Damsons in distress

Here’s an interesting article from the UK’s Telegraph about a very rare variety of plum, or “Damson”, called “Blue Violet”:

An amateur horticulturalist is nurturing what are believed to be the last wild-growing examples of a rare damson tree.

The Blue Violet has long been a rarity, even amid the celebrated orchards of the Lyth Valley, Cumbria.

in the last century their numbers have declined to what experts suspect
are a mere five – two of them in official “museum” orchards, and one
other clinging to life in a pot.

The Blue Violet are apparently bigger, juicier, prettier, and harvest much more easily than other varieties of Damson, and the horticultural world is very excited by the find.

Damsons originated near Damascus, and were introduced to England by the Romans.

Wikipedia: Damsons

Westmoreland Damson Association

3 thoughts on “Damsons in distress

  1. I believe my father has a Blue violet damson tree in his garden at New Milton,Hampshire.
    The tree is some 40/50 years old. It has fruited this year and the fruit is eatable straight from the tree.I have just started to make a gallon of wine from the fruit….


  2. You should ask the local botanical garden to investigate it, Alan. If it really is a Blue Violet, your father has a treasure growing in his garden!


  3. I was recently at a village near Luton called Eaton Bray. I stayed at a B&B, whose owner told me she had an example of an old variety of damson called the Bedfordshire prune, which she said was grown for the dye, to be used in the Luton hat industry. However, when I asked the straw hat curator at the Stockwood discovery centre, she said she had found no evidence that this tree had been used for the dye.
    Does anybody out there know anything about this subject?
    Steve Jones


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