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Prunus avium

Bigarreau de Lyon. 1. Mag. Hort. 16:358- 1850. 2. Am. Pom. Soc. Rpt. 61, 62 fig. 1854.
Bigarreau Jaboulay. 3. Hogg Fruit Man. 74. 1966. 4. Mortillet Le Cerisier 2:100 fig. 20, 101.
1866. 5. Mas Le Verger 8; 17, 18, fig. 7. 1866-73, 6. Pom. France 7: No. 16, P1. 16. 1871. 7. Leroy Dict. Pom. 5:213 fig., 214. 1877. 8. Flor. & Pom. 117. 1878.
Early Lyons. 9. Flor. & Pom- 193, fig. 1. 1875. 10. Hogg Fruit Man. 294, 205. i 884.
Early Jaboulay. 11. Hogg Fruit Man. 294. 1884.

Of the one hundred and twenty-five cherries tested on the grounds of this Station during the past ten years, Lyons is one of the best. Though grown for nearly a century in Europe it seems never to have been well tried in America probably because it has not been considered particularly valuable in the Old World. From its behavior at this Station it appears to deserve extensive trial as an extra early market cherry for dessert purposes, as it is one of the few tender-fleshed cherries that give promise of standing handling for distant markets. Though commonly classed as a hard-fleshed Bigarreau it is really an intermediate between the firm-of flesh cherries and the soft-fleshed Hearts. The the tree it is a typical Bigarreau. Besides being one of the earliest of the Heart-like cherries it is one of the largest, handsomest and best flavored.. Unfortunately, because of an accident, we cannot show a color-plate of this splendid cherry. On these grounds the tree-characters are about all that could be desired, though we are making allowance for a slight lack of productiveness in the young tree which is one of the faults commonly, attributed to Lyons by European writers; however, all agree that the trees become fruitful with age.

The blossoms of this variety are conspicuously large and showy, with pistils unusual in being longer than the stamens. The merits of Lyons have been so pronounced in the several years we have watched it that we feel quite warranted in recommending it for both home and commercial orchards.



About 1822, M. Jaboulay, a nurseryman at Oullins, near Lyons, France, grafted over a number of seedling cherries which had sprung up on his grounds. Five years later, having decided to dig out the trees, he was attracted by the superb growth made by one of them upon which the graft had not started and ordered the tree to be saved. This tree produced a full crop of exceedingly large and attractive fruit which matured far in advance of other varieties. Jaboulay decided to save all the grafts for propagation the succeeding year but found upon going to the tree the following spring that the wood had been stolen. About five years later M. Riviere, also a nurseryman at Oullins, placed upon the market at Lyons a very early cherry which he called Bigarreau Anglaise but which was recognized as the same as the one found by Jaboulay. Thus have come the several names given in the synonyms. Lyons has never been much grown in this country. Lewis B. Eaton of Buffalo, New York, in importing cherry trees from France in 1841 and 1842, found among them one without a label which turned out to be Bigarreau de Lyon, later the Lyons. Trees of this variety were received for testing at this Station from the United States Department of Agriculture under the name Hâtive de Lyons. These, as grown here, have proved identical in both tree and fruit characters with the many descriptions of Bigarreau Jaboulay, or Bigarreau de Lyon.


Tree vigorous, a rapid grower. upright-spreading; branches straggling, reddish-brown; branchlets thick, long, with long internodes, grayish-brown, with numerous rather large, conspicuous, raised lenticels.

Leaves numerous, variable in size, averaging five and one-half inches long, two and one-half inches wide, folded upward, long-elliptical to obovate, thin; upper surface dark green, smooth; lower surface light green, with few hairs; apex distinctly elongated, base abrupt; margin coarsely serrate, with small, dark glands; petiole often two inches long, thickish, pubescent on the upper surface, glandless or with from one to six large, reniform, reddish glands usually on the stalk.

Buds large, long, conical, free, arranged singly as lateral buds and in small scattering clusters; leaf-sears obscure; season of bloom intermediate; flowers large, often one and one-half inches across, white; borne in dense clusters, in twos and threes; pedicels one inch long, glabrous, green with a trace of red; calyx-tube distinctly reddish, somewhat obconic, glabrous; calyx-lobes strongly tinged with red, broad, acute, glabrous within and without, reflexed; petals obovate, entire, tapering to distinct but short claws; apex entire or with a shallow, wide notch; filaments five-sixteenths of an inch long; pistil glabrous, equal to or longer than the stamens.

Fruit matures early; one inch in diameter, cordate, compressed; cavity flaring; suture shallow, or a mere line, often extending around the fruit; apex roundish or pointed; color very dark red; dots numerous, small, russet; stem thick, one and one-half inches long; skin thin, rather tender, separating from the pulp; flesh reddish, with dark colored juice, meaty, sprightly, sweet; of very good quality; stone semi-clinging, large, ovate, plump, with smooth surfaces; ridged along the ventral suture.

[Lyons in Cherries of Utah]