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.
The Duchesse d'Orleans is ranked unanimously, as far as we are informed by those who have tested it in this country, as one of the best new varieties from abroad. It was first introducd by Mr. Kenrick, and noticed in the seventh edition of his American Orchardist. It was first fruited by Robert Manning, of Salem, and within two or three years past in several parts of the country. It is figured and described in the first volume of Hovey's Fruits of America. Withal, we have not been able to trace its origin, and we are inclined to think it is from Germany. It has fruited in our collection three years. The first year we formed a poor opinion of it, but we found afterwards that we injured it by leaving it too long on the tree. Our colored plate was made from a specimen grown by H. P. Norton, Esq., of Brockport, N. Y., who has had it in bearing for two or three years, and we believe thinks highly of it.
At the Philadelphia Pomolo-gical Convention last autumn it was favorably spoken of by Mr. Walker, Mr. Wilder, Mr. Ho-vey, Mr. Saul, and others; and would have been placed upon the list for general cultivation, only that it was not sufficiently known. It remains on the list of those that promise well.
Fruit - large, average specimens being about 3 1/2 inches long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter at the widest part. Form - oblong pyr-iform, slightly contracted above the middle, and tapering gradually to the stalk, which is fleshy at the base. Stalk - somewhat variable in length, from 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches, pretty stout, and usually enlarged at the extremity. Calyx - small, open, shallow, nearly on the surface. Color - greenish yellow, marked frequently with a delicate russet tint, lightly tinged with red in the sun - often a rich bright red - very beautiful. Flesh - melting and juicy, with a delicate and agreeable perfume. We have picked it quite hard and ripened it in the house on the 25th of September, and we think we never had it in a better condition; but its usual season here is the first two weeks in October. It should always be picked in good season and ripened off in the house.