This section is from the book "The Fruit Manual: Containing The Descriptions And Synonyms Of The Fruits And Fruit Trees Of Great Britain", by Robert Hogg. Also available from Amazon: The Fruit Manual.
Fruit, small; roundish, flattened at both ends, and marked with a deep suture. Skin, deep purple, or nearly black, thickly covered with blue bloom. Stalk, half an inch long, inserted in a small cavity. Flesh, yellow, firm, very juicy, with a rich and musky flavour, and separating from the stone.
Fruit, above medium size; roundish, and slightly flattened, marked on one side with a deep suture. Skin, reddish purple, almost black, covered with thick blue bloom. Stalk, half an inch long, inserted in a small cavity. Flesh, yellowish green, sweet, and pleasantly flavoured, separating from the stone.
A baking plum; ripe in the end of July and beginning of August. Shoots, slightly downy. This is one of the earliest plums, being nearly a month earlier than Précoce de Tours.
Fruit, small; oval, marked with a distinct suture. Skin, brownish purple, thickly covered with blue bloom. Stalk, half an inch long, slender, inserted in a narrow and rather deep cavity. Flesh, yellow, firm, rich, and agreeably flavoured when well ripened, and separating from the stone.
A dessert or preserving plum; ripe in the end of September. The tree is very vigorous, and an abundant bearer. Shoots, downy.
Dame Aubert. See White Magnum Bonum.
Dame Aubert Blanche. See White Magnum Bonum.
Dame Aubert Violette. See Red Magnum Bonum.
The Damson seems to be a fruit peculiar to England. We do not meet with it abroad, nor is any mention made of it in any of the pomological works or nurserymen's catalogues on the Continent. In America the varieties of Damson are as much cultivated as with us, and that is not to be wondered at; but it is singular that the cultivation of Damsons should be confined to our own race.
There are many varieties of this fruit grown in this country, all originating from the native plum, Primus in.sitita, from which also the Bullace is derived. The only difference between a Bullace and a Damson is that the former is round and the latter oval. Of these, the following are those most worth cultivating : -
American Damson. See Frost Plum.
Common (Round Damson). - Fruit, very small; roundish oval. Skin, deep dark purple or black, covered with thin bloom. Flesh, greenish yellow, juicy, and austere till highly ripened; separating from the stone.
A well-known preserving plum; ripe in the end of September. Young shoots, downy.
Crittenden's (Crittenden's Prolific; Prolific; Cluster). - The fruit of this is larger than that of any of the others; roundish oval. Skin, black, and covered with a thin bloom; ripe in the middle of September.
This is the best of all Damsons. The tree is an immense bearer, and forms handsome pyramids. Young shoots, downy. It was raised by Mr. James Crittenden, of East Farleigh, in Kent, early in the present century.
Dalrymple. - This resembles the Prune Damson in its fruit, but the tree is more adapted for northern climates, where the other varieties do not succeed well. It is grown about St. Boswell's, in Roxburghshire. It ripens in October. The tree is of a dwarf habit of growth, and an immense bearer. Young shoots, downy.
Prune (Damascene; Long Damson; Shropshire Damson). - The fruit of this variety is obovate and much larger than that of the Common Black Damson. The flesh adheres to the stone.
This is a better variety than the common for preserving, and makes an excellent jam; ripe in the middle of September. The tree is not such a good bearer as the common. Young shoots, downy.
White (Shatter's White Damson). - Fruit, small; oval. Skin, pale yellow, covered with thin white bloom. Stalk, half an inch long, slender. Flesh, yellow, sweet, and agreeably acid, adhering to the stone.
A culinary plum; ripe in the middle and end of September. Shoots, downy.