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.
This truly distinguished fruit is one of Vau Mons' seedlings from the seventh generation. This generation, with the eighth, has been the most successful of all his seedlings.
The tree is vigorous, pyramidal in shape, of a fine erect and symmetrical aspect, of a greyish appearance when leafless. The fruit is medium, oval pyriform, green, waved and spotted with russet, turning yellow when ripe, (about November). Flesh white, buttery, juicy, with a slight aroma, very good here, ranked as best in Europe; and will perhaps come up to its standard value when grown upon more "mature" trees.
DUC D'ORLEANS- 2. FONDANTE DE SEPTEMBRE.
It is a pretty generally acknowledged fact among our good pomologists, that we are too rash in giving judgments upon fruits grown upon sickly or too young trees. As the tree improves in maturity, the fruit improves in quality. A rank grower on a sickly tree has not the required substance, the elaborated sap, which gives afterwards to the fruit its full value. All fruits improve not only in quality, but in durability, when the rank growth of the tree is checked. This is evident in peach-trees, and will be better ascertained by future experiments in regard to other fruit trees, destined by nature to have, as the pear and apple-tree a protracted adolescence.
The first name of this fine fruit was either Conseiller, or Marechal de la Cour, and fruited for the first time in 1841. The label of the original tree was lost, and when Mr. Bivort planted the remainder of Van Mons' collection in his grounds, he could not find the name or the number among the seedlings. Afterwards this tree yielded a fine crop, and as the fruit of the Marechal de la Cour had been little known before, it could not be recognized, and the variety was named by us Due d'Orleans. Hence the synonym. Had the Marechal been known some ten or fifteen years before, no doubt the fruit, in the absence of all label, would have been identified; but the variety was of too recent origin, and such mistakes are certainly excusable.