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My cherimoya, shortly before it became smoothie fodder.

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January 6, 2007

The further sexual exploits of Sorbus

One of the earliest posts on this blog referred to the penchant of the genus Sorbus to cross with other Rosaceaeous genera with surprising ease. I've been aware for a while of a couple cultivars derived from such crosses, such as Ivan Michurin's 'Ivan's Belle' (a cross with hawthorn), and 'Ivan's Beauty' (a hybrid with Aronia), but in general such hybrids have been more curiosities than serious attempts at fruit prodcution. That's why I was surprised to find a list of a number of such hybrids (it can be found here, but be warned: it's in Finnish). Here's the part I understood enough to find interesting:

'Eliit'--Sorbus aucuparia x Pyrus sp.
'Zoltaja'--Sorbus aucuparia x Pyrus sp.
'Titaan'--'Burka' x Malus sp. x Pyrus sp.
'Granatnaja'--Sorbus aucuparia x Crataegus sanguinea
'Likjornaja'--Sorbus aucuparia x Aronia melanocarpa
'Burka'--Sorbus aucuparia x [Sorbus aronia x Aronia arbutifolia]
'Dessertnaja'--'Likjornaja x Mespilus germanica
'Rubinovaja'--Sorbus aucuparia x Pyrus communis
'Krassavitsa'--Sorbus aucuparia x Pyrus communis
'Nurmes'--Sorbus aucuparia

(It's worth noting that the USDA GRIN system lists a slightly different parentage for two of these: 'Burka' (S. alpina x S. aucuparia), 'Likjornaja' (S. aucuparia x S. melanocarpa), and it lists the pedigree of'Krassavitsa' as "uncertain". (For those who are interested, the GRIN page for Sorbus is here).

(For those not up on their Latin names, Aronia is chokeberry (or just aronia), Mespilus is medlar, and Crataegus is hawthorn. And really, shame on you if you don't know that Malus is apple and Pyrus is pear...)

Anyway, I have no way of reading the Finnish portion of the PDF, so I don't know what they're saying about these, but this marks the first I've heard of several. Anybody who knows Finnish or knows these cultivars and wants to comment, please feel free to contribute.

Update: I've never had trouble with tables in HTML in the past (which was quite a while before I started this site), but for some reason I can never make them work right here. I always get a giant blank space before the table. I've gone with a slightly less elegant non-table version here, but it's really starting to annoy me. Any suggestions what I might be doing wrong?

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At 1/10/2007 06:51:00 PM, Blogger Carpophilus said...

This recently published book may be of interest:
The Genus Sorbus
Author: Hugh McAllister
266 pages
Illustrations: 20 colour paintings, 99 colour photographs, 12 line drawings, 7 distribution maps
Price: £32.00
ISBN/ISSN: 1 84246 088 9

At 1/30/2007 08:55:00 PM, Anonymous MSS said...

I first ran across aronia (as juice) in Poland in 1994. I had never heard of it before.

Recently, Trader Joe's has started carrying bottled aronia juice, marketing it as having even more antioxidants than pomegranate (which certainly has caught on lately!)

I have to say that "aronia" is a good deal better name to market a product as than "chokeberry"!

On Sorbus, Raintree nursery has offered a Mountain Ash-pear cross that has intrigued me, but I have never bought one because I had my doubts it would produce here.

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