Prunus avium X Prunus cerasus
Abbesse d'Oignies has so many good characters that it is well worth trying commercially wherever cherries are grown in the United States. Curiously enough, it seems so far to have been tried only in the Middle West, Professor Budd having introduced it in Iowa from Russia in 1883. In the unfavorable soil and climatic conditions of the Mississippi Valley, Abbesse d'Oignies grows as well as any cherry of its class, if we may judge from the accounts of it. We do not know of its having been tried elsewhere in the East than on our grounds and here we find it, in competition with practically all of the varieties of its class, one of the best of the Dukes. At this Station it does so well that we described it, in the reference given, as one of the noteworthy fruits in our collection, The trees are large, vigorous, hardy, fruitful and very free from fungus diseases. The cherries are large, dark red, of most excellent quality, combining the flavor of the Dukes with a firmer and yet tenderer flesh than the Montmorency. The high quality, handsome appearance and good shipping qualities of the fruit, combined with the splendid characters of the tree, ought to make Abbesse d'Oignies a very good commercial variety.
This cherry probably originated in Belgium about the middle of the Nineteenth Century. At least it was first listed in Belgian nursery catalogs in 1854. It is now a greater or less favorite wherever cherries are grown in the Old World, Professor Budd having found it, as we have said, in 1883, in Russia and immediately transported it to America.
Tree characteristically large and vigorous, upright-spreading, round-topped but with drooping branchlets, hardy, productive; trunk stocky, with shaggy bark; branches thick, smooth, ash-gray over reddish-brown, with many lenticels; branchlets short, with short internodes, brownish, roughened by transverse wrinkles and by numerous conspicuous, small, raised lenticels.
Leaves two and one-half inches wide, five and one-half inches long, folded upward, obovate, thick; upper surface glossy, dark green; lower surface light green, slightly pubescent, distinctly ribbed by the larger veins; apex taper-pointed, base acute; margin with small, black glands, coarsely and doubly serrate; petiole one and one-quarter inches long, thick, lightly tinged with red, grooved, with one or two small, globose, reddish-orange glands.
Buds rather long, pointed, free, arranged often in elongated clusters at the ends of long spurs; leaf-scars very prominent; season of bloom medium, averaging five days in length; flowers white, one and three-sixteenths inches across: borne in dense clusters at the ends of long spurs or spur-like branches, well distributed, varying from one to three; pedicels one-half inch long, glabrous, greenish; calyx-tube reddish, campanulate, glabrous; calyx-lobes tinged red, long, narrow, somewhat acuminate, glabrous within and without, reflexed; petals roundish-oval, entire, nearly sessile, with a broad, shallow notch at the apex; filaments one-quarter inch long; pistil glabrous, equal to the stamens in length. Fruit late; three-fourths inch long, seven-eighths inch thick, roundish-oblate, slightly compressed; cavity of medium depth, wide, regular; suture a line; apex roundish, slightly depressed; color dark red; dots numerous, small, light russet, conspicuous; stem slender, one and one-half inches long, adhering to the fruit; skin tough; flesh yellowish-white, with colorless juice, slightly stringy, tender and soft, sprightly subacid; of very good quality; stone free, about three-eighths inch in diameter, roundish, turgid, slightly pointed, with smooth surfaces; ridged along the ventral suture.
1. Mortillet Le Cerisier 2:182. 1866. 2. Leroy Dict. Pom. 5: 161, 162 fig. 1877. 3. Hogg Fruit Man. 276, 277. 1884. 4. Mich. Pom. Soc. Rpt. 329. 1888. 5. Budd-Hansen Am. Hort. Man. 2:284-1903. 6. Ia. Sta. Bul. 73:62 fig. 1907. 7. N.Y. Sta. Bul. 385:307, 308, Pl. 1914.