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Cherry, Prunus avium / Rosaceae
Cherry
There are many cherry varieties, each one with very peculiar characteristics, large, small, red, orangy, sweet, acid...

As it happens in most cultures, the diversity of varieties causes the selection of the most commercial varieties for the production and sale of this fruit. Such selection, only in Spain and according to the Ministry of Agriculture, includes more or less 50 varieties that are usually those which better combine appearance, size and quality.

To begin with, and in a very simple way, we could classify the varieties of cherries in two groups or species, the sweet or Prunus avium L. cherries and the acid or Prunus cerasus L.. Within each group we find many varieties, being ‘Bing ", " Lambert", " Napoleón", " Montmorency" or the well-known variety Van the most important.

There exists a hybrid species of the sweet and the acid cherry, called " Duke’ cherry.

The varieties usually cultivated in Spain are: Marvin, Burlat (French origin), Garnet, Stella, Starking Hardy Giant, Summit, Sunburst (from Canada), Sweet Heart, Blanca de Provence, Ambrunes, Heldelfingen , Napoleón (Germany origin), Bigarreau Tardif de Vignola and Tigre.

Germany is the third world producer of cherries. There are many local varieties there, along with some others that have spreaded all over the world. The varieties cultivated in this country, according to the International Center for Agriculture and Biotechnology, are: Hedelfinger Riesenkirsche, Schwarze, Knorpelkirsche, Schneider, Knorpelkirsche, Kassins, Knauffs, Grosse, Teickners, Sam, Van...

Former Yugoslavia, along with Italy, occupy the fourth and fifth position in the world production of cherry. Some of the Yugoslav varieties cultivated are the following: Spring, Bigarreau Hativ Burlat, Van, Stark Hardy Giant, Stella, Bing, Lambert, etc.

We can point up, in the Italian production, the following varieties: Adriana, Bigarreau Burlat, Durone del Monte, Della Recca, Giorgia, Durone dell"Auella, Durone Nero I, Durone NeroII, Ferrovia, Lapins, Mora di Cazzano, Bigarreau Moreau, Sunburst, Van and Vittoria.

They are all kinds of varieties, types and needs. Thus, there exist varieties with regular growth and larger size of the fruit, such as the variety Stella or varieties that are less teared when they are mature. We find smaller cherries like the Sherry variety or Compact Lambert. Moreover, there are local varieties that are specially adapted to the regions where they are produced; these varieties must be taken into account when choosing the cherries.

Some varieties of cherry:

We choose the Burlat variety as reference to describe the rest. Its intermediate values, both in the size of the fruit as in the colour of its leaves, make it an ideal reference value.

"Bigarreau Tardif de Vignola’
This variety is from Italy; erect habit tree and great vigour.

The fruit is large and firm, dark purple when ripe.

It has a late maturation and it is not very sensitive to ‘bursting’.

"Burlat"
The leaves of this variety are sawed, average green, slightly lengthy and pointed.

The cherry has a dark red or purple skin, slightly flat and mean sized. The meat is dark red, with sweet taste, juicy and firm.

Early maturation, it is self-incompatible and it needs a pollinator.

"Heldenfingen"
The leaves are also sawed, a darker green than the "Burlat" leaves and less wide in their base, also pointed.

Black or almost black, the fruit is lengthy and of average size. The meat is dark red, with a lesser strong taste than the previous variety and a lower quantity of juice; it is also less firm.

Late or very late maturation, self-incompatible.

"Napoleon"
Sawed leaves, average green colour similar to the Burlat variety, lengthy and pointed.

The colour of the fruit is characteristic of this variety, it mixes vermilion and yellow, the fruit is larger than the two previous varieties’ size. Slightly elongated shape and juicier than "Heldelfingen".

Late maturation; it is self-incompatible.

"Sam"
Sawed leaves with an average green colour similar to the Burlat variety but thiner base, they are elongated and have a pronounced tip.

The skin is black and the size of the fruit is similar to the Burlat variety. The cherry has a heart shape, it is juicier than " Heldelfingen" and it has an acid taste.

Mean to late maturation and self-incompatibility.

"Schneider"
Original from Germany, this variety grows in a very vigorous tree although its habit is less erect than that of the previous variety, it has a good productivity.

The fruit is purple and large, although quite tender.

It has a precocious maturation, but not as much as "Burlat"

"Stark Ardy Giant"
Its origin is the U.S.A., it is a vigorous tree, with good yield, bearing a substantially thick fruit, dark purple and firm.

It is harvested in the middle of the season and it has a characteristic that conferes importance when choosing the variety: its resistance to "bursting’.

"Stella’
This variety is quite important, since it has a pollinator, that is to say, it is used to fertilize other varieties that are self-incompatible.

The colour of this fruit ranges from orange to red and even purple. The time of maturation is a bit later than "Burlat".
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