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.
Mr. Editor: Are we to forever have such an utterly Babylonish confusion in our horticultural nomenclature ? Is there ever to be - can there be - any plan invented by which the naming of our fruits can be reduced to a system ? Is there any scientific principle that can be applied, and which can be made effective in restoring such a chaos into something like order ? I confess to an utter inability to see it; and yet to my mind a great necessity exists for the inauguration of some method. The subject has doubtless often engaged the attention of the fathers of Pomology long ago, but I take the liberty of urging them once more to give the subject a thought.
Take the apple list, for example, and you are treated to names descriptive and non-descriptive; outlandish and heathenish ; good, bad, and indifferent; pronounceable and unpronounceable; you find many good and very appropriate names; but you also find "Black Coal" and "Sheep Nose," "Gate" and "Fill-basket," " Sine Qua Non," "Seek-no-Further" and "Stump the World."Inappropriateness of names is not the worst, perhaps. You find an apple known by one name in one section, and by another in another section; in others, by a third, a fourth, and so on, to a bakers' dozen; so that you may make a dozen purchases from the nurseries, and only have one apple at last.
. I see no remedy for this evil, unless it be in the Societies taking the matter in hand, and by a standing committee, or in some other mode, assuming absolute control over all our nomenclature. "But," says one, in utter dismay, "have I not a right to the naming of my own bantlings ? If; by my own good fortune, I succeed in producing a fine variety of apple, or peach, or grape, have I not as good a right to give it a name as I have to name my own son V?
Let us look a little into this. If you are so foolish, or softly, so indiscreet as to name your boy Beelzebub, there ought to be some supervisory authority through which it may be changed. And there is; the Legislature of your State has the right to change the name of your son without asking your consent. And so, I hold, there ought to be some high authority by which the names you give your fruits may be supervised and changed.
But, conceding the absolute right to rest in the Societies or in a committee, there is still the lack of uniformity and system.