NAPOLEON                                                                                          HOME

Prunus aviumsmall picture 'Napolean'

Napoleon is the leading firm-fleshed Sweet Cherry. It takes its place by virtue of the large size, handsome appearance and high quality of the fruit and the phenomenal productiveness of the trees. The accompanying plate shows well the large size and beautiful color of the cherries - unsurpassed in either character by any other Bigarreau and possibly by any other cherry. The flavor is rich and sweet which, with the abundant juice and firm, crackling flesh, makes this a most delicious and refreshing cherry for dessert and, with the great size and attractive color, gives it preference over all other Sweet Cherries for culinary purposes. In particular, cherry-canners find that Napoleon makes a finely finished product. The cherries carry well and keep long and are, therefore, well thought of by fruit-dealers. Besides being very productive, the trees come in bearing early and are as vigorous, hardy and healthy as those of any other Sweet Cherry. They may usually be known by their upright growth and large, sturdy limbs. Napoleon, however, is not without its faults. The cherries crack badly in wet weather and the variety can be grown with certainty only in the dry summer climate of the Pacific Coast, where, especially in Oregon and Washington, it reaches truly wonderful perfection. In the East, too, Napoleon is more susceptible to brown-rot than several of its rivals. Possibly the greatest fault, however, is in the tree, which is very fastidious as to soils, thriving only in choice cherry land and in a congenial cherry climate. Despite these rather serious faults, cherry-growers agree that Napoleon takes first place among Sweet Cherries for both home and commercial plantings.

Napoleon is of unknown origin. Early in the Eighteenth Century it was grown by the Germans, French, Dutch and English, proof that it is a very old variety. Leroy believes that it was described by Merlet in 1667 but under another name. The great number of synonyms in several languages gives some idea of the countries in which the variety has been grown as well as the esteern in which it has been held. There are several accounts as to when the cherry was given the name Napoleon. Probably the best authenticated is that in which it is held that Parmentier, a Belgian, gave the cherry the name of the famous emperor in 1820. When the variety was taken to England, where at that time Napoleon was not in good repute, the name of his conqueror, Wellington, was substituted but seems to have been little used. As if not content with the score or more of European names, cherry-growers in America have added at least two more. In many parts of the country it is locally called the Ox Heart. On the Pacific Coast it is grown and sold by nurserymen and fruit-growers alike as Royal Ann, a name given it by its introducer, Seth Lewelling, of Milwaukee, Oregon, who lost the label bearing the old name in taking it across the Continent in early days and gave it a new name. With incomprehensible persistency Western horticulturists maintain this synonym to the confusion of horticultural nomenclature. The American Pomological Society placed Napoleon on its fruit list in 1862, it having been grown in America for at least 40 years before receiving this honor.

Tree large, vigorous, upright-spreading, open-topped, very productive; trunk thick, shaggy; branches thick, roughened by the lenticels, dull brown overlaid with ash-gray, with nurnerous large, raised lenticels; branchlets thick, long, light brown overspread with gray, smooth, with a few inconspicuous, small lenticels.

Leaves numerous, five and three-fourths inches long, two and one-half inches wide, folded upward, elliptical to obovate; upper surface dark green, rugose; lower surface light green, somewhat pubescent; apex acute, base variable in shape; margin doubly serrate, with small, dark glands; petiole one and one-fourth inches long, thick, tinged with dull red, hairy along the upper surface, with from one to three large, reniform, reddish-orange glands, usually on the stalk.

Buds variable in size, conical, free, arranged singly or in thin clusters from lateral buds and from spurs; leaf-scars prominent; season of bloom intermediate; flowers white, one and one-half inches across; borne in scattering clusters in ones or in twos; pedicels variable in length, averaging one inch long, glabrous, greenish; calyx-tube green, campanulate, glabrous; calyx-lobes tinged with red, long, rather narrow, acuminate, serrate, reflexed; petals oval, entire, dentate at the apex, with short, narrow claws; filaments one-half inch long; pistil glabrous, shorter than the stamens, often defective.

