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.
AT a meeting of the Western New York Horticultural Society, last winter, President Barry acknowledged the receipt of several varieties of seedling pears, originated in California, and of which he said:
" In the month of November last, I received twenty-six varieties of seedling pears, raised by Mr. Bernard S. Fox of San Jose, Gal. Their appearance astonished me. Many of them were so much like some of our old, well-known sorts, that I half suspected my friend Fox of playing a joke on me. There were Bloodgood, Seckel, Lawrence, Winter Nellis, Beurre Clairgeau, Beurre Bose, Eastern Beurre, Duchesse d'Angouleme, Beurre Superfine, Glout Morcean, and others.
" Some friends, very good judges, to whom I sent specimens, had the same doubt in regard to their being seedlings. When I began to examine them closely, and cut them, I found they were quite distinot from the sorts they resembled, and were positively new. I then wrote to Mr. Fox for some account of their origin, and he answered that they all sprung from the seed of the Belle Lucrative, sown in 1863, and had fruited in the rows where they had first grown.
"Some bore, the fifth year, and the sixth over 200 bore fruit. One-fourth of the trees have not yet fruited, and for five years to come new fruits may be expected. Many of these varieties are fully equal in size and beauty to our best, and many have the advantage of being quite late. Generally speaking, they are deficient in vinous flavor, like the Eastern Beurre and others of that class. Only one or two were slightly vinous; but some were justly entitled to rank as best. A few of the largest appeared to be of inferior quality; one specimen of these, resembling Nouveau Poi-teau in 1871, weighed two and one-half pounds.
"This is, beyond doubt, the most remarkable instance of success in raising seedling pears on record. And the fact that all are from seed of Belle Lucrative, and none like that variety, but like all the others growing around, is both curious and interesting, showing that the mother plant did not affect the character of the varieties. This might not have been the case had some other varieties supplied the seed. Much of this success is, no doubt, due to the peculiar climate of California. The early age of which these trees begin to bear, even in the seed-bed, seems strange to us. Mr. Fox wrote me he could have sent eighty varieties the past season.
" We may now cease looking to the Old World for new varieties of pears, and turn our attention to the Pacific coast. Mr. Fox has already raised pears superior to nine-tenths of the new varieties received from Europe in twenty years. And we shall not only get new varieties from the Pacific coast, but we must expect to see our markets filled with their pears. The supply from that source is already large."