In the last July issue of The American Garden I illustrated and described the flowers of the so-called bloomless apple. It was found that the flowers are destitute of colored petals, those organs being reduced to green sepal-like bodies. The stamens are wanting and the pistils are usually fifteen. In the August issue Mr. Fuller supplemented the history of this remarkable monstrosity. An opportunity now presents itself to make a complete characterization of the fruit. The fruits were obtained from Mr. Robinette, of Flag Pond, Virginia, who also contributed the flowers described last summer. The apple is much the size and shape of the Rambo. Its ground color is yellowish green, over which are irregular and dull streaks of red. The apex of the apple presents a singular cavity which extends nearly or quite half way through the fruit. Every alternate segment of the floral en-v e lo p e s or "calyx," is thickened and somewhat e n-larged. These thickened portions belong to the interior series of the envelope, and are therefore petals. The remaining segments differ little from the "calyx" divisions in ordinary apples.

Figure 1 affords an admirable illustration of the general appearance of the fruit.

When the apple is cut into halves - one of which is represented in figure 2 - it is found to possess a double core, one core standing above the other. One or both of these cores may bear seeds. When the seeds are born in the upper core alone, we have the condition which Mr. Robinette described in my contribution last summer: "These seeds were not in the ordinary place, but were near the skin, at the blossom end." The only reason why this apple should not contain seeds lies in the fact that the flowers have no stamens, and there can therefore be no pollination by the same variety. But pollen from other varieties may fertilize it and cause it to set seeds in abundance. With the growth of the apple, the cores, or some of them, split open and cause the hollowness of the fruit, b and c in figure 2 designate the persistent points of the core-walls, and a marks a thickened petal in the "calyx." These points of the walls of the cores are the bodies of which Mr. Van Deman refers in the communication which follows this: " There seemed to be two or three sets of sepals, one above the other, instead of the normal five." The morphology of the double core indicates that the cells assume this position because of the crowding consequent upon their abnormal number.

In the flower the superimposed character of the cells is scarcely evident. In the flower the cells are usually fifteen, but when the fruit has matured, some of the cells are nearly or quite obliterated by the crowding.

The first record of this peculiar apple in American literature, so far as I have determined, is that cited by Mr. Fuller in the August number of this journal. This is a record of the Farmers' Club of the American Institute, in 1868.

"L. Barrett, of Smiksburg. Penn., communicated to the club that he had found a coreless and seedless apple the year previous, in West Virginia. He said that the fruit was solid and of good flavor,' and stated further, they do not blossom like other fruit, but put forth stems and buds like a clove.'" In 1870, the club again had the same or a similar fruit from H. L. Reade, which came from Jesse S. Eby, of Norwich, Conn. These specimens "came originally from his [Eby's] father's farm, in Litchfield county, and from a tree that has had no perceptible blossom, and yet has borne for over 50 years".

In Tilton's Journal of Horticulture for 1869, page 333, Robert Manning describes the "No-core" : "We remember seeing, some years ago, at an exhibition of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society an apple called 'No-core' which, singularly enough, had two cores. We had also another apple, received from Messrs. Baumann, the French nurserymen, the 'Hillars Grande.' which showed the same extraordinary formation. * * * The flower of the Hillars Grande was destitute of petals, or showed only what were supposed to be bracts in their place. * *.* The fruit was of a yellow color, with dull reddish-brown cheek, pearmain-shaped, tapering, with quite concave lines, and showing the fine carpels very plainly in prominent knobs at the apex. [These knobs were probably the thickened petals.] It was sweet and rather dry, and of little value except as a curiosity." Mr. Manning writes me that "specimens of such an apple were exhibited before the Massachusetts Horticultural Society on the 13th of October last under the name of 'No-blow.' ".

The Fig Apple, Bloomless, of 1768.

Fig. 3. The Fig-Apple, "Bloomless," of 1768.

Section of Bloomless Apple.

Fig. 2. Section of Bloomless Apple.

The Botanical Gazette for June, 1887, records the following: "Professor W. W. Bailey [Providence, R. I.] writes that a lady pupil had brought him a spray of an apple tree with peculiar monstrous flowers. The petals were aborted and green, and there were no stamens. The carpels, with style and stigma, were fairly well developed. The tree is reported to bear fruit from these curious flowers".

The first reference to this form of variation which I have been able to find in European literature is in Duhamel's Arbes Fruitiers, 1768. The Latin characterization records the fact that the flowers had no petals and that the cells were in two series: "Malus apetala, fructu oblongo, loculos seminum duplici serie digestos foventi, calice prolifero coronato." The "New Duhamel," published in 1807 by Poiteau and Turpin, contains a full description and a colored plate of this apple, which is called Pome-Figu, or "Fig-apple." The fruits are long, with concave sides, and greenish-yellow. A cross section of a fruit is reproduced in figure 3. The figures of the flowers are almost exactly those of my former article in American Garden, and the botanical characters are evidently the same. I translate a few extracts : "They [the flowers] have no petals, but are composed of an ovary with fifteen cells disposed in two tiers, five in the lower tier and ten in the upper, each cell containing two ovules. The calyx is double, of which the five outer divisions are lanceolate, sharp and spreading, and the five inner ones are smaller and alternate with the outer ones. The styles are fifteen, of which five are borne in the center, corresponding to the lower cells and the others to the upper cells.

The five styles in the center are joined at the base, and form a separate parcel; the others are equally distributed upon the circumferance and form a circle about the first. We have found no trace of petals [one row of the 'calyx' answers to petals, however], neither of stamens. This singular flower appears to approach the proliferous flowers of botanists".

The structure of all these apples is essentially the same, but the fruit of the fig-apple is very different from that which I have described above. The apple is certainly not necessarily seedless, neither is it coreless nor flowerless. Yet, in a popular sense, it may be called a bloomless apple. It appears to possess no value aside from its curiosity. L. H. Bailey.

[Note from the United Stales Pomologist].

There having been much said in the public press within the last year or two about a so-called bloomless, seedless and coreless apple, which has been introduced to public notice by G. W. Robinette, of Flag Pond, Virginia, I have, after repeated trials, succeeded in getting specimens of the fruit this fall. Mr. Robinette sent me four specimens, and they have both core and seeds. Each specimen had a very large cavity beneath the calyx, which in every case was about one-half of an inch deep and nearly that wide. This aperture was surrounded by a number of rather rudimentary sepals, at the base of which were little swellings that in nearly every case contained seeds. There seemed to be two or three sets of sepals, one above the other, instead of the normal five. From what Prof. Bailey showed the readers of The American Garden last July in regard to the peculiar flowers of this variety, it is evident that it is not bloomless by any means, although the petals were wanting. The ripe fruit proves conclusively that it is not only neither seedless nor coreless, but that it has two or more cores and seeds in abundance.

The quality of the apple is tolerably good, but in size it is small, and in color it is of a dull greenish yellow with dull or faint splashes of red. My opinion is that the variety is practically worthless so far, as a fruit, but is quite interesting as a curiosity. Any one who plants the trees of this variety will be disappointed, except in having their curiosity satisfied. H. E. VanDeman.

Washington. D, C, November, 1889.