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.
In the spring of 1850 I received, as a present from my friend, Mr. Charles Downing, of Newburgh, a peach tree imported from China direct, and as Mr. D. informs me it has not yet fruited with him, I presume mine is the first in this country.
On the 2d of March, 1851, the blooms first expanded, and on the 20th of July following a half-dozen peaches ripened. Last year they flowered about the same time, and ripened the 12th of July, the flowers expanding some ten or twelve days earlier than the general sorts. The fruit is of the second size, small stone and cling, greenish cheek tinged with pale red principally around the stem; inclined to be long and somewhat flat, much more so than ordinary peaches; the skin remarkably thin; flesh juicy, of the very highest vinous flavor; the whole appearance what would be termed beautiful. It has now been tested for two years by persons who are competent judges - for we flatter ourselves in this part of the world we know what peaches are - and all concur that it is the most delicious peach they ever tasted. To have it in perfection it must be taken from the tree, the skin being too thin to bear transportation. Last summer I took to a friend thirty miles on the railroad one packed in cotton, and the slight jar of the road caused it to turn almost black - I mean the color fruit becomes when it gets bruised. The original tree is of a low dwarfish habit, while those I have budded are of a strong, vigorous growth.
I have disseminated it freely, giving buds to all who have asked, and am in hopes that in the course of a very few years it will be common all over our country. I consider it the most valuable acquisition we have ever received in that department, and if I can get a competent person will send you a correct drawing this summer, provided we don't lose our crop. Henry Lyons. - Laurel Park, Columbia, S. a.
In the June number of the Horticulturist we published a note from Henry Lyons, Esq., of Columbia, S. 0., describing a Chinese peach. We have now to acknowledge his kindness in sending a pretty colored drawing of the same variety, representing it as medium in size, of a greenish straw color, marbled with red on one side near the base. We believe it has not yet fruited in the north. Its beauty and excellence recommend it to fruit growers in the south, where it appears to be perfectly at home. Mr. Lyons accompanies the drawing with the following note:
I inclose you a drawing of the Chinese peach, which is a very correct copy, but smaller than they usually are, which arose no doubt from the circumstance of our having no rain from the 10th of March to the 10th of July; it did not ripen until the 24th. I am more confirmed every year in the excellence of the variety. I omitted in my description stating the bloom was remarkably large, as much so as the White Nutmeg. I will with pleasure, if you desire it, forward you some buds*
I was in hopes I would have been able to forward you some experience on the Crescent dry strawberry, but the drouth literally burnt them up with the exception of a few plants which I saved by continual watering. I very much fear, from what little experience I have had, they will never do elsewhere what they do in New Orleans, we lacking two indispensables, viz: soil and dimate Henry Lyons. - Cohumbia August 8, 1858.