CARNATION                                              Recent photo at Monticello, Virginia (USA)    mini picture Carnation cherry                        

Prunus cerasus

Carnation is a conspicuous cherry because of its beautiful color - red, a little variegated with white or yellow, hence the name. It is one of the Amarelles, similar to Montmorencyexcept in color in which character it is more pleasing than the better-known sort. The stone separates from the pulp very readily leaving the flesh unusually bright and clean. Because of their sprightly refreshing flavor, the cherries are pleasing to the palate, as well as attractive to the eye. Unfortunately the trees are but moderately vigorous and fruitful and these qualities count so heavily against it as a commercial cherry that Carnation cannot be more than a fruit for amateurs unless under exceptional conditions. For a home plantation, however, it would be hard to name a better cherry of its kind.

Carnation is another of the choicely good, old cherries, being first mentioned by John Rea in 1676 and later by Langley in 1729. Having been cultivated for so long and disseminated among so many growers who kept meagre records in early days, this sort became badly confused with other varieties, especially with the "Cerisier A gros fruit rouge-pale," mentioned by Duhamel in 1768. How old the variety truly is or where it originated cannot be said. Carnation seems to have been first mentioned in America by William Coxe in 1817 and a few years later it was growing on the grounds of William Prince, Flushing, New York. Since that time it has been quite widely disseminated throughout the United States but is grown less extensively now than formerly. The American Pomological Society, in 1862, placed Carnation on its list of recommended fruits where it still holds a place.

Tree medium in size, spreading, becoming drooping, not very productive; trunk intermediate in thickness; branches reddish-brown overspread with ash-gray, with numerous lenticels variable in size; branchlets brown or ash-gray, smooth, with numerous conspicuous, raised lenticels.

Leaves very numerous, four inches long, two inches wide, folded upward, oval to obovate, thin; upper surface dark green, roughened; lower surface dull, light green, thinly pubescent; apex acute; margin finely and doubly serrate, glandular; petiole two inches long, slender, dull red on the upper surface, with one or two large, reniform, reddish glands on the stalk.

Buds small, short, obtuse, plump, free, arranged singly as lateral buds, or in small clusters on numerous, short spurs; season of bloom late; flowers white, one and one-fourth inches across; borne in scattered clusters in twos and threes; pedicels one inch long, of medium thickness, glabrous, green; calyx-tube light reddish-green, campanulate, glabrous; calyx lobes tinged with red, of medium length, broad, acute glabrous within and without, reflexed; petals roundish-oval, entire, with short, broad claws, the apex notched; filaments in four series, the longest averaging one-half inch in length; pistil glabrous, shorter than the stamens.

Fruit matures in mid-season or later; three-fourths of an inch long, one inch in thickness, roundish-oblate, compressed; cavity deep, abrlipt; suture indistinct; apex flattened or with a deep depression; color medium to dark red; dots numerous, small, russet, inconspicuous; stem one and one-half inches long, adherent to the fruit; skin tender, separating readily from the pulp; flesh yellowish-white, with abundant colorless juice, tender and melting, sprightly; of very good quality; stone free, nearly one-half inch in diameter, round, blunt, with smooth surfaces.

1. Rea Flora 205. 1676, 2. Langley Pomona 86, P1. 16 fig. 3. 1729. 3. Forsyth Treat. Fr. Trees 42. 1803. 4. Coxe Cult. Fr. Trees 251. 1817. 5. Prince Pom. Man. 2:138, 139- 1832. 6. Downing Fr. Trees Am. 194 fig. 83. 1845. 7. Thompson Gard. Ass't 529. 1859. 8. Am. Pom. Soc. Cat. 74. 1862. 9. Mas Le Verger 8:91, 92, fig. 44. 1866-73. 10. Hogg Fruit Man. 289. 1884.
Cerise d'Orange. 11. Kiloop Fruitologie 2:36, 41. 1771.
Rothe Oranienkirsche. 12. Krünitz Enc. 55, 56. 1790. 13. Truchsess-Heim Kirschensort. 456-46,3. 1819. 14. Ill. Handb. 175 fig., 176. 1860.