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.
Whatever jealousy we may have had of the extension of French dominion on the Mediterranean some years ago, there can be no doubt that the conquest of Algeria, and the gradual occupation of the districts behind, have been productive of great accessions of knowledge of the vegetable kingdom of Africa; and a visit to the establishment of Messrs. Martin, of Paris, at their temporary depot in New Bond Street, has acquainted us with several specimens of fruit which created astonishment; while the new plants from the Atlas region, as well as some from California, show the singular richness of the vegetable kingdom in those remote and hitherto little-explored mountain regions. . "Louis Martin, born at Venose, in the department of the Isere, was gardener to Prince Torlonia, the eminent banker of Rome; and, desiring to know more of the highland regions to which access had been procured by the activity and valor of his fellow-countrymen in Algeria, proceeded to Africa with other amateurs; and we have here some of the plants sent to Paris, as well as some others from California, and fruits from the South of France, which have created much admiration on the other side of the Channel, and which are here only beginning to be known to the general amateurs of this delightful pursuit.
"Of the fruits in the catalogue we are most struck with the Belle Inexagore, from the nursery of M. Audibert, of Tarascon - a pear of extraordinary delicacy of flavor, weighing between two and three pounds; also the Bergamotte d'Oisan and Beurre Martin, of the same weight. The peach of Oran is of great size, and small soft heart. The plums of Oran are also very fine; but it is admitted that in size and flavor they are beaten by the English plum of our best horticulturists. The cherries of Tlemecen, perfected in France (Cerise Creole), have bunches weighing two pounds. The Avocatier, from California, has the taste of fresh butter, the large green fruit attaining the weight of no less than six pounds. The Carambolier is of great beauty (Averrhoa), tasting like honey, and the fruit of a bright yellow. To which we may add the Pomme d'Acajou (Anacardium), or " heartless Mahogany Apple," the kernel being altogether outside, tasting like a delicate almond, and the fruit itself luscious. Perhaps none is more remarkable than the Strawberry of Morocco, from the spurs of the Atlas, a tree with a trunk, which produces a monster specimen of the usual strawberry, two pounds weight and five inches in diameter.
It resembles the Ananas Mu-ricata of California, but has a much more delicate taste. [Where is Peabody's Seedling?]
"From the same vast region of unexplored forests, defended by the feline beast of prey and the formidable serpent, we have the finest specimen of the gentian family we have seen. The Calypso Africana, of the most beautiful pyramidal construction, the cups of the most exquisite velvet-like tissue, and of a deep palpitating cerulean blue color. We have also from the Atlas the Lilium Lancifolium Aurantheum, a lily that looks exactly like the skin of one of those panthers that guard this mainland Garden of the Hesperides. We have far from exhausted the catalogue of these novelties; but enough has been said to indicate the value of the plants which can be procured at this establishment".