crab-apple


Значение термина crab-apple в knolik


crab-apple - CRAB-APPLE (Pyrus malus)
crab-apple - "Tame Apples," in Gerard's quaint phraseology, are the cultivated and grafted forms so familiar to us; the "Wilding" or Crab-Apple is the form the same fruit takes as indigenous to our country and unimproved by man. Apples were cultivated by both Greeks and Romans from the earliest times, and it is highly probable that when the Romans occupied Britain they brought their cultivated forms with them and grew them in their gardens. But, even before the Romans settled here in the fourth century, we know there was an apple-orchard at Glastonbury, while the ancient Druids specially venerated the apple because it was a host for their sacred mistletoe. It is thus impossible to trace any direct evolution from the "wilding" to the "tame" apples. Anglo-Saxon records refer to the cultivated apple, and a Saxon coronation benediction includes the petition, " may this land be filled with apples." The earliest plans extant of a garden in this country, namely, those of the monastery at Canterbury, in 1163, explicitly indicate where the orchard stood, the religious houses being very dependent upon it both for food and drink.

But side by side with the cultivated apples, the Crab-Apple flourished in lanes and woods, particularly in the midland and southern portions of Great Britain. It is a small tree with close, hard-grained wood and bright green shining leaves, oval in shape. What it lacks in size and imposingness it makes up in picturesqueness, for every year it passes through a double phase of beauty - the beauty of flowering, well suggested by our picture, and the beauty of fruiting. There is perhaps no other tree in our country which shows such loveliness, and it ranks pre-eminent for beauty in a family - the Rosaceæ - which can count many lovely members.

The flowers are large and grow in clusters. In the earlier days of blooming these clusters are particularly attractive, for the pinkish-white, open flowers are attended by deep pink buds, which enhance the colour scheme. There are five green sepals, five pink and white petals, and many stamens standing in a ring on the petals. The centre of the flower is particularly interesting, as indeed is usual in this family. It is made up of five parts which are united at the base to form a single ovary. Higher up these separate and show as five green columns in the centre of the stamens. The end of the flower stalk is deeply hollowed, and in this hollow the ovary is placed, completely filling it, so that the ovarian walls fuse with its walls. The sepals, petals and stamens arise from the top of the wall round this hollow, and hence they are above the ovary containing the seeds, and ultimately, in the ripe apple, are represented by the little brown button at its top.

When we turn to the mechanism by which the flower works out its destiny we note, first, that it is obviously intended to utilise insects. There is beauty of colour, scent and honey - the apple flowers produce honey, though their close relatives, the wild roses, do not. The scent is stronger by night than day, and thus the flower appeals particularly to moths, who are, indeed, its chief visitors. It has also another rather uncommon characteristic: the stigmas are mature directly the flower opens, while the stamens have not their pollen yet ready, so the first day of its life it can only be fertilised from some other flower. (The first day of apple blossoming in the spring is therefore necessarily destitute of results.) The second day, however, the pollen boxes in the outermost row of stamens open, and the third day still more stamens, working inwards, mature. Eventually - the flower lasts five or six days - the stamens next the stigmas shed their pollen, and then the flower can be self-fertilised if necessary, but it would appear that flowers self-fertilised, as a rule, give little fruit.

As soon as fertilisation is completed the ovary and receptacle-walls swell and become juicy and fleshy; the pips, which lie one above another in five columns round the core, are of course the seeds. In our ordinary apples this flesh is of varying quality and flavour, as we know; in the Crab-Apple it is harsh and sour, and is only palatable stewed down with sugar into a preserve. Its expressed juice used to be employed for curdling milk, so extremely sour is it; indeed, "as sour as a crab" has passed into a proverb. A Crab-Apple tree fruiting is almost as beautiful as one flowering, for the " Crabs " have their exterior painted by Nature in the richest reds, browns and greens. In our forefathers' days they used to be roasted and put into ale; the wassail bowl, drunk on All Hallows' E'en, was a compound of ale, apples, sugar and nutmeg. Puck, recounting his pranks in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," says: -

"Sometimes I lurk in a gossip's bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted crab.
And when she drinks, against her lips I bob
And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale."

Cider - or syder, as old books spell it - the fermented juice of the apple, was at one time more or less the national drink, and every now and then in old monastery records of pre-Reformation days we come across lamentations that such and such a year was a bad apple year, and little cider could be made. Of late cider has come more into fashion again as a pleasant summer drink. In some parts of the country the juice of the Crab - i.e. verjuice - was added to cider in order to give it a rougher, stronger flavour.

The apple, above all others, is the fruit of mysticism, magic and legend. The tree of immortality is traditionally an apple; it was golden apples that were given by Juno to Jupiter on their nuptial day, and a dragon was told off to guard them in the garden of the Hesperides, while it was an unhappily flung apple that was the immediate cause of the ruin of Troy. A curious survival of paganism in this country is found in a custom that was once prevalent, and was known even in our grandfathers' times, namely, that of saluting the apple trees on Christmas Eve. The farmer and his men would go to the orchard, taking a bowl of cider and a piece of toast. They would there surround a representative tree, sprinkle or " christen" it with the cider, and lay the toast on a branch, singing meanwhile some form of salutation. Sometimes little fires were lighted in the orchards. No doubt this was all a survival - now meaningless - of some religious ceremony of pagan days when the Druids worshipped the apple-tree and made oblations to it (represented by the toast), the fires perhaps being lighted to drive away evil spirits.

There used to be a custom in East Sussex of the children going round a parish on St. Clement's and St. Catherine's Days (November 23rd and 25th), asking for apples and singing the following rhyme: -

"Cattern and Clemens be here, here, here.
Give us your apples and give us your beer";

but the meaning of it is now lost. In olden days the priest used to bless the apple-trees on July 25th, and in the "Sarum Use" of our Church there is a special form for apple blessing.

In rustic methods of divination the apple has played a prominent part. In the West of England at Michaelmas, the village girls used to go and gather Crab-Apples (they called them "Grabs") and put them in a loft arranged in the form of the initials of their supposed lovers. On old Michaelmas Day - i.e. eleven days later - they went again and looked at them, and those which were the most perfect were supposed to be the men who would make truest and best husbands.

As to the dietetic value of apples, it is incalculable. "One Apple a day, Sends the Doctor away," says an old rhyme; another, more violent, repeats, "Eat an Apple going to bed, Knocks the Doctor on the head." "Pomatum," which originated in the days of vanity of Queen Bess, took its name from the apples which were its basis, and was an ointment designed to beautify the face. The apples have long disappeared from its composition, and the seat of its application has changed from the face to the hair, but the name remains. Verjuice mixed with "hard yeast" of ale and beer was another ointment designed to cure burns.

Though the Crab-Apple tree is not of much intrinsic value for its wood and fruit, yet as a stock on which to graft other varieties it has been invaluable to horticulturists.

Рядом со словом crab-apple в knolik


wild arumВ начало
буква ""
буквосочетание ""
cowslip

Статья про crab-apple была прочитана 9 раз

Our friends, knolik encyclopaedia knolik.com