Jul 31, 2013 by

Many people think in terms of “GREEN” gages, but in fact gages can be green red yellow or a mixture or colours, hence the title gages. Like other fruits they have many uses from eating when ripe and succulent, to jams preserves tarts sauces and so on.

Gages like plums and damsons are similar and are thought  to have originated from one species, but are more defined today due to the  efforts of the horticuluralists and specialist growers.

GREEN GAGE. CAMBRIDGE  GAGE.Greengage Cambridge gage

In the late sping the white flowers show maturing into  yellowish green  fruit, which not only have juicy flavour, but could be  said to have a  “dribble” factor as they really are superb. Although vigorous  in growth some fruit will set without pollination, but better results are  achieved with a late flowering plum.


Many——many years ago! when I was a lad, green gage  Count Althans was available and at that time was considered an “old”  favourite, but I cannot find the plant in many stockists! so should you be  lucky enough to spot one my suggestion would be to purchase. It can be said that it is very juicy with an excellent taste. A pollinator is required to give a good crop.

EARLY TRANSPARENT.Greengage Early Transparent

Raised around 1860 in Hertfordshire U.K., is a regular cropper, yielding medium sized fruits with yellow, spotted with red  skins and a mouth watering  flavoured, sweet golden flesh.


OLD GREENGAGE                 Armenian variety taken to the U.K. in the 1720s and named after Sir William Gage the importer. Thought of as the true greengage due to its colour combined with transparent flesh and succulent flavour. although not as heavier cropper as some gages. A pollinator is required.


First raised in France around 1855, makes it a good garden variety as it is happy even in cooler climates, having large, round,  yellow skinned fruit with sweet  flavoured, transparent flesh, and not requiring a pollinator.

REINE CLAUDE (The greengage).

THE GREEN GAGE-REINE CLAUDE                 French for Queen Claude, Queen of Francis 1,(1494-1547).  Originally developed from a green fruit wild plum (found in Asia Minor)  and introduced into the U.K. by the Rev. John Gage from Chartreuse  Monastery-Paris.

Ranging in colour from yellow to green, it has a smooth textured  flesh, with a rich honey flavour.


As the name indicates, it is from several varieties of Reine  Claude, in this case it has a dark purple skin and a lime green flesh, which  is firm with a rich gage flavour, late ripening, it was a favourite at the Rare  Fruit Growers tasting.

Gages like plums and damsons can be used in a variety of ways from wine making to inclusion in a fruit salad or cookng, I would suggest, dependant on variety used that sweetening may be necessary  subject to the use it is put to, also the fruit set against the leaves on the tree can make a contrast to other fruit in you garden. You can see from the collection of plums and gages together with damsons, that some have originated around the world, but local growers to you have developed similar types that are probably more suited to your area, and thanks to their skill you now have a choice of fine trees.

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