The named varieties of asparagus of European origin are very numerous,
as almost every locality in which asparagus is cultivated extensively
and successfully has given its name to a strain more or less distinct.
Generally these varieties differ only in a single characteristic,
these differences, for the most part, are so little that they are lost
when grown under different climatic and soil conditions. The
best-informed authorities recognize three cultivated varieties, which
have distinct commercial characteristics and whose seeds reproduce them
in the seedlings.
German Giant.--This variety embraces most of the German and French
sorts--the Giant Dutch Purple, Ulm Giant, Giant Brunswick, Large Erfurt,
Early Darmstadt, and many others.
Argenteuil.--Of this three sub-varieties are recognized--the early,
intermediate, and late; and these are the kinds grown almost exclusively
in the vicinity of Paris, France, where its culture and improvement have
steadily developed for centuries. Under good culture the late Argenteuil
produces stalks from three to six inches in circumference, at eight
inches below the tips.
Yellow Burgundy.--The distinctive characteristic of this variety is
that the young shoots below the surface of the soil are light yellow
instead of white to tips, being greenish-yellow. It is also claimed to
be more rust-resisting than other European sorts.
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