1. Amygdalus, Persica; and 2, Prunus Chicasa, including Wild Goose Plum; and 3, Seedlings of Wild Goose Plum, supposed to be hybrids.

(1) Amygdalus, Persica

The peach; cortical layer not deciduous. Leaves, taste and smell, when bruised, strongly and distinctly characteristic of Prussic Acid. Wood smooth, non-spinous leaves long lanceolate, petiole short, 1/4 to 1/2 inch, thick, generally winged along the groove bearing round or reniform glands 2 to 6 in number, when the margin of leaf is crenate, or blunt-toothed; but when sharp-toothed, or serrate, then the petiole is glandless. Blade of leaf from 4 1/2 to 7 inches long by 1 to 1 1/2 wide, venation open as compared with Chicasa. When young, but fully grown, leaves, ribs, petiole and young wood (when not exposed to sun) yellowish green in color, never crimson or purple as in Prunus Chicasa. Young wood in sunlight becomes bright crimson, petiole margins and ribs smooth, not pubescent, as in the Prunus Chicasa. Bloom buds large, roundish, usually in pairs, with wood-bud between, and not all surrounded by an outer ring of scales as in Prunus; sessile, or nearly without peduncles, arranged along the last season's branches, not on special fruit spurs, as mostly the case in Prunus Chicasa. Flowers generally open a little later than Wild Goose, but partly at same time, of a rose or crimson color in petal (rarely white), and sometimes nearly apetalous, similar to Blackman plum.

The fruit may be free or cling, fuzzy, or smooth, as in Nectarine, white or yellow flesh, with or without red in flesh or next stone. When flesh is yellow, leaves and young wood of a deeper tint of yellowish green. Seed large and corrugated. Native of Persia and adjoining parts of Asia.

(2) Prunus Chicasa

Cortical layer, deciduous, almost entirely, at two years age in wood. Leaves and bark have a slightly astringent and bitter taste, but no noticeable flavor or taste such as found in the peach. Color of leaf dark glossy green; petiole and young wood in all small-leaved Chicasa varieties, of a dark crimson; in the large-leaved, crimson petiole, and crimson, or reddish brown young wood, and all are more or less furnished with sharp spurs or spines, which chiefly bear fruit buds. Petioles usually 1/2 inch or more long and slender, with very small, usually 1 to 3, rarely 4, glands, midrib and ribs minutely pubescent, and more or less red, never pale or yellowish green. Blade of leaf in small-leaved class, from 2 to 2 1/2, rarely 3 inches long, 1/2 to 3/4 wide, very dense in texture, glossy, dark green, venation very fine and close. Blade of leaf in Wild Goose, Indian Chief and other large-leaved Chicasa varieties much like the small-leaved, except in size. Glossy, compact texture, close, fine venation; from 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches wide by 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches long, rarely 4 inches. All Chicasa varieties are profuse and certain bloomers, and have peduncles from 1/2 to 3/4 inch long and slender. Fruit red or clear yellow, smooth, with a very delicate bloom, always a cling, with smooth seed.

Native of Southern United States.

(3) Supposed Hybrids Of Peach And Wild Goose Plum - General Remarks

All named below were grown from seeds carefully saved from trees of Wild Goose Plum, and so carefully planted and observed that there is no question of their being seedlings of Wild Goose.

Blackman Plum

Habit of growth much resembling peach. Growing tips, young wood, mid-rib and ribs of leaf of a yellowish green, quite like peach. Venation about medium, between Wild Goose Plum and peach, easily observed by holding all at once in front of a good light, and looking through. In taste and odor strongly like peach, so that it is an easy matter, blindfolded, to tell the Blackman trees in the plum orchard, simply by taste and smell. Tree smooth throughout, with thick, fat twigs like peach, not slender and wiry like Chicasa plums. Bloom buds larger than any known Chicasa, in pairs along branches like in peach, not generally on spurs as in Chicasa, sessile, or with no more peduncle than in peach. When not prematurely cast off, as generally happens, they bloom later than most Chicasas and about with peach. Petals mere scales, with rosy margins (same color as in most peach flowers, not snow-white as in all Chicasas). Essential organs abnormal generally. Sometimes produces a fine plum-like fruit. Cortical layer only partially deciduous second year, and never entirely, as in Prunus; rather more like peach in this than plum.

Petiole thickish, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, slightly winged as in peach, with pubescence along wings and ribs as in Wild Goose. Glands 3 to 6, medium in size, globose. Blade 4 to 6 inches long, 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 wide, not more glossy than peach, but of an intermediate shade of color between peach and Wild Goose Plum. Body and branches more the color and appearance of peach than Wild Goose Plum.

The tout-ensemble of the tree in orchard is decidedly more peach like than plum, so that visitors generally take it for peach. Nos. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, (of which a leaf of each was sent the Editor for identification) also some twenty others, all grown from Wild Goose seed, are easily distinguished from any Chicasaw variety by the distinct peach taste, odor, and tinge of yellowish green in leaf. But they vary greatly among themselves. Their petioles are all shorter than in Wild Goose, (No. 1, among leaves sent Editor) but not quite so short as peach, some are a little winged as in peach, some have reniform glands same as in many varieties of peach, but never seen in any Chicasa. Some have no glands and serrate margin of leaf, same as in many varieties of peach, but never seen in the thousands of Chicasas examined. Nearly all which have glands have them larger than in Wild Goose. The blades of all are more lanceolate than in W. Goose, approaching peach greatly in this respect. The trees of all have none, or few spurs or spines as found in Wild Goose, but are generally quite smooth, and young wood, more or less yellowish green with crimson on upper side, or in sunlight, as in peach, rarely so dark crimson-purple all round as in nearly all Chicasas.

In general aspect and habit all these trees strongly resemble peach. In some, the cortical layer is deciduous as in Prunus, in others partly deciduous, in others permanent, as in peach. In all so far, which have ever formed bloom-buds, they have cast the buds unopened, without apparent cause, just before blooming time.

The four-year-old lot have all become sickly, and part have died, while all of the lot showing only Prunus characteristics are vigorous, and have fruited. In the second lot the supposed hybrids are much more vigorous than first lot, probably owing to having better male parents among the peach which fertilized the Wild Goose producing the seed. I hope to see several of this lot fruit, as they seem so vigorous and perfect as trees.

Final Conclusions

They are not monstrosities, but certainly hybrids, as the above analysis proves if it proves anything, and no person of observation and botanical knowledge will for a moment hesitate from this conclusion when he sees the trees growing among peach and plum, as I have. To conclude otherwise, is to ignore characteristics in botanical analysis. Friend Meehan, now come down off the fence on this question. I once was there, but the above, with other facts, knocked me off.

The question of fertility among hybrids, is an entirely separate one. I know many hybrid plants' very fertile, others quite sterile*. Between peach and plum, however, the facts so far go to show their hybrids sterile generally. Among grapes, the hybrids seem generally the most fertile. I have grown many hundreds of these.

[This paper came to hand last month after our remarks went to press, and we wrote to the author, that perhaps he might like to revise what he had written after seeing what we had said in reply to his former note. Not having any word since, we infer no change is desired, so we insert it as received. - Ed. G. M].