ENGLISH MORELLO                     Larger Picture                     HOME

Prunus cerasus

English Morello is the best of all its group and is the standard late Sour Cherry in North America, occupying at the close of the season the place held by Montmorency in -mid-season for home, market and cannery. It is not a table fruit and can hardly be eaten out of hand until it loses some of its astringency and acidity by thorough ripening. In any way the cherries are prepared by cooking, however, it is one of the best, culinary processes giving the fruits a rich, dark wine color, very attractive in appearance, and a most pleasant, sprightly, aromatic flavor. The fruit is handsome in appearance, bears harvesting and shipping well, is resistant to brown-rot and hangs long on the trees after ripening, often until the last of August if robins can be kept away. Once seen, one may always know the trees. They are small, round-headed, with branches that distinctly droop. To be sufficiently productive an English Morello orchard must be closely set; for, though the trees are vigorous and productive for their size, they are too dwarf to yield heavily. The trees are hardy but not always healthy and are not adapted to as great a diversity of soils as might be wished. The variety distinctly fails in its tree-characters. The demand for English Morello has recently decreased and it is doubtful if it ever regains its popularity of a decade ago. There is a place for a late cherry which English Morello now fills but -not sufficiently well.

All of the early pomologists describe a Morello or a Morella but no one of them definitely gives its place of origin. The consensus of opinion is that it originated in either Holland or Germany from whence it was introduced into England and later into France. The early German writers listed a Grosse Lange Lothkirsche which is English Morello. Preceding them, Duhamel described the Grosse Cerise Ratafia "as one praised for confitures and preserving,"which is probably this cherry. Leroy believed English Morello to be the cherry that Mortillet brought to Paris from Holland calling it Griotte du Nord though he thought the variety had been grown in France for many years previous but under another name.

It is possible that the term Du Nord originated through its being widely grown as an espalier demanding a northern exposure, rather than as some have thought, because it came from northern Germany. In 1862 English Morello was put on the fruit list of the American Pomological Society where it still remains. Wragg is thought to be identical with this cherry by some and, if not, it differs but little. Northern Griotte and Grosse Lange Lothkirsche, introduced by Budd from Russia, are English Morello. Morris, or Colorado Morello, put out by John Morris of Golden, Colorado, once thought to be distinct, is also English Morello.

Tree small, upright-spreading, with drooping brancwets, dense-topped, productive; trunk slender, rough; branches slender, smooth, dark brown overlaid with dark ash-gray, with numerous small lenticels; branchlets slender, willowy, with short internodes, brownish, smooth, with numerous conspicuous, sman, slightly raised lenticels.

Leaves numerous, two and three-fourths inches long, one and one-half inches wide, folded upward, obovate to oval; upper surface dark green, smooth; lower surface light green; apex acute, base vatiable in shape; margin finely serrate, with small, dark glands; petiole one-half inch long, tinged with dull red, grooved, with from one to three small, globose or reniform, greenish-yellow glands at the base of the blade.

Buds small, short, obtuse, plump, free, arranged singly as lateral buds; leaf-scars obscure; season of bloom late; flowers one inch across, white; borne in scattering clusters in twos and threes; pedicels nearly one inch long, glabrous, greenish; calyx-tube with a faint tinge of red, somewhat campanulate, glabrous; calyx-lobes with a trace of red, obtuse, serrate, glabrous wthin and without, reflexed; petals distinctly veined, roundish, crenate, sessile, with crenate apex; filaments one-fourth of an inch long; pistil glabrous, shorter than the stamens.

Fruit matures very late; about three-fourths of an inch in diameter, sometimes running larger, roundish-cordate, slightly compressed; cavity shallow, narrow, flaring, regular; suture a shallow groove; apex roundish, with a small depression at the center; color very dark red becoming almost black; dots numerous, small, dark russet, conspicuous; stem slender, one inch long, adhering well to the fruit; skin thin, tender, separating from the pulp; flesh dark red, with dark colored juice, tender and melting, sprightly, tart; of good quality; stone free, small, ovate, slightly flattened and pointed, with smooth surfaces, slightly tinged with red.

1. Parkinson Par. Ter. 572. 1629. 2. Langley Pomona 85. 1729. 3. Christ Handb. 677. 1797. 4. Lond. Hort. Soc. Cat. 54. 1831. 5. Downing Fr. Trees Am. 197, 198 fig. 1845. 6. Am. Pom. Soc. Cat. 74. 1862. 7. Hogg Fruit Man. 306, 307. 1884. 8. Am. POm. SOc. Cat. 27. 1909.

Grosse Cerise Ratafia. 9. Duhamel Trait. Arb. Fr. 1: 189. 1768.

Grosse Lange Lothkirsche. 10. Truchsess-Heim Kirschensort. 599, 600, 601. 1819. 11. Mich. Hort. Soc, Rpt- 326. 1888. 12. Mathieu Nom. POm- 356, 357. 1889.

Large Morello. 13. Prince Pom. Man. 2:144. 1832.

Ratafia Griotte. 14. Prince Pom. Man. 2:147- 1832. 15. Poiteau Pom. Franc. 2: No. 17, P1. 1846. 16. Leroy Dict. PoM. 5:299, 300 fig., 301. 1877-

Northern Griotte. 17. Prince POM. Man. 2:146- 1832. 18. Poiteau Pom. Franc. 2: No. 18, P1. 1846. 19. Mortillet Le Cerisier. 2: 188 fig., 189, 190. 1866. 20. Pom. France 7: No. 15, Pl. 15. 1871. 21. Thomas Guide Prat. 18, J95. 1876. 22. Ia. Hort. Soc. Rpt- 331. 1885.

Colorado Morello. 23. Rogers Cat. 18. 1900.

[English Morello in 'Cherries of Utah']