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TIMELY TOPICS. The New Pineapple Introduced by the Agricultural Department During the Past Year Described. Edited by W. E. Pabor. The Year Book of the Department of Agriculture tor 1900, recently issu ed, adds another volume of value to the book shelf oi the agriculturist who reads as well as works. While there is not a great deal within its covers peculiarly of interest to the Florida farmer or fruit grower, still the article by Herbert J. Webber on new citrus and pineapple productions -of the department, shows that one of our specialties—that of the pineapple —is not being neglected. * * * Last year several new varieties were announced and described in the Year Book, and this year adds to their number. As to whether these will eventually displace the two vari eties that now hold first rank for commercial purposes—the Red Span ish of open held and Smooth Cayenne of shed culture, —time and experience must determine. * * The six new varieties that were de scribed last year and specimen plants sent out, to certain localities in South Florida, were named Miami, Semi nole, Eden, Matthams, Deliciosa and Gale. Since that time, the report says, “the Miami has proven to be one of the best appearing fruits of these va rious hybrids ; but, while of fairly "ood quality, is much inferior in this regard to some of the others. It is, however, apparently a good shipper and, as its quality is certainly (?) su perior to that of the ordinary vari eties of pineapples, it should prove a desirable sort.” True, if of superior quality. I have four plants in my ex perimental patch that were received late last fall, passed safely—thanks to the watering pot —through the eight months’ drouth and are now making fine growth, but will not, of course, fruit this season. I also have plants of all the six named above, except the Seminole and Gale ; these two were not received, as none were of size large enough to send out at that time. * * * The Matthams “has proven to be an all-round good sort.” It seems odd to read what follows. “At the grad uate, school of agriculture held at the University of Illinois (don’t think I have made a mistake in the name of the state), held in July, 1906, Prof. Webber had the pleasure of having a large number of these hybrids tested by the various students and instruct ors, fully fifty persons having taken part in the test.' A vote on the qual ity of the fruit tested resulted in an almost unanimous vote in favor of Matthams first, Eden for second, and Miami for third place. The Seminole and Gale were not fruiting in quan tities to be entered for testing. The Matthams is a yellow fleshed variety of a rich, sweet flavor which, on first testing is likely to be preferred by many people.” Prof. Webber, how ever, believes it to be inferior to the Eden and Deliciosa. * * * Seven new varieties are described in this new and most interesting (to pineapple growers) paper by Prof. Webber. Six of these are of the smooth-leaved kind, which gives us, for future exploitation, nine where heretofore we have had only one J the Smooth Cayenne. Only those who have worked in Red Spanish planta tions will be able to fully appreciate this particular feature of the new' va rieties. Scratched hands and shins are some day, perhaps, but memories of the past. * * * Pineapple hybrid No. 90, now known as Deliciosa, is said to be stated as the standard of excellence, reach ing, in jury parlance, the perfection total of 100 points I presume. But in scoring for size it would seem as if it would lose, as two to two and a half pound’s weight only so far lies to its credit. It is a hybrid of Enville with pollen of Porto Rico; leaf ser rated, broad, reccured, rigid, dark green in color; average crown 8 to 9 inches high; flesh cream yellow ; slips numerous, with one or two suck ers; shipping qualities fairly good ; season from May 15th to July Ist. It seems to have none of the char acteristics of Mother Enville or Dad dy Porto Rico (unless it might be in serrated leaf). Prof. Webber does not recommend it for other than superior quality mfwy mfwy fwy mfw home use, although he says, “If the for table purposes were recognized by the market they would be in great de mand.” * * * Hybrid No. 168 has been named the Dade and “has proven a fruit of ex cellent quality.” It is from an Enville with pollen from Smooth Cayenne, resembling the first named in eye, size and shape, but has the smooth margined leaves of the latter. Medium size, running from 2 1-2 to 3 1-2 lbs., color lemon yellow, surface of fruit rather smooth; texture