Plant Introductions (1895-1927) N.E. Hansen, Horticulturist
The breeding of hardy fruits has been the leading work of the Department of Horticulture of South Dakota State College ever since the fall of 1895. Many requests have been received for bulletins containing the record of this work. Many of these are out of print and are no longer available. This bulletin contains a complete record of plant introductions from the beginning of the work up to 1927. [starts on page 41 of SD Bulletin 224. -ASC]
Progress With Hardy Red Raspberries
The raspberries from eastern and southern states are not hardy enough for the northwestern prairies. Many years ago the work of growing thousands of seedlings of the red raspberry of South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, was begun. It is still going on, although greatly hampered in recent years for lack of land. With ten acres now available for next spring we hope to do more in this line in the future. By hybridizing with the standard cultivated varieties of raspberry a number of promising seedlings have appeared. The Sunbeam was the best in the first seven thousand seedlings, and the Ohta the best in the next six thousand. Both have become prominent over a large area. The object of this work is to develop red raspberries that will be hardy without winter protection. In 1923, six varieties more were offered with the same idea in mind. Therefore, they are not intended to compete with the larger fruited varieties that need to be protected by laying down the canes and covering with earth over winter. It may be that our future ideal hardy red raspberry will be derived exclusively from the pure native wild raspberry of the Northwest, but my experience with many thousands of seedlings indicates that this will be a slow process. Meanwhile, these varieties will be useful.
Fewthorn Raspberry. — Introduced 1922.- A hybrid of the Minnetonka Ironclad red raspberry with the pollen of a wild red raspberry from the Black Hills near Rapid City, South Dakota. Canes almost thornless, except for a few weak bristles near the ground. Fruit of good size, five-eighths to three-fourths inch in diameter. Color is dark red. The main point about this variety is that the berries keep well. They are firm and shrivel rather than rot.
Moonbeam Raspberry. — Introduced 1922. A hybrid of the
wild red raspberry from Cavalier, North Dakota, with pollen of one of
our hybrids of the wild red raspberry from the Black Hills at Rapid
City, South Dakota, with pollen of Shaffer, a purple cane raspberry
from New York. This plant has a few thorns, although not as many as
some of the other seedlings. Berries large, late and firm. Plant dwarf
in habit but stocky.
[The description of this cultivar's lineage is clearer in The Small Fruits of New York. -ASC]
Ohta Raspberry. — Introduced 1912. Ohta is the Sioux Indian
for “much” or “many”. This was first noted in 1906 in our plantation
of 6,000 hybrid seedling raspberries. The female parent, a wild red
raspberry from Cavalier county in northeastern North Dakota. The
male parent is the Minnetonka Ironclad, a red raspberry originated by
F. J. Empenger, Maple Plain, Minn., who writes under date of June 25,
1907: “The origin of the Minnetonka Ironclad is that Turner, Cuthbert
and wild raspberries were planted together and when in full bloom I
used a branch of the wild on Turner and Cuthbert; and then I used the
Turner on the wild and Cuthbert and then the Cuthbert on Turner and
wild. -I used seed from all three and mixed it. From this seed I produced the Minnetonka Ironclad. This was about 1890.”
The Ohta raspberry is hardy and very productive. Fruit a beautiful red, fairly firm, of good quality. The canes have red-tinted leaves at the tips. As fruited here the Ohta appears sufficiently large for commercial purposes and the bright red color makes the fruit very attractive. The berries run about sixteen to the ounce, with only fair cultivation on open exposed upland prairie. The plants are hardy without winter protection. The Ohta is fifty per cent larger in fruit than Sunbeam and has found favor even far South into Missouri where lately it has been propagated as the “Flaming Giant” owing to the large size and bright color of the fruit.
Smooth Cane Raspberry. — Introduced 1922. A hybrid of the wild red raspberry from the Black Hills at Rapid City, South Dakota, with pollen of the Minnetonka Ironclad red raspberry. Fruit round, three-fourths of an inch in diameter, quite firm. Plant strong and stocky; second in its resistance to cane rust (anthrachnose). The cane is thornless, the leaf stalks are slightly bristly.
Spineless Raspberry: Introduced 1922. A hybrid of the wild red raspberry from Cavalier, North Dakota, with pollen of Loudon red raspberry. Remarkable for its thornless canes. Fruit is about three-fourths of an inch in diameter of extra good flavor. The canes have a blue bloom with some red toward the tips. In our experiments in breeding raspberries free from cane rust (anthrachnose), this is one of the most immune although not quite free.
Starlight Raspberry.—Introduced 1922. Of the same pedigree as Ohta, a hybrid of the wild red raspberry from Cavalier, North Dakota, with the pollen of Minnetonka Ironclad red raspberry. Canes with some thorns, but very little anthrachnose. One of our very largest fruited seedlings in 1920, averaging somewhat larger than Ohta, and equally bright in color.
