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.
I received per steamer Georgia, last month, from New-Orleans, a box of strawberry plants, of a new and remarkable variety.
My attention was first called to them about six months ago, by the editorial comments of the New-Orleans papers, representing them as of very large size, luscious flavor, combined with an extraordinary habit of profuse, constant bearing, during a period of six to seven months in each year.
Supposing there might be some mistake about it, yet I considered it worthy of investigation, and accordingly I sought a correspondence with the originator of the seedling, who, by the way, I am assured, is a gentleman of character, intelligence, and fortune.
Daring an extended correspondence of some months, he politely favored me with the following facts.
After trying various experiments with the strawberry, during a term of years, he at last succeeded in obtaining some, four or five years ago, a cross between Myatt's British Queen and Keen's Seedling, which proves to be all he desired, and he has named it the "Crescent Siedling." He assures me that the plant keeps in constant bearing each year, from Christmas to the 15th July, in the vicinity of New-Orleans, without exhausting the plant; and he adds, " I neither cut off the blossoms, nor any part of them, to increase their bearing - it is one continued crop from the "first jump." So remarkably prolific are they with me, that for six months the same plant is in blossom, unripe and ripe fruit together - so that at the expiration of the fruiting season, the plants are completely worn out, but not until they make three or four runners, each with which I plant anew each succeeding year - all the old stools die out. They are now, (9th Nov.) coming into blossom, and will so continue until July or August. The fruit is very large, often measuring five and a half inches in circumference, conical, the color a dark red, and highly flavored.
I cultivate them in hills 30 inches apart each way, and have half an acre under cultivation at this time".
He further adds - "I freely admit that I consider their extraordinary bearing qualities purely accidental, and you will at once remark how different the leaf and its thickness is to every plant of its species you have heretofore seen".
The last remark is strikingly true of the plant, which has the thinnest and most delicate leaf imaginable, and yet the color and habit of the plant is very luxuriant. After one or two failures, I have at last succeeded in getting on a dozen plants in fine growing order, and I shall with much care and interest watch their development, if not with full confidence.
If their fruiting season as far north as this, can be extended through the hot months of June, July and August, it will certainly prove a great acquisition to the north.
R. G. Pardee.
Palmyra, N. Y., Dee. 12, 1851.
New-Orleans is a good ways off, and this is a pretty big story, Mr. Paedee. "Six months" of steady bearing is great work for a strawberry. I don't doubt it, however; I don't doubt anything in the strawberry line - till I see it. When your strawberry gets well into bearing, my good sir, just send me word, and I'll take a morning run up to Palmyra, and look at it.