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, large; oblong, with a well-marked suture, one side of which is higher than the other. Skin, deep reddish purple, but paler on the shaded side, and covered with thin blue bloom. Stalk, three-quarters of an inch long, inserted in a deep cavity. Flesh, yellow, juicy, brisk, and of good flavour, adhering to the stone.
A fine showy plum, and though only of second-rate quality for the dessert, is excellent for preserving and other culinary purposes; ripe in the end of August. This is sometimes, but erroneously, called Nectarine Plum; but the young shoots of that are smooth, while those of Goliath are downy.
Gonne's Green Gage. See Yellow Gage.
Fruit, large and obovate. Skin, greenish yellow. Flesh, rather firm, sweet, and with an excellent flavour.
Goring's Golden Gage. See Green Gage.
Fruit, about medium size; oval, with a neck, and marked with a faint suture. Skin, deep yellow, covered with a thin bloom. Stalk, an inch long, slender, inserted quite on the apex of the fruit without depression. Flesh, yellow, with white veins, tender, juicy, sweet, and richly flavoured, adhering to the stone.
An excellent dessert plum, like a small specimen of Coe's Golden Drop; ripe in the middle of September. Shoots, downy.
Fruit, oval, with a short neck, and a well-defined suture, which is deep at the stalk and frequently also at the apex, where it is higher on one side than on the other. Skin, dark, almost a blackish purple, but reddish where shaded, the whole covered with blue bloom. Stalk, an inch to an inch and a quarter long, very slender, and inserted in a round narrow cavity. Flesh, greenish yellow, adhering closely to the stone, very brisk, with a sweet and rich flavour when fully ripe. Stone, with a very shallow and narrow channel like a thread.
A seedling raised by Mr. Rivers from Autumn Compote; an excellent cooking plum. The tree is a luxuriant grower and abundant bearer, and well adapted for orchard culture. Shoots, downy.
Great Damask. See Green Gage.
Fruit, medium sized; round, and a little flattened at both ends; dimpled at the apex, and marked on one side by a shallow suture, which extends from the stalk to the apex. Skin, tender, yellowish green, but when fully ripe becoming of a deeper yellow, clouded with green, marked with crimson spots, and covered with thin ashy-grey bloom. Stalk, half an inch to three-quarters long, inserted in a small cavity. Flesh, greenish yellow, tender, melting, and very juicy, with a rich, sugary, and most delicious flavour. It separates freely from the stone.
One of the richest flavoured of all the plums; ripe in the middle and end of August. The tree is a vigorous grower, hardy, and an excellent bearer, and the young shoots are smooth. It may be grown either as a standard, espalier, or trained against a wall; but it is found that the richest flavoured fruit is from a standard, though not so large as from a wall. When there is an abundant crop the trees should be gone over about the month of June, and thinned; for if the whole is allowed to be ripened, the fruit will be smaller and insipid, and wanting that richness which is peculiar only to this variety. It is said to be greatly improved by being grafted on the Apricot.
This universally known and highly esteemed fruit has been longer in this country than is generally supposed. It is said to have been introduced at the beginning of the last century by Sir Thomas Gage, of Hengrave Hall, near Bury St. Edmunds, who procured it from his brother, the Rev. John Gage, a Roman Catholic priest, then resident in Paris. In course of time it became known as the Green Gage Plum.
In France, although it has many names, that by which it is best known is Grosse Reine Claude, to distinguish it from a smaller and much inferior plum called Reine Claude Petite. The Green Gage is supposed to be a native of Greece, and to have been introduced at an early period into Italy, where it is called Verdochia. From Italy it passed into France, during the reign of Francis I., and was named in honour of his consort Queen Claude; but it does not appear to have been much known or extensively cultivated for a considerable period subsequent to this, for neither Champier, Olivier de Serres, Vautier, nor any of the early French writers on husbandry and gardening, seem to have been acquainted with it. Probably, about the same time that it was introduced into France, or shortly afterwards, it found its way into England, where it became more rapidly known, and the name under which it was received was not the new appellation which it obtained in France, but its original Italian name of Verdochia, from which we may infer that it was brought direct from Italy. It is mentioned by Parkinson, in 1629, under the name of Verdoch, and, from the way in which he speaks of it, seems to have been not at all rare, nor even new. It is also enumerated by Leonard Meager in the "list of fruit which I had of my very loving friend, Captain Gurle, dwelling at the Great Nursery between ISpitalfields and Whitechapel," and is there called Verdocha. Even so late as the middle of the last century, after it had been re-introduced, and extensively grown under the name of Green Gage, it continued to bear its original title, and to be regarded as a distinct sort from the Green Gage. Hitt tries to describe the distinction; but as he tries also to show that the Reine Claude is distinct from the Green Gage, his authority cannot be taken for more than it is worth; a remark which may safely be applied to all the pomologists of the last century. Miller laboured under the same hallucination as Hitt, for in his Dictionary he says, speaking of the Grosse Reine Claude, "this plum is confounded by most people in England by the name of Green Gage."
We have seen, therefore, that the generally received opinion that this valuable plum was first introduced to this country by the Gage family is incorrect, but that it must have existed for considerably upwards of a century, at least, before the period which is generally given as the date of its introduction.
Grimwood's Early Orleans. See Early Orleans. Gros Damas Blanc. See Large White Damask. Grosse Luisante. See White Magnum Bonum. Grosse Noire Hâtive. See Noire de Montreuil. Grosse Reine. See Green Gage. Grosse Rouge de Septembre. See Belle de Septembre. Grove House Purple. See Fotheringham. Guthrie's Apricot. See Guthrie's Golden. Guthrie's Aunt Ann. See Aunt Ann.