This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The specimen is one of six apples, which were exhibited attached to the branch upon which they grew. The other specimens were of the usual form, and all were of the usual color of this variety. I add an outline of one of them also for comparison.
In color and flavor the abnormal specimen is not distinguishable from its fellows. Its core is slightly deformed nearest the stem, which is very short; and the usual fibrous connection of the stem and core is entirely dissevered. The larvae of the codling moth had attacked the calyx and core, which possibly may have increased the malformation of the core. The seeds were plentiful, although partially destroyed by the larvae.
The only apparent difference between this and the other specimens, so far as outward appearance or arrangement upon the branch are concerned, and aside from the change of form, consists in the fact that this was nearest the base of the branch, and grew upon a spur four or five inches in length, while the others grew upon spurs of about an inch in length.
This specimen is so perfectly and unmistakably pyriform, that I at first suspected it to be a case of "spur grafting;" but a very careful examination of the spur and branch determines that nothing of this character had to do with the case, but that it is clearly an unusual "lusus naturae."
[There is little doubt, we think, that these cases of pyriform apples are in no way connected with hybridization through pear pollen. It is in consequence of some as yet unexplained inherent law of growth. We call them mere lapses of nature, - sports, but it is worthy of note that these "lapses" are in an uniform direction when they do occur. The "monstrosity" does not resemble a peach, a pine apple, or a pomegranate - it is always the pear. This shows that it is not mere accident - it is law even in the aberration from law. Bearing this in mind, we can readily understand that a law which makes a pear in form and appearance out of an apple, and as a temporary production, can just as well make an actual pear out of an apple as a permanent existence, and it is just such experiences as these which prepare the mind for what are termed evolutionary doctrines. We are always glad to hear of these doings of nature. - Editor G. M.]