Fruit matures in mid-season; over one inch in diaineter, conical to long-cordate, compressed; cavity deep, wide, flaring; suture a distinct line; apex much pointed; color, varying shades of bright red over a yellowish background, distinctly mottled; dots obscure; stem slender, more than one inch long, adherent to the fruit; skin thin, rather adherent; flesh whitish, with a faint yellow tinge, with colorless juice, tender, meaty, crisp, mild, the flavor improving as the season advances, sweet; good to very good in quality; stone semi-clinging, small, ovate, flattened, pointed, with smooth surfaces.

1. Prince Treat. Hort. 30. 1828. 2. Kenrick Am. Orch. 273, 274. 1832. 3. Downing Fr. Trees Am. 183. 1845. 4. Thomas Am. Fruit Cult. 365. 1849. 5. Ann. Pom. Belge 1:27, 28, fig. 2. 1853.
6. Eliiott Fr. BOOK 215. 1859. 7. Thompson Gard. Ass't 527. 1859. 8. Am. Pom. Soc. Cat. 74. 1862.
9. Mortillet Le Cerisier 2:132, 1866. 10. Downing Fr. Trees Am. 470. 1869. 11. Pom. France 7: No. 9, P1. 9. 1871. 22. Leroy DiCt. POM. 5:219, 220 fig., 221. 1877. 13. Flor. & Pom. 57, P1. 465. 1878. 14. Mas Pom. Gen. 11:109, 110, fig. 55. 1882. 15. Cornell Sta. Bul. 98:493, fig. 87. 1895 16. Ont. Fr. Gr. Assoc. Rpt. 5:38 fig. 1898.
Gros Bigarreau Blanc. 17. Duhamel Trail. Arb. Fr. 1:165. 1768. 28. Truchsess-Heirn Kirschensort. 308-310. 1819. 19. Mortillet Le Cerisier 2:123-126, fig. 29. 1866. 20. Leroy Dict. Pom. 5;179, 180 fig. 181. 1877. 21. Mathieu Nom. Pom. 354. 1889.
Lauermannskirsche. 22. Christ Handb. 664. 1797. 23. Christ Wörterb. 280. 1802. 24. Truchsess Heim Kirschensort. 292-295, 323-328. 1819. 25. Mathieu Nom. Pom. 367. 1889.
Lange Marmorkirsche. 26. Christ Handb. 655. 1797. 27. Truchsess-Heim Kirschensort330-333. 1819.
Hollandische Grosse Prinzessinkirsche, 28. Christ Wörterb. 281. 1802. 29. TruchsessHeim Kirschensort. 295-299. Ibid. 30. Ill. Handb. 125 fig., 126. 1860. 31. Mas Pom. Gen. 117, 1l8, fig. 59. 1882. 32. Mathieu Nom. Pom. 357. 1889.
Harrison's Heart. 33. Forsyth Treat. Fr. Trees 42. 1803. 34. Brookshaw Hort. Reposit. 1:69, 70, P1. 34 fig. 2. 1823. 35. Mas Le Verger 8;145, 146, fig- 71. 1866-73. 36. Mathieu Nom. POm. 362. 1889.
Grosse Weisse Marmorkirsche. 37. Truchsess-Heim Kirsckensort- 316, 317, 682. 1819.
Holland Bigarreau. 38. Downing Fr. Trees Am. 181 fig., 182. 1845.
Bigarreau d'Esperen- 39. Mortillet Le Cerisier 2:119, 120 fig., 121. 1866. 40. Downing Fr. Trees Am- 463. 1869- 41. Mas Le Verger 8: 11, 12, fig. 4. 1866-73. 42. Leroy Dict. Pom. 5: 198 fig., 199. 1877. 43. Matbieu Nom. Pom. 347. 1889. 44. Rev. Hort. 321, 322. l912.
Bigarreau Gros Coeuret- 45. Mortillet L, Cerisier 2:126-129, fig. 30. 1866- 46. Pom. France 7: NO. 23, P1. 23. 1871. 47. Leroy Dict. POM. 5:208, 209 fig., 210. 1877.
Royal Ann. 48. Cal. Bd. Hort. Rpt. 59, P1. 18, 1893-94. 49. Am. Pom. Soc. Rpt. 192. 197 50. Wash. Sta. Bul. 92:31, fig. 8. 1910.

[Napoleon in 'Cherries of Utah']