[NAFEX] seruice fruit

Lee Reich garden at leereich.com
Thu Sep 20 16:46:40 EDT 2007

It's "service" fruit, which is a name applied to some species of  
Sorbus.  Fruits of the Service Tree (S. domestica, Zone 6) and the  
Wild Service Tree (S. torminalis, Zone 6) are edible after they have  
been bletted, or allowed to soften in a cool room, much like medlars  
(Mespilus germanica). The Romans enjoyed the brownish, pear shaped  
fruit, an inch or so long, of the Service Tree, a tree very similar  
in appearance to the European Mountain Ash. The Wild Service Tree is  
also known as the Chequer Tree, perhaps because it frequently grows  
near Chequers inns common in East Sussex. Or perhaps the inns got  
their names from the nearby trees. At any rate, the fruits, russet  
red and the size of smallish cherries were once made into drinks  
served at these inns, as well as offered in markets in Kent and other  
parts of northern Europe. With sycamore-like leaves, this large tree  
would hardly be mistaken for a Sorbus.

Lee Reich, PhD
garden at leereich.com

Books by Lee Reich:
The Pruning Book
Weedless Gardening
Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden
A Northeast Gardener's Year

On Sep 20, 2007, at 4:34 PM, rob hamilton wrote:

> I can across a old illustration from 1700 shows fruit of a Seruice.  
> I was on the same page as Medlars Quince, and Barberry Anyone know  
> what this is?
> rob
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