This section is from the book "The Fruit Manual: Containing The Descriptions And Synonyms Of The Fruits And Fruit Trees Of Great Britain", by Robert Hogg. Also available from Amazon: The Fruit Manual.
Fruit, small, round, and a little flattened about the stalk and the apex. Skin, bright red at first, but the longer it hangs it becomes of a dark red. Stalk, about an inch long, slender, set in a shallow depression. Flesh, red, tender, juicy, and briskly acid. Stone, very small and round.
The earliest of all cherries, ripe in the middle of June, but now not worth cultivation, since there are so many other varieties which are almost equally as early and very superior to it as dessert fruits. It has for centuries been cultivated in this country, but more on account of its earliness than for any other merit it possesses.
The tree is of dwarf habit of growth, with slender and pendent shoots. It is tender, and requires the protection of a wall, but is unworthy of such a situation.
Early May Duke. See May Duke.
Ripe in the end of June.
Fruit, large, obtuse heart-shaped, a little flattened on one side. Skin, of a uniform shining dark purple, almost black. Stalk, slender, from two to two and a half inches long, inserted in a pretty wide but shallow depression. Flesh, dark purple, tender, and very juicy, with a particularly rich, sweet flavour.
A most delicious cherry; ripe on a wall the last week of May or first of June. It is as early as the Early May, and about a fortnight earlier than the May Duke, to both of which it is far superior in richness of flavour.
The tree is vigorous and healthy, succeeds well as a standard, and is an excellent bearer, but it requires to be grown on the Mahaleb stock. To orchardists this would prove a valuable acquisition, both as regards the earliness and the rich flavour of the fruit.
This variety was received by the London Horticultural Society from Decandolle, of Geneva, in 1822; and by M. Decandolle it was procured from M. Baumann, of Bolwyller.
Early Purple Griotte. See Early Purple Gean.
The fruit is large, about the size of the ordinary Bigarreau, but of a decided heart-shape. The skin is bright red and transparent, like that of Belle de Choisy. The stalk is from an inch and a half to an inch and three-quarters long. Flesh, firm, rich, sweet, and excellent.
This is a very excellent early cherry, ripening from the middle to the end of June, and quite ripe before the old Bigarreau begins to colour.
The tree is like a Duke in its habit of growth, but the fruit is so delicately heart-shaped, and the flesh so firm, that it must be classed among the Bigarreaus.
Early Richmond. See Kentish.