The last survivor of the earliest ages of sweet cherries, this is the original Bigarreau Commun of XVII century France - meaning a dappled cherry: white skin spotted with red. Within a generation, bigarreau came to mean any cherry of crisp, breaking flesh, the other notable characteristic of this variety in an era that knew only soft-fleshed guignes. Departing France for Spain under the name Gros Bigarreau blanc, it then made its way to Britain where it was planted in the Kensington gardens of George I under its present name. Flesh white, skin dappled with red; flesh breaking, juicy, sweet, lacking the bitterness of Napoleon Bigarreau ("Royal Ann"). The putative ancestor of all firm cheries. Pollinate with any guigne. Late June. On Mahaleb.
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