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.
Dr. Swasey furnishes the following notes of how some of the newer varieties are succeeding with him:
It is said that burnt children dread the fire, and as we had been severely and repeatedly burned with high price novelties in the fruit, vegetable and flower line, we rather held aloof when this variety of strawberry came out, at a dollar and a half a plant. But the experience of nearly all who have tested it, as well as our own, during the past two seasons, go to prove that it is a variety of very great promise for both home and market purposes. In fact, out of the something over a hundred varieties that we have tested pretty thoroughly in the South, the President Wilder would now be our first choice. The .variety was produced in 1861, by crossing the La Constant on the Hovey's Seedling, and is thought and claimed to possess all the good qualities of both. One of the great objections to the culture of the larger and finer varieties of strawberries in the South, is the liability of the foliage to "burn" under our scorching suns. From this defect the President Wilder is remarkably free - with a single exception (Mary Stewart), we know of none more so.
The growth is luxuriant, strong and healthy, and with us this year, under similar circumstances, proved nearly as productive as the Wilson. It is a late variety, however, and hence we shall be disappointed if, through the season it does not yield fully as much as the Wilson or any other variety in our grounds. The fruit is very large, conical in shape and of a beautiful crimson scarlet color. The color of the flesh is rosy-white, and the flavor rich and sprightly, much sweeter than the Wilson. In firmness it is not equal to the Wilson, but it is sufficiently so for a near market. The flowers are perfect.
Charles Downing3There is scarcely another variety in the long catalogue of strawberries that will give more satisfaction to the cultivator than this comparatively new sort. We have not given it quite as good soil and culture as some other varieties, but up to this time it is second to none in satisfactory results. The growth is strong and healthy, and the fruit large, handsome, delicious and abundant, ndispensable to the private gardener, and a good market sort. Kentucky. - For its season - after most other varieties are past their prime - there is no better strawberry than this. We have had it in our collection three years, and are better pleased with it this season than ever before. The plant is a strong grower, bears our summer suns without injury and is very productive. The berry is large, or above medium, irregular-conical in shape, of a bright crimson scarlet color, and of a most delicious flavor. Every garden should have a bed of it to fill the gap between the main strawberry crop and the black caps and blackberries.
Requires rich soil and good culture.
In addition to the above there are many varieties of superior merit fruiting with us, such as Longworth Prolific, which we have had in cultivation since 1856, and like it as well here as in the clay loams of middle Mississippi - the Barnes Mammoth, which is a most valuable sort - Lennig's White, the best white variety-Brooklyn Scarlet, Agriculturist, Romeyn Seedling, Seth Boyden, Russell's Prolific, Imperial, etc., etc. But for a very select choice list, no one will lose much by confining his planting to the first five or six varieties we have named. Dr. Warder, Kissena, Black Defiance and Matilda are the latest varieties that should be tested as soon as possible by all who are able.