tender and brittle; flesh yellow and juicy; slips numerous, with one or two suckers; season late in July. “On the whole,” says Prof. Webber, “this variety is not as promising as some others, but is worthy of careful trial under differ ent conditions.” x * * * Hybrid No. 169 has been named the Coquina, Green Riply, with pollen from Smooth Cayenne,—a medium sized fruit, weighing from three to four pounds, oblong, elliptical, 5 to 7 inches in height and from 4 to 5 in diameter; color orange yellow; moderately juicy; flesh rich yellow color; flavor subacid, rich, sweet; gen eral appearance and quality excellent; slips 7 to 12; suckers 1 to 4; season July. “While this fruit is not equal to some of the other hybrids in qual it, it is believed to be of sufficient merit to justify its propagation.” * * * No. 185 is also a hybrid of the En ville crossed with the Smooth Cay enne and has been named the* Jupiter, —medium in size and of same shape as the Red Spanish. “It is apparently a good keeper. It gives evidence of being a good canning sort, as it peels economically and the core is soft enough in general, so that 4t probably can be sliced without cutting out the core. The solidity of the flesh and the sweetness of the variety also re commend it for this purpose. In fla vor and quality the Jupiter is certain ly inferior to a number of the hybrids, but it is superior in these respects to many of the varieties commonly cultivated.” No. 197 is a cross of Green Ripley with pollen of the Smooth Cayenne and has been named the Jensen; medi um size, weighing from two to four pounds; oblong, conical, 5 to 7 inches in height and 3 to 5 in diameter; color light orange yellow; flesh solid, very juicy; rich yellow color; texture ten der, soft, stringless ; flavor a rich sprightly acid; core small, tender and edible; slips 5 to 6, rather close to fruit; one or two suckers ; season June and July. A peculiarity of this variety is a pronounced neck between the fruit and the crown, though not always appearing;” withal, the Jen sen is believed toe be a very valua ble variety worthy of general culti vation. Because of its shallow eyes, solid, juicy flesh and tender core it may also prove a good canning sort.” * * * No. 212, a cross of Green Ripley with pollen of Smooth Cayenne, has been named the Orlando, and “is one of the best appearing and most prom ising of all the sorts under trial;” small in size, weighing from one to four and a half pounds, usually averag ing two and a half; ovate, oblong, 4 THE FLORIDA AGRICULTURIST. to 8 inches high, 3 to 5 in diameter; color a bright orange; very juicy; tex ture brittle and tender with slight stringiness; flesh yellow, solid; slips rather few, in some 3 to 6, in some none; suckers 1 to 4. Season June and July. Prof. Webber thinks that “a feature of importance in connec tion with this fruit is the possibility, owing to its small size, of its being a desirable sort to use as the Natal variety is used in South Africa, ac cording to the observations of Mr. D. G. Fairchild. There, single fruits of the Natal are commonly purchased by pedestrians on the streets, peeled and eaten much as we eat apples in this country.” * * * The last of the new hybrids to be considered in xhis connection is No. 228, a cross of Pernambuco with pol len of the Porto Rico, and “is one of the finest appearing and best of the various hybrids with smooth leaves which have been secured by the Department of Agriculture and has been named Biscayne. Owing to the fact that this variety has smooth leaves, while both accredited parents have the serrated, Prof. Webber is inclined to the opinion that the Smooth Cayenne pollen was used in stead of the Porto Rico. Fruit medi um size, weighing 2 to 4 pounds; ob long 4 to 7 inches high, 3 to 5 in color orange; juicy; texture tender; flavor a rich sub-acid; flesh a cream yellow; slips one to two, often none; suckers one to three; season June and July. In shape the Biscayne is rather remarkable. No variety known to the writer retains in so marked a degree its full diameter en tirely to the apex. In almost all qual ities the Biscayne is an excellent pine apple and is believed to be worthy of general cultivation.” * * * All quotations in these paragraphs are from Prof. Webber’s article, and he has given us a valuable addition to pineapple literature in this paper, which I trust will be reproduced from the Year Book and, in connection with the article in last year’s volume, be issued in the series of Farmers' Bulletins for general circulation in our state. 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