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.
Large, obtuse heart-shaped, uneven in its outline, and compressed on the sides. Skin, deep, shining, blackish purple. Stalk, about an inch and a half long. Flesh, dark purple, tolerably firm, rich, and sweet.
Fruit, pretty large, distinctly and truly heart-shaped, undulating and uneven on its surface, sometimes quite misshapen with undulations, considerably flattened next the stalk, on the side which is marked with the suture. Skin, at first dark red, but changing as it ripens to dark blackish purple, and with a small russety dot at the apex, which is sometimes elongated to a sharp point. Stalk, from an inch and a half to an inch and three-quarters long, slender. Flesh, dark red, firm, but tender, adhering a little to the stone, and of a sweet, rather rich, and agreeable flavour. Stone, large and thick.
A very old and well-known cherry, which still retains its popularity. Ripe the beginning and middle of July.
As an orchard variety it is still grown to a large extent, the tree being a strong grower and an abundant bearer, but there are many others which are much preferable.
Fruit, very large, obtuse heart-shaped. Skin, shining, of a dark blackish brown, becoming quite black when ripe. Stalk, an inch and a half to two inches long, inserted in a flattened cavity. Flesh, purplish, rather tender than firm, juicy, and very richly flavoured. The stone is small for the size of the fruit, and obtuse heart-shaped.
This most delicious cherry is ripe the end of June and beginning of July, and is in greatest perfection when grown against a wall. The tree is quite hardy, a free and vigorous grower, at first having an upright habit, but more spreading as it becomes aged. The leaves are large, and well sustained on stout footstalks. It is an abundant bearer, and well adapted for forcing.
The merit of having introduced this excellent cherry is due to the late Mr. Hugh Ronalds, of Brentford, who, in 1794, issued a circular, a copy of which is in my possession, in which he signifies his intention of distributing it at five shillings each plant. It was subsequently brought from Russia by the late Mr. John Fraser, who distinguished himself first by his botanical discoveries in North America, and afterwards by his travels in Russia. He purchased it from a German, by whom it was cultivated in St. Petersburg, and introduced it to this country in 1796.