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Next comes a vast number of varieties of the plum, the parti-coloured, the black,1 the white,2 the barley3 plum—so called, because it is ripe at barley-harvest—and another of the same colour as the last, but which ripens later, and is of a larger size, generally known as the "asinina,"4 from the little esteem in which it is held. There are the onychina, too, the cerina,5—more esteemed, and the purple6 plum: the Armenian,7 also an exotic from foreign parts, the only one among the plums that recommends itself by its smell. The plum-tree grafted on the nut exhibits what we may call a piece of impudence quite its own, for it produces a fruit that has all the appearance of the parent stock, together with the juice of the adopted fruit: in consequence of its being thus compounded of both, it is known by the name of "nuci-pruna."8 Nut-prunes, as well as the peach, the wild plum,9 and the cerina, are often put in casks, and so kept till the crop comes of the following year. All the other varieties ripen with the greatest rapidity, and pass off just as quickly. More recently, in Bætica, they have begun to introduce what they call "malina," or the fruit of the plum engrafted on the apple-tree,10 and "amygdalina," the fruit of the plum engrafted on the almond-tree,11 the kernel found in the stone of these last being that of the almond;12 indeed, there is no specimen in which two fruits have been more ingeniously combined in one.

Among the foreign trees we have already spoken13 of the Damascene14 plum, so called from Damascus, in Syria, but introduced long since into Italy; though the stone of this plum is larger than usual, and the flesh smaller in quantity. This plum will never dry so far as to wrinkle; to effect that, it needs the sun of its own native country. The myxa,15 too, may be mentioned, as being the fellow-countryman of the Damascene: it has of late been introduced into Rome, and has been grown engrafted upon the sorb.

1 Perhaps the Prunus ungarica of naturalists, the black damask plum; or else the Prunus perdrigona, the perdrigon.

2 Probably the Prunus galatensis of naturalists.

3 "Hordearia:" the Prunus præcox of naturalists; probably our harvest plum.

4 Or "ass"-plum. The Prunus acinaria of naturalists: the cherry plum of the French.

5 Or "wax plum." The Prunus cereola of naturalists: the mirabelle of the French.

6 Possibly the Prunus enucleata of Lamarck: the myrobalan of the French. Many varieties, however, are purple.

7 There are two opinions on this: that it is the Prunus Claudiana of Lamarck, the "Reine Claude" of the French; or else that it is identical with the apricot already mentioned, remarkable for the sweetness of its smell.

8 Or nut-prune.

9 The Prunus insititia of Linnæus.

10 The result of this would only be a plum like that of the tree from which the graft was cut.

11 The same as with reference to the graft on the apple.

12 This is probably quite fabulous.

13 B. xiii. c. 10.

14 The Prunus Damascena of the naturalists; our common damson, with its numerous varieties.

15 Probably the Cordia myxa of Linnæus; the Sebestier of the French. It has a viscous pulp, and is much used as a pectoral. It grows only in Syria and Egypt; and hence Fée is inclined to reject what Pliny says as to its naturalization at Rome, and the account he gives as to its being engrafted on the sorb.

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