Plum - Kuban Burgandy
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Kuban Burgandy plum.
Prunus cerasifera x salicina
Plum - Kuban Burgandy

Acquired: 2003
How started:

Raintree Nursery imported this variety from Abkhazia where it was developed near the Kuban River valley. It was imported to the US with the help of Gennady Eremin at the Krymsk Research Station in southern Russia. This variety was tested for years at the Mt. Vernon fruit research station north of Seattle, and it performed well. The red plums have blood-red flesh with hints of bing cherry taste. The fruit is hard to spot in the tree because it is almost the same color as the leaves. It is pollinated by Japanese-type plums. Raintree no longer sells this variety. Kuban Burgandy was developed from the cross Satsuma x Myrobalan (Prunus cerasifera). Satsuma is a Japanese plum Introduced in 1889 by Luther Burbank. The story of Satsuma Plum is found below.

Luther Burbank's own words on Satsuma Plum as recalled in 1914:
"Browsing among the books of the Mercantile Library in San Francisco, I had chanced to come upon an account of the wanderings in Japan of an American sailor, and what particularly held my attention was his mention of a red-fleshed plum of exceptional quality that he had seen and eaten in the Province of Satsuma in southern Japan. That red-fleshed plum appealed to me, and I determined to secure a specimen of it for my own orchards.

The sailor reported in his book that he had seen a single plum tree bearing this "blood-plum of Satsuma." But of course the rarity of the fruit made it the more alluring. So in due course when I came to make importations of native seeds, plants, and bulbs from Japan, I urged Mr. Isaac Bunting, an

English bulb dealer in Yokohama who collected these for me, to visit the southern part ol that country and make a par- ticular effort to procure with others some of the red-fleshed plums.

Mr. Bunting complied with my request, but, vastly to my disappointment, the first lot of young trees he shipped to me arrived (Nov. 5, 1884) in such condition that I despaired of doing anything with them. I immediately sent a request for another shipment, and gave definite instructions as to packing.

A little over a year later, on Dec. 20, 1885, there arrived the twelve seedlings to which I have already referred. And this time, to my great satisfaction, the tiny trees w r ere found in good condition.

Among the twelve seedlings was a representative of the race about which the sailor had written and about which I had read with such interest years before in the San Francisco Library. This was, in short, a plum with red flesh, something hitherto unknown among the plums of Europe or America.

Red flesh in a plum is a character so conspicuous that it is not likely to escape attention even of the least observing. And my red plum had other qualities that made it well worthy of introduction. It first came into bearing in 1887, and two years later it was introduced under the name of Satsuma the name being suggested, as was that of its companion the Burbank, by Professor H. E. Van Deman."

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