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Old Greengage

Plums, Gages & Damsons

Old Greengage


Plums, Gages & Damsons


Late August



Planting Position


Also called Reine Claude and Greengage. It is a population rather than a variety since it comes reasonably true from seed, having been interbred for centuries. It is called Reine Claude after the wife of the French king, Francis 1st, 1494-1547. It came originally from Armenia, via Greece, but has been known in France since the late 15th century and in England since at least the late 16th century. It was mentioned by Parkinson as Verdoch, suggesting it might have arrived here via Italy. It has since been known as Verdoccia. In 1724 Sir William Gage, who had a garden at Hengrave Hall in Bury St Edmunds, acquired the green fruit but his gardener lost the label. It then became known as a green ‘Gage’. Medium sized fruit with transparent flesh, flushed amber. If eaten when exactly ripe, it is said to have the best flavour. Ripe in late August. Crops can be irregular.

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