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Seller Inventory LIE Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. George F. Publisher: Case Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis This vintage book is a detailed monograph on the apple industry of New York in the early twentieth century. Coming to the Romans, no mention is made of the peach by Cato, B. De Candolle gives no authority for his statement that the peach was spoken of years before its introduction into Europe and I cannot verify it; but a search through even such Chinese literature as is accessible to one who does not read the Chinese language shows that the peach was commonly spoken of in the literature of China several hundred years before the Christian era.
Two examples must suffice, taking those that seem most authentic as to the identity of the peach. In the Shi-King, or book of poetry, a collection of ancient Chinese poems made by Confucius B. According to the translator all of these poems were written before the Sixth Century B. Superstitions and legends throw light on the antiquity of the objects with which they are connected.
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It is significant that the Chinese alone ascribe miraculous powers to the peach, their traditions of the properties of different forms of this fruit being both numerous and very ancient. Cibot, a French missionary among the Chinese, in a series of cyclopedic 8 volumes on China, devotes a chapter to the peach in which, after describing the peaches of the country and giving a full discussion of methods of culture, he mentions numerous Chinese superstitions concerning this fruit. He writes: 8. The oldest of their books have perished.
They have saved only a part of their ancient national works on the great wars and general uprisings, and the original traditions, changed in a thousand ways, made into fables, finally corrupted by idolatry, are today only chaos; but this chaos is not without any ray of light. Many of these traditions, although disfigured, bear back too exactly to the marvelous tales of the lost books to be able to mistake the beliefs of the early ages. Thus, there are many traditions referring to the peach. Some call it the tree of life, others the tree of death.
Peaches lengthened to a point, of large size, and colored red on one side, are regarded by the Chinese as the symbol of a long life. In consequence of these ancient national superstitions, peaches enter into all the ornaments of painting and sculpture. They are saved for the salute to the new year. Here are several ancient texts on the peach and its fruits:. From Chin-non-King: 'The peach 'Yu' signifies death and eternal life. If one has been able to eat it enough times, it saves the body from corruption till the end of the world. Still other texts could be cited but I will merely remark that in all the peach is connected with immortality.
Again we find that certain peaches can not be offered by the ancients in sacrifice, and that the premature blossoming of another peach signifies great calamities. To quote again: From Sin-lin: 'In the garden of Yang was the peach of death; whoever approached it must die. Very interesting and illuminating as to the age of the peach in China, is an account given by Dr.
Yamei Kin 9 who was asked by a member of the staff of the Office of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction, United States Department of Agriculture, for information concerning the peach-blossoms. After describing the several kinds of blossoms borne by Chinese 9 peaches, the writer gives some of the superstitions and legends which the Chinese connect with the peach. My people held up their hands in horror, and exclaimed it was a mercy that I did not intend to wear that here, it would only do for outside countries that did not know about peach flowers, which remarks led me to leave it in America when I came back, though it was a very lovely delicate color and one of my prettiest gowns.
The reason for this prejudice is owing to its symbolism. Just as the violet is considered in western lands to be the symbol of modest worth, so the plum is that of feminine virtue in China and the peach flower the opposite. Not even the beauty of its color, whether delicate pink or deep cerise, redeems it from this fatal significance.
In order that there may be no possible opportunity for a 'peach flower heart' to spring up unawares in some girl of respectable family, it is not considered wise to plant a peach of any kind near the bed room windows of the court yards inhabited by the women, yet peach wands are supposed to be especially useful to beat off all evil spirits, only they must be plucked during a solar eclipse and a hole bored through one end for hanging up by, during a lunar eclipse, which perhaps accounts for their fewness, as during those times in the old days the people were generally busily occupied in beating gongs and firing off crackers to drive away the heavenly dogs which were supposed to be devouring those luminaries, and no one had time to think of making peach wands.
The lucky possessor of an efficacious peach wand is supposed to be able to sleep at night with it under his pillow in full confidence that no evil spirits can harm him. Taoism from early days has taken the peach as its particular fruit, signifying longevity, much as the apples of Hesperides were symbolic in the Grecian mythology.
Furthermore peach stones are often made into rosaries which are considered specially fine. There is a collection of tales by one Cornaby to be found in almost every library called 'A String of Peach Stones.
