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Medieval Fruit Varieties



Variety: Violet Perdrigon (1582)

Notes:
Information from "The Plums of New York", U.P. Hedrick, Publishing 1911: Early records indicate that the Blue Perdrigon was introduced into England from Italy. Hakluyt, writing in 1582, says, "Of late time the Plum called the Perdigevena was procured out of Italy, with two kinds more, by the Lord Cromwell, after his travel." Gough, in his "British Topography, states that Lord Cromwell introduced the "Perdrigon plum" into England in the time of Henry VII. From these accounts it would seem that the plum was established in England some time during the latter part of the Fifteenth Century. For three hundred years it thrived so well in England that writers had no hesitation in pronouncing it their best plum. From England it came early to America. Probably it was included in the shipment of plum pits ordered from England by the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England in 1629. In spite of its Old World reputation, however, it never found favor here and is now rarely if every seen even in collections. The older writers mentioned a Black Perdrigion which they considered distinct from the variety under discussion. Inasmuch as all plums until recently were propagated from seed, it is more likely that there were graduations in color and that some attempted to classify the darker seedlings as a distinct variety. This hypothesis is borne out by the fact that after grafting and budding became the common propagation the so-called Black Perdrigon became extinct. The following description is a compilation. Tree vigorous, but not always productive; young shoots pubescent; fruit mid-season; medium in size, obovate, compressed on the suture side, purple or blue, with thick bloom; stem slender; skin thick, very tough; flesh greenish-yellow, firm, rich, sweet, aromatic; good; stone small, flattended, clinging; fruit hangs on the tree until it shrivels.

[Source: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). [Online Database] National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Available: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/acc/display.pl?1614463 (07 May 2012) ]




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