVED PEAR.
The flowers, leaves and fruit are edible. It was noted in China in
the fourteenth century.
P. communis Linn. PEAR.
Europe, northern Asia and the Himalayan region.
The pear is a native of
Europe and the Caucasian countries. It has been in cultivation from
time immemorial. The fruit tree figured in one of the tombs at Gurna
seems to belong here, and Heer states that a small-fruited kind appears
in the debris of the earliest lake villages of Switzerland. Unger states
that pears were raised in the gardens of the Phoenicians, and Thasos
was celebrated in ancient times on account of the excellence of its pears.
The primitive festival of the Ballachrades of the Argives with the wild
pear (achras) had reference to this first article of food of their
forefathers. The Jews were acquainted with greatly improved varieties,
but the Romans first occupied themselves more closely with its
cultivation and produced numerous sorts. Theophrastus knew 3 kinds
of pears; Cato, 6; Pliny, 41; and Palladius, 56. Targioni-Tozzetti says
that in Tuscany, under the Medici, in a manuscript list of the fruits
served at the table of the Grand Duke Cosmo III, is an enumeration of
209 different varieties, and another manuscript of that time raises the
number to 232. In Britain, in 1640, 64 kinds were cultivated, and in
1842 more than 700 sorts had been proved in the Horticultural
Society's gardens to be distinct. In 1866, Field gives a catalog of 850
varieties, of which 683 are of European origin. The American
Pomological Society's Catalog of 1879, names 115 distinct kinds which
are considered desirable for culture. The pear is now found in Europe,
Circassia, central Asia, the north of China and Japan, as well as in
America but is not grown in southern India, nor in Norway. Pear seeds
were mentioned in the Memorandum of March 16, 1629, to be sent to
the Massachusetts Company; in or about 1640, a tree was imported by
Governor Prince and planted at Eastman, Massachusetts, and one
about the same time was planted at Yarmouth, Massachusetts. The
Stuyvesant pear tree was planted in New Amsterdam in 1647 and is
said to have been imported from Holland. In 1648, it is said in A
Perfect Description of Virginia that "Mr. Richard Kinsman hath had for
this three or four years forty or fifty Butts of Perry made out of his
orchard, pure and good." On the banks of the Detroit River pears were
Planted as early as 1705 by the French settlers.
P. (Malus) coronaria Linn. AMERICAN CRAB APPLE. GARLAND
CRAB. SWEET-SCENTED CRAB.
Eastern North America.
This is, perhaps, the apple seen by Verazzano
in 1524 on the New England coast. The fruit is about an inch in
diameter, very acid and uneatable; it is, however, used for preserves
and for making cider.
P. (Cydonia) cydonia (oblonga) Linn. QUINCE.
Mediterranean and Caucasus regions.
The quince was held in high
repute by the ancients and was dedicated to the Goddess of Love.
Theophrastus speaks of a kind of quince as struthion and Dioscorides
speaks of the tree as kudonea. Athenaeus says Corinth furnished the
Athenians with quinces as delicious to the taste as they were beautiful
to the eye. The quince was brought to Italy from Kydron, a city of Crete,
according to Pliny. Columella knew it in his time, for he says "quinces
not only yield pleasure but health." In 812, Charlemagne enjoined its
cultivation in France. In England, it was known to Chaucer in the latter
part of the fourteenth century, for he speaks of it under the name of
coine. In 1446, baked quinces were served at a banquet in England.
Quinces reached America in colonial times, for quince kernels were in
the Memorandum of March 16, 1629, of seeds to be sent the
Massachusetts Company. They are mentioned in Virginia in 1648 and
again by Shrigley in 1669. In 1720, they are mentioned as growing
abundantly. At Santa Cruz, Bartlett writes: "There are two varieties of
the quince here, one hard and tart like our own, the other sweet and
eatable in its raw state, yet preserving the rich flavor of the former. The
Mexicans gathered and ate them like apples but I found them too hard
for my digestive organs." In Chile, says Molina, the quinces are of large
size, though, like those of Europe, they have an acid and astringent
taste but, if suffered to attain perfect maturity, they are very sweet and
P. (Mespilus) germanica (canescens) Hook. f. MEDLAR.
Eastern Europe and the Orient.
The medlar, although distributed
throughout almost the whole of Europe, is not indigenous but is a
native of northern Persia. It was brough, to Greece at an early period,
and Theophrastus was acquainted with three varieties. At the time of
Cato, it was unknown in Italy and was first brought there from
Macedonia after the Macedonian war. The fact that the Romans found
the medlar in Gaul proves only that it came there earlier in the way of
trade. Three varieties are considered worthy of cultivation in England.
