It seems to be the consensus of opinion of a score or more of European and American pomologists who have known Choisy that it is the handsomest and most delicious of all Duke cherries one of the very best of all dessert cherries. In it are delicately combined the richness of the Sweet Cherry and the sprightliness of the Sour Cherry. Unfortunately, while it bears early and regularly, the trees are seldom fruitful. As an offset to unfruitfulness, however, the trees are vigorous, hardy and healthy. The cherries keep and stand the wear and tear of marketing as well as those of any other Duke. Its qualities all commend it for the home orchard and for a local market. In particular it may be recommended for cold climates where a true Sweet Cherry is not quite hardy, this hybrid being nearly as hardy as the other parent, the Sour Cherry. Unfortunately suitable specimens of this beautiful cherry could not be obtained for a color-plate and the description has had to be compiled in part.
Duhamel describes two amber-colored cherries, one of which is listed by Leroy as Belle de Choisy. The Cerise Blanche, or Cerise Ambree (Grosse), according to Leroy, was cultivated in Central France as early as 1628 and in 1667 Merlet wrote of it as the most curious and rare of all cherries. Kenrick, American Orchardist, 1832, lists a variety, Ambrée, which according to Floy-Lindley's and Duhamel's descriptions must be Choisy. Some writers, however, say that Choisy was first grown by M. Gondouin, a gardener for Louis XV, in 1760, at the village of Choisy near Paris. The American Pomological Society, in its report for 1852, mentioned this variety as having promise and ten years later listed it in the Society's fruit catalog where it has since remained.
Tree large, vigorous, spreading, sotnewhat open, hardy, but moderately productive; branches thick, of a clear grayish color with brownish-red tips; lenticels very numerous, large, roundish.
Leaves numerous, very broad, obovate, rather abruptly pointed; upper surface shining dark green, deeply and regularly serrate to rather dentate.
Buds large, thick, conical, clear brown somewhat covered with gray; season of bloom rather early; flowers white, large, numerous, borne in large clusters; petioles short, scarcely an inch in length; petals broadly round, edges dentate; calyx-lobes short, large; pistil longer than the stamens.
Fruit matures in some localities just before May Duke, in others just after that variety, ordinarily ripe, however, at the end of June; usually attached in pairs, large, roundish to somewhat oval, flattened toward the base; cavity shallow, wide; suture shallow, indistinct; apex depressed; color attractive bright red mottled with yellow and amber; stem thick at the base, one and one-half to two inches long, generally forking, at about one-half inch from the base; skin thin, somewhat firm, semi-transparent showing the netted texture of the pulp beneath; flesh pale atnber, with abundant colorless juice, tender, melting, sweet, pleasant flavor; very good in quality; stone medium to small, roundish, pointed at the apex; dorsal suture indistinct; surfaces nearly smooth.
Cerisier a Fruit Ambre a Fruit Blanc. 1. Duhamel Trait. Arb. Fr. 1:185,
186, 187, P1. X1. 1768.
Schoene von Choisy. 2. Truchsess-Heim Kirschensort. 452-455. 1819. 3. Mathieu Nom. Pom- 333, .334, 376. 1889.
Belle de Choisy- 4. Pom. Mag. 1:42, P1. 1828. 5. Prince Pom. Man. 2:137- 1832. 6. Cultivator 10: 150 fig. 1843. 7. Downing Fr. Trees Am. 90 fig. 79. 1845. 8. Poitcau Pom. Franc. 2: No. 27, P1. 1846. 9. Am. Pom. Soc. Rpt- 37, 38, 102. 1852. 10. Ann. Pom. Belge 1:63, fig. 2. 185,3. 11. Elliott Fr. Book 189. 1854. 12. Am. Pom. Soc. Cat, 74. 1862. 13. Mortillet Le Cerisier 2:169, 170 fig. 45, 171, 172. 1866. 14. Mas Le Verger 8:113,114, fig. 55. 1866-73. 15. Hogg Fruit Man. 276,280. 1884. 16. Soc. Nat. Hort. France Pom. 80 fig., 81. 1904. 17. Cal. Cong. Pom. France 18. 1906.