Sunbeam Raspberry. — Introduced 1906 as South Dakota No. 6. This appeared as a sunbeam when the outlook for hardy raspberries was dark. The first of our thousands of raspberry seedlings to be named. A hybrid of Shaffer’s Colossal with a wild red raspberry from Cavalier County, North Dakota, near the Manitoba line. Plant vigorous, productive, purple-caned, but sprouts freely; foliage distinct; fruit on style of Shaffer but smaller; worthy of trial where raspberries winter-kill, as it has endured 41 degrees below zero without protection. This has found favor at Bismarck, North Dakota, and far north into Canada. As with other red raspberries the canes should be kept in narrow hedge rows about one foot wide, and good cultivation should be given between the rows. The Ohta and Sunbeam if taken up as one- year-old canes in early spring and reset carefully will bear fruit for a long time the same season.
Twilight Raspberry.—Introduced 1922. Grown from select mixed fruit from our large seedling plantation of the wild. raspberry of South Dakota, North Dakota, Northern Minnesota, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and their hybrids with standard cultivated varieties. Nearly all these seedlings were discarded but this one was saved, owing to the strong cane. The fruit averages larger than the King as fruited here; color, a good light red; quality good.
Progress With Gooseberries
The largest gooseberries in the world are those grown in western Europe. These all winter-kill in the prairie Northwest. A few years ago some of these giant gooseberries were imported from Europe and were kept alive long enough to hybridize them with the wild Sioux Valley gooseberry (Ribes gracile), from Lake Oakwood and Gary, South Dakota. This work was done in the Fruit-breeding Greenhouse at South Dakota State College. The European gooseberries did not live long even with special care, but long enough to make a cross. In the spring of 1924, the Sunset Gooseberry was offered for the first time as the first result of this work. Ten other varieties were introduced in 1925; these names are taken from the Sioux Indian language, and are not difficult to pronounce if the accent is given on the penult (next to the last) syllable.
Sunset Gooseberry. — Introduced 1924. A cross of the giant
gooseberries of western Europe with the wild South Dakota gooseberry.
The pollen parent is a fifth generation seedling of the wild Sioux Valley
gooseberry from Lake Oakwood and Gary, South Dakota. The fruit is
seven-eighths by three-fourths inches in diameter and the bush is very
fruitful. The name is given in allusion to the fine red color of the fruit
[Probably distinct from the 'Sunset' described in The Small Fruits of New York. -ASC]
Kabu Gooseberry. — Introduced 1925. Bush of strong growth and heavy producer of large red fruit. The original plant bore four pounds, seven ounces in 1923 in a crowded plantation.
Kaduza Gooseberry. — Introduced 1925. Round, oval, seven- eights x five-eighths inch in diameter; dark red, excellent table quality. Very productive; largest in 1922.
Kana Gooseberry. — Introduced 1925. Bush of strong growth and very productive. Fruit large, dark red.
Kanega Gooseberry. — Introduced 1925. Bush of vigorous growth, very productive. Fruit green, with transparent skin; size thirteen-sixteenths x eleven-sixteenths inch in diameter. The original plant bore four pounds, four ounces of fruit in 1928 in crowded plantation.
Kapeza Gooseberry. — Introduced 1925. Very productive. Fruit large, fine dark red, oval; seven-eighths x five-eighths inch in diameter, and runs about eight to the ounce.
Kataga Gooseberry. — Introduced 1925. Berry large, light red, smooth; thirteen-sixteenths x three-fourths inch in diameter. Bush strong, upright growth, productive.
Kawanka Gooseberry. — Introduced 1925. Fruit green with transparent skin. Size large, thirteen-sixteenths x eleven-sixteenths inch in diameter. Bush of upright habit, very productive.
Kazonta Gooseberry. — Introduced 1925. A large, fine, round. smooth red gooseberry, seven-eighths x three-fourths inch in diameter. Bush a good grower and productive.
Keza Gooseberry. — Introduced 1925. A fine round, red gooseberry; three-fourths inch in diameter. Bush strong, upright, productive.
Kopa Gooseberry.—Introduced 1925. Bush very productive. Fruit large, green; size, three-fourths x five-eighths inch in diameter.
Wild South Dakota Gooseberries—Introduced 1921. The native gooseberry of the Sioux Valley of South Dakota (Ribes gracile) has been carried through seven plant generations. The original stock was from Lake Oakwood, about 18 miles northwest of Brookings, and from Gary. The eighth generation is now coming on. Many thousands of seedlings have been discarded. These are pure native seedlings; bushes very vigorous and productive; thorny; fruit large, up to or even exceeding an half-inch in diameter, black, smooth; makes an excellent red sauce.
Progress With Wild Black Currants
The wild black currant (Ribes floridum) is abundant throughout the
state. Many thousand seedlings of this species have been grown through
several plant generations. But in 1923 there was a decided break and a
number of plants appeared with fruit of remarkable size and so productive that they appear worthy of propagation and introduction, although
the ideal berry in quality has not yet arrived.
The wild black currant is a good ornamental shrub with large yellowish white flowers in drooping racemes and smooth black fruit.
