Towards the end of the 19th century nurseryman Thomas Rivers experimented with a French gage variety called Reine Claude Diaphane, a true gage with an unusually transparent ("diaphanous") skin - known in England as Transparent Gage. The most well-known result of this work was his Early Transparent Gage, but Golden Transparent has also been quietly popular amongst gardeners, and is believed to be the result of an open pollinated Transparent Gage.
Golden Transparent is a self-fertile variety - like Early Transparent but unlike its parent. The tree is notably small and compact (a common characteristic of gages and a useful distinguishing point with European plums). By gage standards it is a good cropper, but it can be temperamental.
The fruit is an attractive yellow colour with red dots, larger than a green gage.
Although considered one of the "transparent" gages, in our experience it does not have the true transparency of flesh found in some of its cousins. But no matter - the flavour is excellent, with a juicy thick sugary richness - this is a textbook gage.
The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.
Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.
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