Prunus avium X Prunus cerasus
Parkinson, nearly three hundred years ago, thought the Arch Duke one of the fairest and best of cherries."It is now, however, quite surpassed by several others of the Dukes. The consensus of opinion of those who have known the true fruit of this name is that either May Duke or Late Duke is better. We give it prominence only because of its worthy past and that it may be better distinguished from May Duke with which it is often confused. As compared with the last-named variety it is two weeks later; the tree is more vigorous but not as productive; and the branches are larger, more divergent and more pendulous. The cherries are not as well flavored but are larger and have a shorter stalk.
This old English variety was first mentioned by Parkinson in Paradisus Terrestris, 1629. For many years previous to the middle of the last century the true Arch Duke cherry was very scarce and was often confused with other varieties, some writers asserting that it was the May Duke; others, the Late Duke. In 1847, however, the true Arch Duke cherry was discovered in the nurseries of Thomas Rivers, Sawbridgeworth, England, having been grown there, according to Mr. Rivers, by his ancestors for nearly a century. It was then found that the fruit was quite unlike that of either May Duke or Late Duke, though the habit of the tree was similar.
It is not known when Arch Duke was introduced into America but the American Pomological Society placed it upon its fruit list in 1871.
Tree medium in size, vigorous, somewhat upright, hardy, productive; trunk stocky, smooth; branches slender, long, smooth, reddish-brown, marked with considerable scarf-skin, with numerous, rather large lenticels; branchlets of medium length, curved, with short internodes, brown mottled with ash-gray, smooth, glabrous, with few small, slightly raised, inconspicuous lenticels.
Leaves numerous, about two inches wide, three inches long, folded upward, short oval to obovate, of medium thickness; upper surface dark green; lower surface light green, very slightly pubescent; apex acutely pointed; margin finely and doubly serrate, glandular; petiole one inch long, tinged with dull red, slender, with one or two, rarely three small, globose, brownish glands at the base of the blade.
Buds small, short, conical, plump, free, arranged singly as lateral buds or in clusters of variable size; leaf-scars rather prominent; season of bloom medium; flowers white, one and one-sixteenth inches across; borne in clusters of twos and threes; pedicels three-fourths inch long, rather slender, glabrous, greenish; calyx-tube with a faint tinge of red, obcolfic, glabrous; calyx-lobes with a trace of red, of medium length and breadth, acute, serrate, glabrous within and without, reflexed; petals roundish, entire, nearly sessile, the apex entire or with a shallow, wide notch; anthers yellowish; Filaments three-sixteenths inch long; pistil glabrous, longer than the stamens.
Fruit matures in mid-season; one and one-eighth inches in diameter, obtuse-cordate, slightly compressed, flattened at the extremities; cavity of medium depth, narrow, some what obtuse; suture distinct; apex flattened or depressed; color light red becoming dark red or almost black at full maturity; dots numerous, of medium size, russet, rather inconspicuous; stem slender, one and one-half inches long, rather stout at its point of insertion in the fruit, adherent to the fruit; skin moderately thick; flesh light to dark red, firm, crisp, slightly astringent at first, becoming a very pleasant subacid at fun maturity, juicy, good to very good in quality; stone semi-clinging, seven-sixteenths inch long, three-eighths inch wide, oval, compressed, with smooth surfaces.
Par. Ter. 571. 1629. 2. Rea Flora 205. 1676. 3. Prince Pom. Man. 2:135-1832.
4. Downing Fr. Trees Am. 189, 190. 1845. S. Floy-Lindley Guide Orch. Gard. 97, 98. 1846. 6. Mag. Hort. 13:398 fig. 1847. 7. Elliott Fr. Book 203. 1854. 8. U.S.D.A. Rpt. 135. 1867. 9. Am. Pom. Soc. Cat. 12. 1871. 10. Hogg Fruit Man. 278, 279. 1884.
Griotte de Portugal. 11. Duhamel Trait. Arb. Fr. 1:190, 191, P1. XIII. 1768. 12. Leroy Did. PM. 5:297, 298 fig. 1877.
Portugiesischer Griottier Weichselbaum. 13. Kraft Pom. Aust. 1:6, Tab. 16 fig. 1. 1792.
Herzogskirsche. 14. Christ Handb. 670. 1797- 15. Christ Wörterb. 282, 1802. 26. Truchsess Heim Kirschensort. 371-376. 1819.
Portugiesische Griotte. 17. Christ Handb. 674. 1797.
Cerise Royale de Hollande. 18. Ann. Pam. Belge. 1:81, Pl. 1853.
Cerise de Portugal. 19. Mortillet Le Cerisier 2: 148 fig. 37, 1 49, 150. 1866.