« AnteriorContinuar »
form, especially when grown in different localities; yet it is true that the expert depends very largely on this character for the identification of varieties. The local variations, due to climatic or soil influences, are very interesting, too, and should be noted with special care. Apples are round when the two diameters are approximately equal. An apple appears round, however, when the main axis, running from stem to calyx, is considerably less than the horizontal diameter, and some allowance may be made for this fact. That is, it is better to make the definition of round depend more on the judgment of the eye than on the measurement of the calipers. This remark applies also to the other forms. Apples are said to be oblong when the vertical diameter is greater than the horizontal diameter, but this rarely occurs—at least, among American apples. An apple may appear to the eye to be oblong, however, even when the main axis is less than the equatorial diameter; and, as already pointed out, it is better to rely on a trained eye rather than on measurements made with a rule. An apple is oblate when its main axis is distinctly shorter than the horizontal diameter. When we were
boys in school and studied geography we learned that the earth is an oblate sphere, “slightly flattened at the poles.” The oblate apple is much more definitely flattened at the poles. Oblate apples are sometimes said to be flat, but this term may be better reserved for such specimens as are very strikingly flattened. An apple is said to be conic when it tapers more or less toward the eye, or calyx, end. Combinations of these adjectives are often convenient, such as oblate-conic, roundoblate, round-conic, etc.
All these terms consider the fruit as it appears in its vertical section. If the fruit is cut exactly in halves, right through the stem and along the axis of the core, it becomes easier to determine whether it is round, oblate, or conic. But there are some other points to be determined from this section. It not infrequently happens that, when a section is made in this way, the two sides of the appple are unequal. One "half” is larger than the other. The descriptive term applied to this form is the one already mentioned unequal. Occasionally a fruit will be found which is oblique or lopsided. It is oblique if, when lying flat on the base, the axis of the
core does not point directly upward. York Imperial is a striking illustration of this oblique form.
In studying the form of an apple or pear the horizontal section should next be considered. An apple is regular if the horizontal section shows a circle, or practically a circle. Conversely it is irregular if the horizontal section departs materially from the circular form. In certain varieties this departure is very definite, usually toward a more or less distinctly five-angled form. Such an apple is said to be ribbed or five-angled (Fig. 10). The pomologist must use his judgment as to which of these terms best fits the specimens in hand.
The size of the fruit is next considered. Evidently no very fine distinctions can be made in this matter. Some apples or pears are comparatively large, others usually rather small, and such common terms as small, medium, large, or very large must be depended on in nearly all cases. Nevertheless, it is usually best, in spite of the great variations in size which occur in any given variety, to enter in the descriptive blank exact measurements of the specimen which is under description. In doing this it is the practice of the writer to