The fruits of America : containing richly colored figures, and full description of all the choicest varieties cultivated in the United States / by C. M. Hovey
But with this great accumulation of kinds,-and along with the multitude of names,has followed a confusion of nomenclature which has greatly retarded the general cultivation of the newer and more valuable varieties ; and the labors of the most ardent Pomologists have long been devoted to the attempt to reduce the chaos of names to something like order. Much has already been accomplished. The London Horticultural Society, with all the means at its command, has been foremost in this zealous work ;
... this zealous work ; and the exertions of numerous enthusiastic cultivators, both at home and abroad, have aided in this laudable enterprise. But there still remains^a great deal to be done before Pomology can be rendered anything but an embarrassing and perplexing study. To contribute my share towards the accomplishment of this important work, has been the principal object of the publication of the Fruits of America. Having long experienced the disappointment ever consequent upon a confused nomenclature, in collecting together all the principal fruits at present known, I have thought I could not better serve the cause of Pomological science, than to attempt a work of this kind, as the most, if not the only, effectual means of arriving at the end in view. Vlll. I do not think it necessary to enter into any argument to show the great importance and value of colored drawings in identifying fruits, and detecting synonymes. They are now generally acknowledged, when accurately and truthfully executed, and accompanied w^ith faithful descriptions,to be the only safe and reliable means of arriving at certain and satisfactory conclusions. Pomological Magazine, are held by all Pomologists, attest this. They have been of essential service in accomplishing what has already been done towards the establishment of an uniform nomenclature. There is a national pride, too, which I feel in the publication of a work like this ; and that is, that the delicious fruits which have been producetl in our own country, many of them surpassed by none of foreign growth,-and which are rendered doubly the more valuable, because mured to our climate and adapted to our soil, -will be here beautifully depicted ; and thus show to the cultivators of the world that, though yet in the infancy of the art, the skill of our Pomologists, unaided, too, by the experience which cultivators abroad may so well claim, has already given them a fair start on the road to success ; and, favored by Providence with a genial atmosphere and a cloudless sky, with the enterprise, intelligence, and perseverance, so characteristic of our people, why may we not hope that they will make the most rapid advance in a science whose results are so conducive to the health, the comfort, and the luxury of mankind. One of the peculiarities of the work I would particularly mention ; this is the engravings illustrating the habits and characters of the trees. No similar work has attempted anything of the kind. Their value, to me, seems of the greatest importance ; for, although to an un practiced eye little difference may be seen in many of the trees, to one who has studied them at all seasons, and in all their aspectsin spring when bursting into budin summer when w^reathed with foliagein autumn when weighed dOwn with fruit -and in Avinter when divested of their verdure,-they have an indescribable likeness which will at once enable all, who can appreciate the variable forms peculiar to trees, to recognize each variety. Having thus stated my objects in presenting the Fruits of America to my countrymen,leaving them to judge of the faithfulness of the work,-I have only to say, that no exertions will be spared to render the future volumes fully equal in every respect to this; and to surpass it so far as the beautiful art, in which it is executed, is capable of being improved.