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History, origin, and tradition uses of uncommon fruit.

 
Casimir Holeski
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St. Julien plum


Discovered the St.Julien plum this fall and am enamored with it.


I am looking for information (history, origin, culinary traditions, etc) but am finding mostly info on its use as a rootstock online.


Anyone have experience or know anything about this delectable little plum or where to find more info?
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St. Julien plums
 
Taylor Malone
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Prunus insititia includes St. Julien damson, bullace, and mirabelle

"My father planted an Itaian Prune Plum tree around 1960. The tree was cut down after almost 50 years of production. The St Julien rootstock lives on. I at first thought this tree was a green gage. Thanks to a posting by the late Lon Rombough on the Home Orchard Society website, I know am certain this is a St. Julien rootstock. The fruit is good on its own. Lon says it is good dried. An improved version is called White Bullace." http://edible.wikidot.com/edible-plant:177

Bout all I could find about it . . . How does it taste?
 
Casimir Holeski
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The first one I ate was a revelation. I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. It is just so different from any plum I have experienced before. All that new information took me a moment to process. Once I got my mouth around another I quickly decided that they are really something special. They are sweet and rich with a dense texture and complex flavors. The texture reminds me of a Concord grape in a way but that's really not it. Something new. And I love the emerald green flesh! Quite delightful...
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Paul Kinderling
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Casimir did you grow those plums? What can you you tell us about how you grew them? Or where did you find them?
--where do you live approximately
--did you plant the original tree, is this a rootstock that was allowed to grow, how many years did the St Julien take to bear fruit?
--when did they bloom especially compared to your other trees, did you have another European plum as a pollinator?
--when was the harvest, at what point was the flavor best?
etc

I have a tree with a failed scion and I am probably going to try growing out the St Julien rootstock but as you say it's hard to find information, hoping you have some info from your own experience or whoever grew those
 
Dana Jones
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Whoa! These plums are green? And ready to eat? You might have to save seeds to share! Very interesting, please tell us more.
 
Casimir Holeski
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Hi Paul,

The discovery of the St. Julien tree was a happy synchronicity. While foraging for fruit and nuts (both to eat, and more importantly, to aquire novel genetic material for my garden) I stopped to admire an ornamental crab across the street from a plum tree I was picking. That's when I noticed a little tree that was dropping small green fruit from a couple of loaded branches.
It turns out that the owner of the house had cut down an Italian prune plum that they felt was to big for the yard. It had then regrown from the roots. She actually thought it was the same prune plum she had cut down. She didn't know what I was talking about and was surprised when I showed her the green fruits.

I believe it to be the first year fruiting but I don't know how long ago she cut the tree. When I was looking for ground fall to collect the seeds all I saw was Italian prune pits from years past!

I think it was mid September-ish when I discovered the tree. The fruits were mostly perfect at the time.
 
Casimir Holeski
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I live in N.Idaho by the way.
 
Casimir Holeski
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Hi Dana,

I saved every seed I could find! Discovering this plum opened my eyes a little and now I am very interested in the Gage's and Mirabelles as well as other less well known varieties such as Damsons, Sloes, and Myrobalans.
 
Dana Jones
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I love this forum! There are things here that you can't find anywhere else. I have never heard of these plums, these are so interesting! I am glad you found them, you will have to keep us posted on how they grow and produce!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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For Casimir Holeski, Dana Jones and all others interested.

The seeds will need to be scarified then stratified for 4 weeks before planting in the spring at 1 1/2" deep. They will take up to 3 months to sprout and about 7 years to first fruiting.

These trees were the plum Romans ate. It is mildly acidic but sweetens when fully ripe.

It is member of the Damask Plums and is used to make Slivovitz.

The Victoria Plum is also a member of this group. It was discovered in Sussex around 1830-1838 and first introduced for sale by Denyer, a nurseryman at Brixton in London in 1840.

These plums first became popular for root stock in the 1970's when dwarfed fruit trees became more and more popular.

Sicons of these trees will generally root easily in a green house environment.

Hope this information helps.
 
Patrick Mann
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St.Julien is commonly available as rootstock for the prunus family. In fact I grafted a bunch of them to various other plums and peaches just this spring. Looks like it would be worth leaving one of them to grow as is.
 
Tim Wells
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Location: Essex, England, 51 deg
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They look like what we in the UK call Greengages to me.
Cant buy them fully ripe in the fruit market as they dont keep well. But when fully ripe on the tree they are so sweet. They are probably my favorite fruit period, certainly the king of prunus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greengage
 
Roses are red. Violets are blue. Some poems rhyme. But this is a tiny ad:

The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers:
http://richsoil.com/cards


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