This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Although in high culture a good bearer, under ordinary care this is a variety that will fail to meet the expectations of many growers who have bought and planted it upon the reputation given it by some writers. It is a good-sized berry, and of fine color, pretty firm, and of good (not high) quality. The vines, however, are liable to suffer, and, like La Constante, only not so bad, die away and are gone.
Vicomtesse Hericart de Thury we have seen several years, but until this year have not ourselves grown it. It is a large berry, of fine flavor, and growers who have tested it, and with whom we have examined it, speak highly of it as one of the best of the foreign sorts.
Ladies' Finger, or Lady Finger, is one of the best among the early ripening hardy varieties, a self-impregnator, producing abundantly fruit variable in form and size, but all smooth and regular, firm enough to carry well to market, of a bright dark scarlet color, and quality good. It has been a long time grown in New Jersey, but is not much known at the West, where, in fact, no sort but Wilson has received much favor for some years from any but a few amateurs. The footstalks of the Lady Finger are tall and strong, so that its fruit is well up out of dirt.
Fig. 101. - Triomphe de Gand.
French's Seedling is another good sort, ripening early, and of good size, quality, and color, and quite productive, but too soft for a market berry.
Golden Seeded, with us, has not given a yield of value sufficient to induce us to continue growing it. The fruit, however, is extremely good.
Colonel Ellsworth is another which we have no further desire to cultivate - to which we will add Progress and Chillian. Hovey continues with us, under good treatment, one of our best but not most prolific berries. When we say best, we would not intend to say that it is of the finest quality, but the berries are so large, fair, even, bright, and handsome that we can not do without it. Hooker is high flavored and delicious but the plant with us is so poor a grower, that we only keep a little bed of it, just to see and taste it.
Fig. 102. - Ladies' Finger.
Long worth's Prolific is a variety we have often said, and now write, that should have received the Cincinnati prize instead of McAvoy's Superior, for the vine is hardy, healthy, a self-impregnator, and productive of a handsome, large, light crimson fruit of a sprightly character, that is fine for the table, and especially valuable over all others for canning. Ida. - Among the new varieties, none present to us better promise than this one. It is pistillate in flower, but planted adjacent, as our bed was this year, to Downer's Prolific, it set every fruit perfect in form. Its footstalks were strong, holding the fruit well up from the earth, while the fruit is large, slightly conical, bright scarlet, and quite above medium quality. The plants are very hardy, and strong growers, leaf sharply serrated, and altogether one of so much promise that we shall test it pretty freely another season.
Fig. 103. - Ida.
Brooklyn Scarlet we have not succeeded as favorably in fruiting as we could have wished, out of compliment to its originator, and without saying more, will try it another season.
Russell's Prolific is really a fine berry. It is a little too soft for market, but is of a rich, good color, good form and size, and quite productive.
Agriculturist has, with us, not proved a very strong grower, but in some light sandy soil we have seen it growing, it has shown very handsome and large fruit, besides being quite productive. Altogether it is probably an acquisition to the collection of strawberries. The fruit is large, not at all regular in form, with a long neck, of light reddish crimson, not quite as firm as is desirable for a popular market berry, in which, by-the-by, Hovey surpasses any other sort. Greek Prolific. - This, as with the last named, was originated by Mr. Seth Boyden, of Newark, N. J., and in many if not most places where tested, has proved one of the desirable late maturing sorts. It is a strong, vigorous growing plant, pistillated, really requiring an associate for complete fertilization, but then very productive, of large, even, and regular size, and formed fruit of good color, that, where the market is near, will prove a profitable sort to grow.
Fig. 104. - Downer's Prolific.
Wilson's Albany needs no remark - all know it, and now from Maine to Louisiana, nearly all who grow for market plant and grow it, and that, too, profitably.
Very poor grower, leaves burn badly, very poor bearer, and very poor in quality; and I may add this is the verdict of three fourths of all with whom I have conversed, including some who have grown it in the vicinity of Pittsburg. Plants obtained from Mr. Knox.