All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Old Green Gage 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.



Old Green Gage identification photos


  • Copyright: Orange Pippin

Visitor reviews

  • 04 Mar 2014  Davina,  CA, United States
    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  Jan Davis,  SURREY, United Kingdom
    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  stanwatt2008@hotmail.co.uk,  Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom
    Mine wont flower either. Don't know what I'm doing wrong, if anything.
  • 03 Jun 2011  Val Creighton,  HAMPSHIRE, United Kingdom
    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  Marcia Goodrich,  MI, United States
    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.

Tree register

United States

United Kingdom

Germany

Ireland

Italy

  • Sarah in Fiesole, TUSCANY

Canada

Australia

Poland

Spring blossom records for this variety

2017 season

  • 29th September  2017  - tree owned by Neville in Tea Tree Gully, Australia

2016 season

  • 25th September  2016  - tree owned by Neville in Tea Tree Gully, Australia
  • 12th April  2016  - tree owned by Mike in Glen Rock, United States
  • April  2016  - tree owned by Larry in Scotch Creek, Canada
  • April  2016  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

2015 season

  • 21st September  2015  - tree owned by Neville in Tea Tree Gully, Australia
  • 24th April  2015  - tree owned by Michael in Glen Rock, United States
  • 20th April  2015  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

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 >>.


Harvest records for this variety

2016 season

  • 4th week August  2016  - tree owned by Larry in Scotch Creek, Canada
  • August  2016  - tree owned by Mark in Ipswich, United Kingdom

2015 season

  • 4th week January  2015  - tree owned by Neville in Tea Tree Gully, Australia

2014 season

  • 4th week August  2014  - tree owned by John in Malmesbury, United Kingdom
  • August  2014  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, 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

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


Diseases

  • Brown rot  Monilinia fructigena  - Some susceptibility

Horticultural

  • Fruit splitting  - Some susceptibility


Where to buy fresh fruit

United States





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