This theme is seen elaborated in many scenes, that decorate pottery, textiles, and congratulatory scrolls. I wish that I were not tied down so much by tedious detail in the medical work, as there is a most interesting book that needs to be translated telling much of the folk lore of the peach interwoven with the plot, which is supposed to be the journey of Hsien tsang to bring back the 10 sacred sutras of Buddha from India. It is said that this is an actual historic occurrence, but this tale is evidently semi-religious and allegorical, as well, combining in itself the characteristics of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Hans Christian Andersen, and the Arabian Nights, if you can imagine such a mixture, yet giving graphic pictures of Chinese life in various phases that are as true as when the book was written.
One of the most charming legends of peach flower lore is that of the 'Peach Blossom Fountain,' an allegory written by T'ao Yuan Ming between A. The fisherman returns after a sojourn with them, and tells his fellow villagers of this wonderful country and stirs up so much interest that finally the governor of the province joins in the search for this wonderful country, but it is all of no avail and at last the fisherman realizes that he will never more see the peach blossom days of his youth with its rosy dreams and ideals that come but once in a lifetime.
Lastly, a significant fact suggesting the Chinese origin of the peach is found in the behavior of this fruit in America.
The peach is more at home in North America than in any other part of the world unless it be China. Now, that there is a pomological alliance between eastern Asia and eastern America is well known. The remarkable relationship between the plants of the two regions was first set forth by Asa Gray and subsequent writers have added much to what he told us.
The explanation lies, as all agree, in similarities in climate. Now, with this relationship of the wild and cultivated floras of eastern America and China in mind, the rapid acclimation and acclimatization of the peach in the United States are readily understood if we accept China as the habitat of this fruit. On the other hand, the natural plant-products of Persia find life anything but easy in eastern America. There is but one further consideration before beginning the history of the peach as a cultivated fruit. Thomas Andrew Knight and Charles Darwin contended that the peach is a modified almond.
This hypothesis would scarcely deserve consideration were it not for the high authority of the men who espoused it—the judgments of a Knight and a Darwin cannot be overlooked. In the light of evolution every plant has been preceded by another and since the peach and almond have many characters in common, one may have descended from the other.
But as to which, if either, is the parent species it would seem idle to speculate with the shreddy and patchy knowledge we now possess of the descent of plants. Yet Thomas Andrew Knight, the greatest horticultural authority of his time and one of the leading experimenters of all time in this field of agriculture, maintained that the peach is a modified almond.
His theory received the support of several of the leading English horticulturists of the last century and Darwin gave it credence to the extent of collecting data for its substantiation. Knight believed that the almond and the peach constituted a single species and that by selection under cultivation an almond could ultimately be turned into a peach. This experiment, which in the light of our present knowledge of the laws of inheritance does not in the least illuminate the hypothesis with which Knight started, carried on in the medieval days of plant-breeding, convinced not only Knight in his belief that the peach may be bred from the almond but led others, even down to our own time, to accept the theory.
Image from page 82 of "The apple industry of Wayne and of … | Flickr
Thus, a writer, presumably Lindley, in The Gardener's Chronicle 11 in says "we are justified in the conclusion that the Almond bears about the same relation to the Peach that the Crab bears to the Cultivated Apple. Another high authority in his time, Thomas Rivers, 12 in , held that peaches, if left to a state of nature would degenerate into thick-fleshed almonds and makes the positive statement that he has "one or two seedling peaches approaching very nearly to that state.
Darwin, 13 in , considers Knight's supposition at length and while he does not positively accept it, yet lends it his support by quoting several authors who put forth proofs in favor of it. His most positive statement in discussing the theory referring to facts regarding the origin of the peach is: "The supposition, however, that the peach is a modified almond which acquired its present character at a comparatively late period, would, I presume, account for these facts.
His arguments, however, are but amplifications of those of Knight and Lindley though he cites more intermediate forms than either of the English writers—so many that they go far toward convincing one of the correctness of his views.
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As we shall show later in discussing the characters of the peach, this fruit differs from the almond in other characters than those of the fruit—characters not at all likely to be changed by cultivation and selection as would all those of the fruits. Knight's proof from hybridization was purely speculative. The fact that the peach and almond may be crossed, giving intermediate forms, nowadays would not be looked upon as proof that the two necessarily belong to one species.
However, in the light of the knowledge in existence at the beginning of the last century regarding the crossing of plants, we need not apologize for the inference that Knight drew from his simple experiment. Students of heredity would find almost conclusive proof that the peach is not a modified almond—a descendant, say, in this geologic period at least—in the fact that there is no recorded case of a peach fertilized by a peach producing an almond, or vice versa.
If the relationship were 13 at all close, if the two species had had a common origin even though in rather remote times, if they were nearly enough related readily to hybridize or be hybridized, it would be expected that now and then, as in the case of a nectarine, the peach would produce an almond or the almond a peach.