Greengage Plum

Other names: Prunus domestica or the 'Reine Claude'

General Information: The Greengage plum has a deep green skin and juicy yellow green flesh. It is considered one of the most striking of the plums. It was developed in France from a green-fruited wild plum (Ganerik) originally found in Asia Minor. It is identified by its small, oval shape, smooth-textured flesh, and ranging in colour from green to yellow, grown in temperate areas. They are known for their rich, confectionery flavour that causes them to be considered one of the finest dessert plums.

History: Sources attribute the origin of the name "Greengage" variably to several members of the Gage family. One account states that the cultivar was brought into England by the Rev. John Gage who obtained them from the Chartreuse Monastery. "Green Gages" were imported into England from France in 1724 by Sir William Gage, 2nd Baronet (d. 1727), from whom they get their English name. Allegedly, the labels identifying the French plum trees were lost in transit to Gage's home in Bury St. Edmunds. Soon after, Greengages were cultivated in the American colonies, even being grown on the plantations of American presidents George Washington (1732–1799) and Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826). However, their cultivation in North America has declined significantly since the eighteenth century.

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