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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Transactions of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society. Proceedings, essays and reports at the annual winter meetings, held at Madison, Feb. 1, 2 and 3, 1870 and Feb. 7, 8 and 9, 1871
(1871 [covers 1870/1871])

Andrews, C.
The Siberian species of the apple,   pp. 30-35 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 30


30      WISCONSIN STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.
Evening Meeting.
Called to order. President in the chair.
Mr. C. ANDREWS of Marengo, Ill., read a paper on
THE SIBERIAN SPECIES OF THE APPLE.
The Siberian species of the apple is now attracting much attention, and you
will
agree with me that, while we cannot be too careful in rejecting humbugs in
horticul-
ture, we should be equally careful not to commit the still greater error
of condemn-
ing even a single fruit of universal or large local value, for want of a
fair and im-
partial investigation and trial of its merits.
In the subject before us we have, not a single variety, but a whole species,
claim-
ing attention and discussion. The dissemination of a new species of the apple,
valuable everywhere, and capable of introduction into large sections hitherto
whoDlly
unsupplied, involves interests of national importance and should be treated
in no
narrow and sectional spirit In order to show their relative position and
importance,
I shall briefly review the origin and characteristics of the other allied
species of the
apple, and refer to their comparative uses and adaptation to our varied climate,
par-
ticularly with a view to solve the important question of the coming hardy
apple for
the north. The origin and botanical classification of the different species
and sub-
species of the apple, are subjects yet involved in much obscurity, even among
bota-
nists. The classification, LOUDON attempts to give, appears more consistent
with the
observations of orchardists than any other. It is as follows:
1. Pyrus Malus.-Wild parent of the common apple-an assumed species ap-
parently, as the true parent of the domestic apple does not appear to be
now In ex-
istence.
2. Pyre. Malus acerba.-Sour-fruited apple tree, or wild crab of Europe.
3 Pyre. Mfalu Prunifolia.-Wild Siberian Crab.
4. Pyr. ifalus baccata.-Berry-like fruited erab, a native of Siberia.
6. Pyrus Malin.Aetracanica.-Astrachan apple, a native of about Astrachan.
6. Pyrn Cororaaria.-Common American Crab.
'. Pyrus A nguutifolia.-Narrow leaved American Crab.
8. Pyre. Spectabils.-Chinese Flowering Crab; and several other varieties,
making in all thirteen species and sub-species.
Other authorities create various sub-species and classify them differently,
but all
agree on one point, that while all these species reproduce themselves from
seed,
some perfectly, and all with more or less variation, no one " ever reverts
to, or pro-
duces any of the others." This fact seems to controvert the common opinion
that
our domestic apples are derived from the wild crab of Europe, a belief which
ap-
pears to be unsupported by facts. The botanist RAY claims that the specific
char.
acter of the English Crab and our cultivated apple, are more different than
those of
others, admitted by all, to be distinct. "U Upon the whole," says
a recent writer, Mr.
W. C. FLAGO, "it seems highly probable that the cultivated apple, which
will not
revert to the common crab, from seed, and which is first historically known
in


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