The Pershore plum was the mainstay of the English plum industry in the Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire from the mid 19th century until the early 20th century. It is also popularly known as the Yellow Egg plum from its yellow colour, and because it is one of a group of plums which have a distinctive egg-like oval shape.
Pershore is in many ways the perfect commercial plum. It is a reliable and heavy cropper. The trees are compact in size, and the blossom has some frost resistance. The tree is resistant to the two main plum diseases, canker and silverleaf. The fruit can be picked un-ripe and stored for several weeks.
The one slight drawback for the amateur grower is that Pershore is really not a plum for eating fresh off the tree - the flesh appears to have little or no juice, and the flavour is merely acidic. However it is transformed by cooking into a golden yellow puree with a good plum flavour which is ideal for jam or pie fillings.
Pershore is complimented by another variety from the same area, Purple Pershore (and hence is often referred to as the Yellow Pershore). However although the shape and uses are similar there is some doubt as to whether these two varieties are actually related.
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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