A Philadelphia correspondent says: " Looking over the Gardeners' Monthly - which came this morning - I was somewhat surprised at your remarks on the ' Melon Pear,' alias ' Pepino,' and ' Solan-um Guatemalense,' and which you call Solanum Melongena, or Common Egg plant. I think you are wrong - at least, I hope so, the 'wish being father to the thought' - for the following reason: In the October or November number of your magazine, I saw the advertisement of Gustav Eisen, of Fresno, Cal., describing this plant. I wrote immediately for a catalogue, which, of course, he sent me. Fond of novelties in the botanical kingdom, and interested in the plant from his description, I wrote to him for a lot of them. He sent me by mail 21, which arrived here on the 2nd of December, in excellent order. These I placed in the hands of Mr. Henry Fox, North Broad Street, florist, who potted them, and where they are now subject to your inspection. My purpose is to plant them on my place at Point Pleasant, N. J., when spring opens.

I append Dr. Eisen's description, cut from his catalogue".

"Pepino or Melon Pear - (Solanum Guatemalense.) - This is one of the finest fruit of recent introduction. In places with no frost it becomes a small shrub bearing abundantly all the year around. In other places it assumes the characteristics of a soft wooded plant, like the red pepper. It ripens its fruit in 3 to 4 months after planting. The fruit is about the size of a hen or duck egg, and is yellow with small violet stripes. It has no seed nor tough skin, and resembles in some respects an egg plant. In taste it resembles a melon, but has an abundance of a fine acid which in hot weather is very agreeable. It is eaten fresh. It stands shipment to the East. It will grow in a cool climate, but if exposed to too much heat the fruit will be inferior. For further particulars see circular. This fruit has during the last year matured in many places in California, and several large plantations have been started, with a view to supply the market. Plants by mail 35 cents each, in quantities price on application".

"In the same number of the Gardeners' Monthly appeared the advertisement of Martin Benson, of Swanwick, 111. To him also I wrote, asking for a catalogue, which he sent accordingly. Among many novelties in this catalogue, he describes the ' Melon Pear,' and from him I bought a dozen large plants, which he retains till I write for them next spring. I attach his description cut from his catalogue:

"The Melon Shrub, as it grows in the Central American highlands, is, as the name defines it, a shrub. It reaches at its best two or three feet either way, but is generally smaller, and recalls in many respects the Chili pepper vine, the tomato or the nightshade. The flowers resemble those of the Chili pepper, are very numerous and of a beautiful violet color, most charming when used in floral decorations. When planted, the plants should be set in rows four feet apart and two feet apart in the rows. About six weeks after being set out, the fruit will begin to set, and in three months after planting the fruit will ripen and continue to ripen until frost. The fruit is of the size of a hen or goose egg, or even larger, and of the same shape. The color is lemon or pale orange, with streaks or waves of bright violet, the whole making a fruit unrivaled in beauty. The interior of the fruit is solid pulp, free of seeds, of a pale yellow color, and of flavor resembling that of a fine musk melon, having also a rich sub-acid taste. It is so wholesome and delicious that when the fruit is eaten on a hot day it allays the thirst for several hours. The plant is an enormous yielder - I have seen plants of small size bear thirty large fruits.

The Melon Shrub can stand light frost, but a heavy frost will cut it to the ground; the dead branches should then be cut off, and the plants covered with straw and earth.

" The Melon Pear is not a tropical fruit; it delights in a cool atmosphere, and will without doubt do as well here in the north as tomatoes, and will prove a most valuable and profitable fruit. It may not be able to stand our winters, but that is not essential - tomatoes are always killed, but are not less grown on that account. The Melon Pear can be wintered as easy as potatoes, by taking the roots up and keeping them in a cellar. Should be planted here by the middle of April, and cultivated like tomatoes. They will begin to ripen by the middle of July or first of August. Make a grand pot plant. Price of genuine plants, $1.25 each, $10 per dozen".

*' Now, you may be right in your conjecture that the Melon Pear is identical with the Melongena or Egg Plant, but I cannot conceive that two men - nurserymen - like Eisen and Benson, living so far apart, and having, apparently, no interests in common, should both endorse and recommend the same worthless plant, and a humbug at the same time".

[It was a correspondent, not the Editor, who identified this as a species of Solanum, and not either a Pear or a Melon as its name would imply. The additional information, now furnished, shows that this surmise is correct, so far as its being a Solanum is concerned. We cannot understand the sense of calling a Solanum either a Melon or a Pear. It may not be a form of S. Melongena, - but it may for all, for there are few species of Solanum that vary like this does. When " we were boys," a very pretty form, white and striped, with fruit about the size of a hen's egg, was very common in greenhouses. The common name, "Egg plant," is derived from this old ornamental variety.

After all, when we remember that "Melongena" is a name probably meaning "bearing apples," or possibly "melons," the common people have perhaps as much right as the botanists to call it Melon Plant or Pear Plant, deceptive as the names strike one at first. - Ed. G. M.J