The comprehensive resource for plums and orchards

Old Green Gage



Old Green Gage is the definitive "gage", and often considered the best flavoured of any plum variety.  Compared to the attractive colouring of most plums, the appearance of Old Green Gage fruit is fairly plain - the plums are quite small and a dull green colour, turning slightly yellow when ripe.  However this is one that you grow for flavour - for eating fresh it is exceptional.

Old Green Gage has a fascinating history. The gages are usually included within the European plum species Prunus domestica, but are nevertheless a distinct sub-group, being smaller and more spherical, and green or yellow in colour. They have been cultivated in France since the Middle Ages having been introduced from Italy. In France the many different varieties of green-skinned gages are known collectively as "Reine Claude" in honour of Queen Claude, the wife of Francis I who ruled France from 1515 to 1547. Old Green Gage is believed to be the same variety as the French Grosse Reine Claude.

It is generally thought that Old Green Gage was introduced to England from France in the 18th century by Sir William Gage, who lived at Bury St. Edmunds and obtained a tree from his brother who was a priest living in Paris. As a result of his promotion of this new variety all green plums tend to be known as "Gages" in the UK. However, whilst Sir William is undoubtedly responsible for the English name, and the Old Green Gage in particular, there is some evidence that his was in fact a re-introduction of a variety already widely grown in England known as Verdoch, which may have come to England from Italy in the Middle Ages.

Green-skinned gages were subsequently introduced to the USA in the late 18th century where they are also known as Green Gages.

Last updated 15 Aug 2011.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 2.5 out of 5. Total votes cast: 2
 

Visitor comments

(Use the form at the bottom to add your own comments about this variety)

04 Mar 2014 
This article says greengage trees can take up to seven years to fruit. Keep hoping! http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/01/dining/01GREE.html?pagewanted=print&position


13 Jul 2013 
I'm looking to purchase a greengage tree possessing a full sweet flavour and prolific cropping qualities Your advice and any suggestions would be appreciated


21 Apr 2012 
Mine wont flower either. Don't know what I'm doing wrong, if anything.


03 Jun 2011 
I bought a Gage Reinne Claude 3 years ago. It has never blossomed and has never fruited. Am I doing something wrong. I had a tree surgeon prune it to make sure that was correct. Regards


31 Jul 2010 
I was able to buy green gage plums from a fruit stand years ago, and they are hands down the best plum I've ever eaten. I have pined for them ever since.



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Widely considered the best-flavoured of all plums, a sublime taste experience when you get a good one.

Old Green Gage phototape

Origins

  • Species: Prunus domestica
  • Originates from: France
  • Introduced: 16th century
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1249

Identification

  • Fruit colour: Green
  • Fruit shape: Round
  • Stone clinging?: Semi-clinging

Using

  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Flavour quality: Exceptional
  • Flavour style: Gage-like
  • Harvest period: Late season Early September
  • Use / keeping: 1-3 days

Growing

  • Cropping: Light
  • Flowering period: Mid-Late season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Self-sterile Sometimes considered partially self-fertile - but really needs another pollinator
  • Vigour: Average growth
  • Gardening skill: Some skill needed
  • General disease resistance: Poor

Climate

  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
  • Blossom frost-resistance: Good resistance

Disease resistance

  • Brown rot  Monilinia fructigena  - Some susceptibility

Horticultural

  • Fruit splitting  - Some susceptibility

Relationships to other varieties

Offspring of this variety:

Fruit tree register

Do you have a tree of this variety in your garden or orchard? If so please register the details here and contribute to our international register of fruit trees.

The following Old Green Gage trees have been registered - click the name to view more details of each tree.

You can also view these trees on a map.

United States

United Kingdom

Germany

Ireland

Italy

  • Sarah in Fiesole, Tuscany

Canada

Poland



Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2014 season

  • 14th April  2014  - tree owned by John in MALMESBURY, United Kingdom
  • 7th April  2014  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • 2nd May  2013  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom
  • May  2013  - tree owned by stanwatt2008@hotmail.co.uk in GARDENSTOWN, United Kingdom
  • May  2013  - tree owned by Jeff in Leicester, United Kingdom

2011 season

  • 15th April  2011  - tree owned by Michelle in DARTFORD, United Kingdom

2010 season

  • April  2010  - tree owned by Michelle in DARTFORD, United Kingdom

Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.

Latest harvest records for this variety

2014 season

  • 4th week August  2014  - tree owned by John in MALMESBURY, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • 4th week September  2013  - tree owned by stanwatt2008@hotmail.co.uk in GARDENSTOWN, United Kingdom
  • 4th week August  2013  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

2011 season

  • 2nd week July  2011  - tree owned by Michelle in DARTFORD, United Kingdom

2010 season

    Plum, gage, damson trees

    The following fruit tree nurseries offer Old Green Gage gage trees for sale:

    Where to buy plums to eat

    No orchards have registered as growing this variety. If you grow this and want to register please go to our Orchard Registration form.





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