One advantage of the wild black currant as a low shrub is that they endure more partial shade than many other shrubs. In European gardens this American species is considered worthy of a place in the ornamental shrub collection and it should receive equal consideration here at home. The foliage turns to a handsome brown red color in the fall.
Tonah Currant. — Introduced 1925. Large plant, bearing heavy crop of fruit, weight of ten berries, twelve grams; total weight, 335.7 grams.
Atta Currant.—Introduced 1925. Plant large, round, nine-sixteenths inch in diameter. Weight of ten berries, 13.2 grams; weight of total crop, 286.7 grams.
Mato Currant. — Introduced 1925. Large plant, heavy cropper. Fruit large, berries nine-sixteenths inch or a trifle more in diameter. Weight of 10 berries, 12.6 grams.
Wanka Currant. — Introduced 1925. A very large plant bearing good crop of medium size fruit which is red instead of black. Weight of ten berries, 9.3 grams. An interesting variation in color of fruit.
Siberian Black Currant. — Introduced 1910. Collected in the Tomsk province of Siberia in 1897. Fruit of good size and plant perfectly hardy when several varieties of Black Currant from England and Germany winter-killed. The ordinary black currant is a native of western Europe where the fruit is highly prized for jelly and jams. But it does not do well in the prairie Northwest. This Siberian black currant may be hardy far north into Northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada. However, since the coming of the White Pine blister rust, which the European Black Currant harbors, this species is outlawed wherever White Pine and other five-leaved pines are grown.
Progress With Strawberries
In the prairie Northwest, it happens sometimes that standard varieties of strawberries winter-kill under the mulch. Fully 10,000 strawberry seedlings have been grown at this Station in the effort to obtain hardy varieties of commercial size and plants perfectly hardy without
winter protection. In South Dakota Bulletin No. 103, June, 1907, “Breeding Hardy Strawberries,” this work is described in detail. The later
work has not been published. Comparatively little has been done since that time as work with other fruits and shortage of land prevented any
large extension of this work. Only two varieties have been distributed
from this work, South Dakota No. 1 and No. 2.
The 1911 list reports: “Both Nos. 1 and 2 have the habit from their wild parent of setting too many plants, but they are extremely hardy. Fruit one inch in diameter when plants are not allowed to get too thick. It is probably best to fruit the beds only one year.”
South Dakota No. 1 Strawberry.—Introduced 1907. From the 1907
list: “A new strawberry of good size and quality that apparently needs
no winter mulching, as it has endured 40 degrees below zero unmulched
and with no snow on the ground.”
A hybrid of the Jessie fertilized with pollen of a wild strawberry from Manitoba. Blossoms perfect, so that plants will bear alone. Last fall we plowed under over three acres of seedling strawberries of half wild, half tame ancestry, the best out of over 8,000 seedlings. The best few have been reserved for further field trial. South Dakota No. 1 is our first approach towards the ideal “Farmer’s Strawberry” for regions where the standard varieties suffer from the cold winters.
From South Dakota Bulletin No. 103: “South Dakota No. 1 is a seedling of the Jessie fertilized with pollen of a wild strawberry from Manitoba. As fruited at this Station the berry is roundish conical, about an inch in diameter, of excellent quality; the leaves are large and glossy and nearly free from rust; the plants are good plant-makers with strong fruit stalks; the flowers are large with many stamens. In size it will not compete with many standard market varieties, but it may serve a useful purpose until we get something better.
“This variety now is generally known as Dakota and is grown to some extent for home use, especially far north into Manitoba and Saskatchewan.”
South Dakota No. 2 Strawberry.—Introduced 1907. From South Dakota Bulletin No. 103: “South Dakota No. 2 is a seedling of Glen Mary fertilized with pollen of a wild strawberry from Cavalier county, North Dakota, near the Manitoba line. The flower is perfect with very strong stamens, a strong grower and plant-maker with lightish-colored glossy foliage, stiff fruit stalks, plant productive. The lightish-colored leaf shows the influence of the wild parent. The fruit is conical, about an inch in diameter, rather acid, season very late. In 1905 this and No. 108 were in bloom where the other varieties were mostly past blooming.”
Siberian Sandthorn.—From the 1908 list. This is Hippophae rhamnoides as found native at Irkutsk, Siberia. The French form of the species winter-kills at St. Petersburg. As found native in Lapland and Siberia, the orange yellow very acid fruit is used by the natives for culinary purposes, but here their use will most probably be wholly ornamental. A hedge plant attaining height of twelve feet, closely related to our native Buffaloberry but with considerably larger fruit and with the same sprouting tendency if cultivated too closely. Siberian Buffaloberry might be a better name for this plant which sets fruit freely at this station every year in spite of heavy frosts when in bloom. Plants either male or female as in the Buffaloberry. Seed needs stratifying and freezing over winter and to be shaded at first much like evergreen seed, hence is for the skilled nurseryman and not the amateur.[Vegetables