Mr. Downing - Pear Sir: Herewith I send yon a few bunches of grapes from a seedling vine, which has produced fruit this season for the first time, and should like to have your opinion as to the quality. The vine is now four or five years old; I do not exactly remember which. It is a strong grower, and I should say will prove a great bearer, if the fact of its setting about 100 bunches of fruit for the first time, goes for any thing. I picked off all but 40 bunches when the fruit had attained a good size. In fact, the fruit was larger a month after the blossom, by one-half, than that of an Isabella vine that is on the opposite of my garden. The vine has had no cultivation whatever, and I have no doubt that if we had had more rain, the berries would have been very much larger than they are. It strikes me as a very good flavored grape, but as I know nothing about the various seedlings that have been produced, I must leave the matter to some good authority like yourself. If not too late, I would like to have your opinion in the October number of the Horticulturist. Yours respectfully, A New York City.

The specimen of the grape above referred to riper and sweeter than the Catawbas were at the time they were received; in color, size and flavor, however, it resembles the Catawba precisely. Another season, it will be worth while to notice if this seedling Catawba ripens earlier than the original variety - as if so it will be snore valuable. Should it turn out earlier, we hope "A." will let us bear from him again. Ed.

Seedling Grapes #1

"It never rains but it pours;" which is just now true of Grapes. From almost every quarter friends write us about the number of seedlings they have, and what they expect from them. A goodly number will certainly be disappointed, but we shall doubtless in the end obtain a few choice kinds. Dr. Wylie, who has been hybridizing with a specific object in view, writing from Chester C. H., S. C, says: "I have about three hundred seedling grape-vines growing finely, composed of all our best natives, fertilized with the best foreign. The most interesting are the Delaware and Scuppernong, crossed with the foreign; the former with Black Hamburgh, Syrian, and Muscat of Alexandria, and the latter with the Royal Muscadine. The seedlings clearly show the cross by their foliage, which is most striking. This year I have gone into it extensively. I am inarching some of my seedlings on strong stocks, and expect to force them into bearing next year".

Seedling Grapes #2

We have lately received a number of seedling grapes, and the probability is, that we shall have more to notice in our next. From Mr. Carpenter, of Kelley's Island, we have received two, the Lydia and the Mottled. Of these Mr. Carpenter says:


Seedling of Isabella; growth and foliage resembles its parent, but not quite so rampant. In severe winters, like the last, it suffers some, but not so much as the Isabella. It bears good fair crops, is in eating condition one or two weeks before the Isabella, and hangs well on the vine long after the Isabella is gone: standing severe frosts without injury. Mottled. - Seedling Catawba, growth strong, leaves fine lobed and rather light colored. In eating condition a few days after Delaware, and hangs on long after maturity. Has never been winter killed, and bears very heavy crops. Neither of the above is in its prime; but I send them now because, having but a few vines in bearing, the birds are destroying them rapidly, and in a few days I shall not have a perfect cluster of Mottled left. I have other seedlings in fruit which promise well. The season here is always later than on the mainland. The influence of the lake retarding vegetation in the spring, while the water is cold, but when warmed by the summer it keeps off the frosts until quite late into the fall.

To show you the state of our Catawbas and Isabellas, I send specimens of them also, by which you can judge somewhat of the comparative time of ripening of the seedlings".

We should judge that they both ripened a week or ten days before the Isabella. The Lydia is of good size in the bunch, compact, with a large berry of a green color. The flesh is crisp and juicy, but not of the highest flavor. The Mottled is a good sized bunch, compact, with medium size berries. The color is darker than the Catawba, and mottled. The flesh is melting, a little hard in the centre, juicy, sprightly, and well-flavored. Neither was quite ripe, and could not be fairly judged, but we have no doubt that the Mottled will prove much the best grape, and a good one, From Dr. Grant, of lona, a dark colored grape, good sized bunch and berry, with a decided Hamburgh flavor: .very distinct and good. From Mr, Woodward, of Mortonville, the Woodward grape, which we also had an opportunity of examining on the vine. It resembles the Isabella, of which it Is thought to be a seedling. It is said, however, to be nearly two weeks earlier; but this point will be tested before it is sent out Its flavor is the same as the Isabella; an Isabella, with two weeks' gain in point of time, will be worth having. From Mr. Manning, of Reading, Mass., the Dracul Amber Grape, said to ripen ten days before the Concord. Bunch small, berry large; dark amber color; flesh hard, with a strong "native" aroma.

Mr. Manning says it makes a good wine. The quality is too inferior for a table grape. From Mr. Eli Sperry, of Woodbury, Conn., a box of native grapes. We are sorry to say that they have no value whatever. From other parties we have received a number of " native " seedlings, which we have seriously thought of sending to Gen. Scott, for army purposes: the smell of them would scatter the rebels faster than the smell of gunpowder.

Seedling Grapes #3

Among the seedling grapes sent to us was one (not yet noticed,) which may well be singled out for its excellence. The bunch is compact, large, and shouldered; the berry is also of good size, equaling that of the Isabella. In quality it resembles somewhat the Catawba, but is very much sweeter, with a decided vinous flavor. The flesh is juicy, tender, and melting. It has a thin and tender skin. In addition to all this, it is an early grape. The color is a dark claret, with a heavy bloom. Our convictions of its merit are decided; we esteem it above the Catawba. It is so distinct as not to be confounded with any other grape. We have named it after the intelligent amateur who originated it.