The skin of the fruit is brown and the flesh firm and austere, not at all
fit to eat when first gathered and requiring to be kept until it begins to
decay, but, when it becomes completely disorganized and its green
color has entirely gone, the pulp, in its incipient state of decay has, to
many tastes, an agreeable acidity. There is a seedless variety which
keeps longer than the other kinds.
P. (Aronia) glabra Boiss.
This species furnishes a fruit which is eaten. In
Luristan it bears a substance which, according to Haussknecht, is
collected by the inhabitants and is extremely like oak manna.
P. intermedia Ehrh.
The fruit is red and eatable.
P. (ChaenomelesI japonica Thunb. JAPANESE QUINCE.
The Japanese quince is said to have been first introduced into Europe
in 1815. The fruit of the variety, says Downing, is dark green, very
hard and has a peculiar and not unpleasant smell. In the Michigan
Pomological Society's Report, the fruit is said to be sometimes used in
jellies. E. Y. Teas, a correspondent of Case's Botanical Index, says he
has seen specimens two by three inches in diameter, with a fine fleshy
texture, abounding in a rich, aromatic juice, as tart as and very much
like a lemon, readily producing a jelly of the finest quality and most
delightful flavor. When baked or stewed, the fruit becomes very fine.
P. lanata D. Don.
The fruit is edible.
P. (Malus) malus (pumila) Linn. APPLE.
Forests of temperate Europe and Asia.
The apple has been cultivated
from remote time. Carbonized apples have been found in the ancient
lake habitations of Switzerland, at Wangen, at Robenhausen and at
Concise, but these are small and resemble those which still grow wild in
the Swiss forests. Apples were raised in the gardens of the Phoenicians.
They are noticed by Sappho, Theocritus and Tibullus. Theophrastus
knew 2 kinds of apples; Cato, 7; Pliny, 36; Palladius, 37. Varro, in the
first century B. C., reports that, when he led his army through
Transalpine Gaul as far as the Rhine, he passed through a country that
had not the apple. According to Targioni-Tozzetti, in a manuscript list
of the fruits served up in the course of the year 1670 at the table of the
Grand Duke Cosmo III, of Tuscany, 56 sorts are described, 52 of which
are figured by Costello. In England, 1640, Parkinson enumerates 59
sorts. In 1669, Worlidge gives a list of 92, chiefly cider apples. In 1697,
Meager gives a list of 83 as cultivated in the London nurseries of his
day. Yet Hartlibb, 1651, mentions 200 and was of opinion that 500
In 1524, Verazzano, on the coast of what is supposed to be the present
Massachusetts, mentions apples but we know not to what fruit he
could have referred. Apple seeds were in the Memorandum of 1629 of
seeds to be sent the Massachusetts Company. In 1648, Peregrin White,
the first European born in New England, planted apples at Marshfield.
In 1639, Josselyn was treated with "half a score very fair pippins" from
Governor's Island in Boston Harbor, though there was then "not one
apple tree nor pear planted yet in no part of the country but upon that
island." In 1635, at Cumberland, Rhode Island, a kind called Yellow
Sweeting was originated. In 1635, as Josselyn states, Mr. Wolcott, a
distinguished Connecticut magistrate, wrote that he had made "five
hundred hogsheads of cider "out of his own orchard in one year and yet
this was not more than five years after his colony was planted. In 1648,
"Mr. Richard Bennett (of Virginia) had this yeere out of his orchard as
many apples as he made 20 Butts of excellent cider. In Downing's"
Fruits, edition of 1866, some 643 varieties are noticed, and the
American Pomological Society, 1879, endorses 321 varieties of the
apple and 13 of crabs. In 1779, in Gen. Sullivan's Campaign, at
Geneva, New York, Colonel Dearborn says under date of September 7th,
Here are considerable number of apple and other fruit trees; the
Journal of Capt. Nukercksays, "a great plenty of apple and peach trees;"
Dr. Campfield writes, "a considerable number of apple trees 20 or 30
years old;" and Gen. Sullivan in his official report says, " a great number
of fruit trees." In a pamphlet of 1798, it is stated that one farmer near
Geneva sold cider this year to the amount of $1200. About five miles
from Harrodsburg, Kentucky, in 1779, apple seeds were sown by
In 1643, Henry Brewer found on the coast of Chile "very good apples."
