Sunday, 13 June 2010

More Cherries Coming

It will only be a few days before the guignes are ready. We have four trees of these small sour cherries. I feel tired just thinking about how much work it's going to be to process all that fruit. And Napoleon is not going to be far behind.

Nearly ripe. They are close enough that the
pigeons are helping themselves now.

Long grass under the sour cherries.
Yesterday morning I mowed under the guignes in preparation for harvesting. It's a lot easier to pick up fallen fruit, which is often perfectly good, when the grass is short. The Early Spider Orchids still haven't shed their seed and the Pyramidal and Bee Orchids are in full flower under these trees, so I had to mow around the orchids for the time being though.

I have been reading about cherries to try to solve the confusion over nomenclature. From this I have established that griottes, or Morello cherries, are small dark sour cherries, derived from wild Sour Cherry Prunus cerasus with dark flesh and red juice, so our guignes are not the same as griottes. However, true guignes are soft sweet cherries with coloured juice derived from wild Sweet Cherry P. avium, just as the firm sweet bigarreaux are. I think what we have are amarelles, which are sour cherries having pale red fruit and colourless juice, bred, like the griottes, from P. cerasus.

Wild Sour Cherry is a woodland tree, smaller than wild Sweet Cherry and a more reliable cropper that bears at a younger age and can be pruned harder. It is also self fertile, which means that seeds come true, unlike Sweet Cherry, which requires another nearby tree to cross pollinate with. Montmorency is the most well-known amarelle variety in France, and Kentish Red in the UK. Curiously, although amarelle looks like a French word, the term seems to be hardly used in France (although not completely unknown).

Susan

3 comments:

  1. Susan, you're so fortunate to have
    these beauties popping up. All we
    have are the cursed thistles.
    I especially love the Spider and
    the Bee. So interesting that they
    propogate by seed -- they look to
    me as though it should be from a
    bulb which is why I asked if you
    had to wait for the leaves to die back before you mowed.

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  2. That Anon is Sheila --hit Enter
    by mistake and it was gone.

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  3. Sheila: They propogate by seed, but also by creating new tubers or rhizomes for next year. Seeds can take 15 years from germination to a plant mature enough to flower, but they can lie dormant for many years until conditions are right and spread over a very wide area (being microscopic and wind borne). A good year when the tuberous roots can increase is the most reliable method of reproduction for orchids.

    ReplyDelete