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.
The bunches and berries of this variety are similar to those of the Dutch Sweetwater and Prolific Sweetwater, but they set much better than either of these; and this is certainly the most preferable of the three. It ripens well out of doors against a wall.
Bunches, from nine inches to a foot long, and five to six inches wide at the shoulders, tapering, and closely set, having one and sometimes two shoulders. Berries, long and conical, the largest being an inch long and half an inch wide at the base. Berry-stalks, long and slender. Skin, green, thin, and semi-transparent, becoming pale yellowish as it ripens. Flesh, tender, of the consistency and flavour of the Sweetwater, and contains no seeds.
Bunches, small and well set. Berries, small, roundish oval. Skin, thick, dark purple, covered with thick bloom. Flesh, dark, with the slimy consistency of the American grapes, sweet, and with a high perfume which some consider resembles that of the Strawberry.
Although no such name is known in America, there can be no doubt that this is a variety of Vitis Labrusca, and whether it is one of the numerous American varieties under a new name, or whether it has been raised in Europe from American seeds does not much signify, it must be reckoned among American grapes.
Mr. Barron states that Lady Cave found it in the market at Gray, in Burgundy, and through her it was introduced into this country. This fact does not remove the probability that it is an American variety, for in my travels for several years through the vine-growing departments of France, I have frequently met with American grapes which had been introduced with the view to trying their merits for mixing with the fruit of the European vine in wine-making.
Bunches, immensely large, broad-shouldered, and conical. Berries, large, oval. Skin, thick, greenish white, changing to pale yellow when quite ripe. Flesh, firm and crackling, sweet, and, when well ripened, of good flavour.
This is a very good late grape, and generally produces bunches weighing from 7 lbs. to 10 lbs.; but to obtain the fruit in its greatest excellence the vine requires to be grown in a hothouse, and planted in very shallow, dry sandy soil. Speechly states that he grew a bunch at Welbeck weighing 20 lbs., and measuring 213/4 inches long and 19 1/2 inches across the shoulders. Mr. Dickson, gardener to J. Jardine, Esq., of Arkleton, Langholm, N.B., grew a bunch of Syrian which weighed 25 lbs. 15 oz., and it was exhibited at Edinburgh 15th September, 1875. It is a strong grower and an abundant bearer.