In Chiloe, Darwin says he never saw apples anywhere thrive so well,
and "they are propagated by cuttings." Bridges speaks of the houses in
portions of Chile being placed in groves of apple trees. About Quito,
says Hall, the apples are plentiful but small and ill-flavored. In Jamaica,
says Lunan, no apple yet introduced thrives and the fruits are usually
seedless. Among the introduced fruits of New Zealand, Wilkes, 1840,
mentions the apple. Thunberg does not mention them in Japan in
1776, but Hogg does in 1864; they are cultivated in the north of China
and in northern India, small in some districts, remarkably fine in
others. In Turkestan, in 1219, Ye-lu-Tch'u-tsai, a Chinese traveler,
found dense forests of apple trees. The apple is generally cultivated
throughout the Arab countries but is hardly edible, being prized for its
odor. At Ismailia, Egypt, the apple grows but does not bear fruit. The
fruit grows at Tonquin, north Africa, but is scarcely fit to be eaten.
The apple grows in Scandinavia as far as 62� north, in the Orkneys 60�
north and, according to Rhind, bears very fair fruit. Apples are grown
in. northern Russia but the most esteemed come to St. Petersburg from
the Crimea. They are plentiful in Britain, France, Switzerland and
Germany. The fruit is said to be poor in Italy, as in Greece. In America,
the apple bears fair fruit as far north as Quebec and is found in
varieties in all the states even to Mexico. In Venezuela, the fruit is noted
by Humboldt to be of good quality. In Peru, the apple is said to be
uneatable. In La Plata, the tree grows well, but the fruit is of poor
quality. A dwarf form is called the Paradise apple and another, in
France, the Doucin, or St. Johns apple. On account of rapid and low
growth, these dwarfs are principally used as stocks for dwarf apples.
P. pashia Buch.-Ham. WILD PEAR.
The hills of India.
The fruit is edible when it has become somewhat
decayed. It is even then harsh and not sweet.
P. (Malus) prunifolia Willd. PLUM-LEAVED APPLE.
Southern Siberia, northern China and Tartary.
This is one of the forms
of the tree cultivated as the Siberian Crab.
P. (Malus) rivularis Dougl. OREGON CRAB APPLE.
Alaska, Oregon, northern California and Nevada.
The fruit is about the
size of a cherry and is employed by the Indians of Alaska as a part of
their food supply.7 They are also used by the Indians of California 8
and of Oregon.9 The Oregon crab is called by the 'Chinooks powitch.10
In the early settlement of Oregon, this fruit was used largely for
Preserves. Aside from the great proportion of seeds, it does not make a
P. salicifolia Pall. WILLOW-LEAVED PEAR.
Caucasus, Greece, Turkey, Persia and Southwest Russia.
The fruit is
edible, but the tree is utilized more as a superior stock for grafting.
P. salvifolia DC. SAGE-LEAVED PEAR.
This species is wild and cultivated about Aurelia in France. The fruit is
thick, long and fit for perry.
P. (Malus) sieboldi Regel.
The fruit is edible after frosts.
P. sinensis Lindl. CHINESE PEAR. SAND PEAR.
This species is known in the gardens of India as a good baking
P. sinensis Poir.
This species furnishes a quince in China.
P. sorbus Gaertn. SERVICE TREE.
North Africa and Europe.
The fruit is about the size of a gooseberry and
is acerb. It is used in Brittany for making a cider, which, however, has
an unpleasant smell. There is a pear-shaped, an apple-shaped and a
berry-shaped variety. In the Crimea, there is a variety with a large, red
fruit the shape of a pear.
P. (Malus) spectabilis Ait. CHINESE FLOWERING APPLE.
The fruit is small, round, angular and about the size of a cherry,
yellow when ripe but flavorless and fit to eat only when in a state of
incipient decay at which period it takes the color and taste of the
medlar. There are several varieties in cultivation.
P. syriaca Boiss.
Asia Minor and Syria.
The mellow fruit is eaten.
P. torminalis Ehrh. MAPLE SERVICE. WILD SERVICE.
The small fruits, which are greenish, with dark spots, have an
extremely acid flavor but, when affected by frost, become mealy and
rather agreeable to the taste. They are sometimes collected and sold in
the shops in England. The fruit is sold in the London markets.
P. trilobata DC. THREE-LOBED-LEAVED PEAR.
This species has fruits of a pleasant flavor, tasting like pears,
according to Kotschy; they are frequently collected and brought to
market in Damascus.