[nafex] Mystery Fruit

Doreen Howard doreenh at ticon.net
Fri Feb 22 11:45:18 EST 2002

I have an old, old book, given to me by Sam & Ginger Powers, copyright 1854.
“Fruit, Flower and Kitchen Garden’ was written by Patrick Neill and
published by Adam and Charles Black in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Neill was the
secretary to the Caledonian Horticultural Society.   In this fascinating
book, he talks about kitchen garden fruits, including the usual peach, plum,
pear and apple.  He also talks about quince, medlar, mulberry and something
called “The Service-Tree.”  The following is how it is described:

“The Service-Tree (Pyrus domestica) is a native of the mountainous parts of
Cornwall, and though not much cultivated, may be here noticed…………….fruit has
a peculiar acid flavour and is only used when thoroughly mellowed by
keeping.  There is a pear-shaped and an apple-shaped variety, both of which
may be propagated by layers, and still better by grafting on seedling plants
of their own kind……………The tree is seldom productive till it has arrived at a
goodly age.  The fruit is brought to Covent Garden Market in winter…….Near
Paris, the tree is a good deal cultivated under the name of ‘cornier’.  A
number of varieties of the Service are grown in the north of Italy.”

Does anyone have a clue as to what this fruit is?
Doreen Howard
Zone 4b--Wisconsin

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