Under the heading of "The Melon Pear," I find in your January number a short account of this fruit. As I was the introducer of this fruit to this continent I may be allowed to say something in the matter of "suspicious introduction." The Central American name of this plant is "Pepino." Under this name it is known everywhere in the Central American high lands, and under this name only. But as "Pepino" in Spanish also means "cucumber" it was thought best to give the plant an English name. I suggested the melon shrub, but through the error or the wisdom of a printer the name was changed to melon pear, which I confess is not very appropriate, but still not less so than pear guava, alligator pear, rose apple, strawberry guava, mango apple, custard apple, etc., all names simply indicating an endeavor to find an English name, recalling certain qualities of a tropical fruit. None of these need to taste of "suspicion" any more than the high sounding names of new strawberries and grapes which are daily introduced and advertised. In my late catalogue I call the fruit with its native name, or "Pepino," and trust that it will escape the observation of the continental Spanish critics. As to the value of the fruit and the success of it in the States only time will tell.

The fact that I found the plant growing only on the high land where the temperature in the shade seldom reaches 75° Fah., suggested to me the probability that it would fruit in a more northern latitude. In California it has proven a success in the cooler parts, such as in Los Angeles City, in several places in the coast range, and will undoubtedly fruit in many other localities where it is not too hot. In the interior valleys the summer is too warm, and my plants begin to ripen fruit first in late fall when frost is imminent. There the first year's fruit was nearly ripe when a frost occurred.

Only very few fruits had ripened, and I decided to pick the balance unripe - about 1000 fruits. This was the 15th of November or so about. I wrapped each fruit in paper and stored away in cold room. About the middle of February the majority were ripe and proved very fine, though not quite equal to those I had myself grown in Guatemala. The California fruit was much larger - the largest the size of a goose-egg, the smallest again of the size of a plum. But they were somewhat inferior in the way of acid, which in the perfect fruit is of the most delicious kind, allaying the thirst for hours during the hottest day.

My friend, the late Mr. J. Grelck, of Los Angeles, had a plantation of 10,000 Pepinos, which grew and bore well in Los Angeles City and sold considerable fruit. I do not think the fruit will be a success everywhere, but in cool and frost-free places where the fruit can set and ripen early I believe the Pepino will be found profitable.

In pulp and skin the Pepino resembles somewhat the Bartlett pear, but in taste more a musk-melon; but has besides a most delicious acid, entirely wanting in melons and quite peculiarly its own. In warm localities this acid does not develop, and this fact is the greatest drawback to the success of the fruit. The fruit has no seed, as a rule. And in all I have found only a dozen seed - and those in fruit which came from Salama in Guatamala, a place rather too warm to produce the finest quality of the fruit.

The botanical name of the Pepino is not known to me with any absolute certainty. The same was described by the Franco-Guatemalan botanist, Mr. Rousignon, as Solanum melongena Guatemal-ense,- but it is to me quite evident that this Solanum is not, nor is it closely related to the S. melongena or egg plant, which latter is a native of Central Asia. The Pepino is probably a native of the Central American high lands, and appears to have been cultivated by the Indians before the conquest by the Spaniards. Fresno, California.

[A plant received, shows it to be different from G. melongena. - Ed. G. M].