THE LOGAN BERRY
Edward J. Wickson
No single fruit has excited more interest among visitors to the Station grounds than the Logan berry. A few plants were donated to the Station by the originator, Judge J. H. Logan, of Santa Cruz, several years ago. Its splendid size, prolific bearing, and notable excellence as a table fruit when thoroughly ripened, convinced us of its unique character and exceptional value as a new fruit. Plants were propagated as far as was possible under the limitations of the habit of the variety, which is to multiply by growth from the tips like the Black Cap class of raspberries, though, of course, layering of the whole cane multiplies the plants. Growth from cuttings is not satisfactory as a rule. The plants were first offered to the public in Bulletin No. 102 of this Station, issued in December, 1893, although it had been privately disseminated previously to a limited extent. The largest grower, Mr. James Waters, of Watsonville, has successfully marketed the fruit for several years, but did not offer the plants for sale until after our announcement. Our description of the fruit attracted much attention at the East, as well as in this State, and we could only supply a small number of those who applied to us for plants.
The Logan berry is an exceedingly robust grower, and has unique foliage and cane growth as well as fruit. All of these are indicated in the accompanying engraving, from a photograph by Dr. Loughridge, of fruit grown upon the Station grounds. The fruit is strikingly large and handsome, and a laden cane is a sight not to be forgotten. The fruit is sometimes an inch and a quarter long, with the shape of a blackberry, and sometimes the hue of a dark-red raspberry. Its flavor is unique and peculiar, and gives to many tastes suggestions of the combination of blackberry and raspberry flavors. So far the vigor of the growth of the plant seems to give it freedom from leaf disease of all kinds. For our coast and valley climates, so far as tried, it shows perfect adaptation. How far it will withstand the heat and drought of the interior or the freezing of wintry climates can only be told by the trial which it is now receiving under almost all conditions.
Concerning the origin of this remarkable fruit we cannot do better than introduce the following account, written by the originator, in his correspondence with this Station, under date of August 12, 1891:
The berry is a cross between the Aughinbaugh blackberry (a wild berry found by a Mr. Aughinbaugh, of Alameda, near the bay at Schutzen Park) and an old raspberry that I do not know the name of. It is a very common berry here and belongs to the French type of raspberry. The Aughinbaugh stood between a row of the Crandall or Texas Early and the raspberry named. I gathered the seed and planted it in the fall of 1884, intending to get a cross between the Crandall and Aughinbaugh. I did not think such a thing as a cross between the raspberry and blackberry possible. I have never attempted to do anything with it commercially, but it has borne abundant and regular crops ever since. The berry has been grown from seed several times and the result in every case has been a true redberry. I suppose a thousand seedlings have been grown from this plant, and I have never heard of a single instance of a seedling resembling either the raspberry or the blackberry; they are not all as good as the parent, but they are all true redberries. This shows that the berry has come to stay. That it is an entirely new and distinct berry I have no doubt. It is known and grown all over this county as the Logan berry. (J. H. LOGAN, Santa Cruz.)