Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, vol. 130 (September 1st, 1904)

TAB. 7975

Native of Central Asia.

Nat. Ord. Rosacae.—Tribe Pomeae.

Genus Pyrus, Linn.; (Benth. et Hook. f. Gen. Plant. vol. i. p. 626.)

This remarkably distinct apple is an instance in which it seems better, for practical purposes, to avoid the theoretical species, and publish it under the single name it goes by in cultivation. It might be argued that it is only a variety of Pyrus Malus, Linn., but we do not propose discussing that question here. It certainly is a most striking object, whether in flower or in fruit.

As to the spelling of the distinctive name, we have adopted the one used by the author in his second account of the plant, where, however, he gives no explanation of the deviation from the first. In each case he states that he names it after his patron, who collected it wild in the Ili District, South-west Siberia. Mr. Dieck further states that this apple is widely spread in Western and Central Asia, both in a wild state and cultivated, and he believes it is the same as a common wild apple of the Caucasus, which is highly prized for its fruit by the Swabian colonists. He received it from Kashgar and the Plateau of Talgar, and the European stock appears to have been raised from seed of cultivated trees in the former locality, where it is called "Kisil alma," or red apple. With the exception of the leaves all parts of this apple are red— bark, wood, flowers and fruit, and the leaves turn red in autumn. Even the flesh of the nice-tasting fruit is of a deep, rosy red.

Pyrus Niedzwetzkyana is hardy at Kew, where it flowered profusely last spring, and is just ripening fruit at the time of writing this. The fruit actually represented in the plate is from a drawing made by Mr. George Massee, of a very fine fruiting specimen sent to Kew from Bitton, in August, 1901, by Canon Ellacombe.

Descr.A small, free-growing tree. Flowering-branches long, straight, stiff, rather thick; bark smooth, very dark purple. Leaves on long, slender petioles, on the fruiting branches rather thick, stiff, nearly glabrous, tinged red, lanceolate, oblanceolate or oblong, three to five inches long without the petiole, finely crenately-toothed, shortly acuminate, slightly hairy along the midrib; petiole one to two inches long, bright red as well as the midrib, slightly hairy. Flowers deep rose-purple, an inch and a half to an inch and three-quarters across, very numerous, clustered at the ends of very short, lateral branchlets; stalks slender, six to nine lines long. Calyx woolly, white; lobes lanceolate, acute, about a quarter of an inch long. Petals obovate. Stamens longer than the smooth styles. Fruit pendulous, conical, one inch and three-quarters to two inches long, skin crimson-purple, flesh rose-purple throughout.— W. B. H.

Fig. 1, section of a flower; 2 and 3, stamens:—all enlarged; 4, fruit:—