This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The discussion on pistillate and staminate Strawberries, which so raged in this country a quarter of a century ago, and out of which the raising of that excellent hermaphrodite, Albany Seedling, took all the practical value, seems to have found a res-surection in England. The Gardener's Magazine says:
"We exposed the absurdities of Mr. Leonard Wray, who had the audacity to inform the American public that in England the Strawberry 'has a forced and unnatural existence, more suited to the requirements of a tender exotic than to the hardy Strawberry,' and then he asked ' why is it so pampered, so swathed, so swaddled, and its hardy habit so ignored?' We will not trouble our readers with any further citation from Mr. Wray's revelations, but we feel bound to pronounce against the adoption of American notions by trade cultivators in this country, who appear to be steadily drifting into an injurious rut. In the issue of the magazine for November 18,1861, we reproduced the trade list of Strawberries published by Messrs. Prince and Co., of New York, for the purpose of showing how needless was the classification of Strawberries as 'staminate,' 'pistillate,' and 'hermaphrodite;' but now we find a few of our own nursery firms adopting the classification, and thereby creating a bewilderment, to the injury of an important branch of horticulture.
Suppose, for a moment, we grant that certain varieties produce flowers which are deficient of stamens; what can it matter if, when the time of Strawberries arrives, we find on those varieties an abundance of fruit? Mr. Scott, of Merriott, meets the case with a good practical suggestion. He says,'I would advise planting-several sorts in proximity,' in order that those that have pollen to spare may fertilize flowers deficient of stamens. The prudent cultivator will not trust to one sort of Strawberry any more than to one sort of Potato, but the less the prudent cultivator troubles himself about ' stami-nates ' and ' pistillates,' the better for his peace of mind and his Strawberry plantation".