Botanical name: Prunus domestica Reine-Claude d'Oullins
Ideal location & conditions: Full Sun
Size after 5 years: 1.25m x 75cm
Soil: Soil based compost with added grit
Flowering colour: Pure white
Flowering period: Late March - early April
Fruit harvest period: Mid August- early September
It’s not often that fruits are named after a Queen, inspire a film which carry its name, appear in a Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch AND form the title of a novel. Well, the dear old Greengage has!
Having found its way to England from France, where it was known as Reine Claude after Queen Claudia (who was married to King Francis of France in the 1500s), it quickly became a noted addition to the gardens of England. Up until the late 1700s, plums were sad affairs, being far closer related to damson, small in size but big on acidity!
The unnamed Reine Claude trees arrived in Hengrave, Suffolk at the home of the Gage family, and by default, took the family name. It must have been a Eureka moment to the taste buds when the trees first bore fruits and plant breeders of the time soon started to use the very sweet and green fruits in their crossing programmes, trying to improve the quality of the traditional British plum.
The Reine Claude’s were obviously very well regarded in France and beyond, as they not only provided trees to Lord Gage in England, but also to George Washington in the late 1700’s. He planted them in his gardens at Mount Vernon, West Virginia in 1790, and our Will was able to graft trees in West Virginia of the original variety when he was called upon to help recreate the original Mount Vernon Plantings of 1799. The delicious tasting fruits soon became heavily planted in East Anglia, particularly Cambridgeshire, where the rich soils and climatic conditions suit plum growing. It soon became obvious that unlike most fruits, the Gage fruits grew true to type when their seeds were planted in the soil. This resulted in “Gage Hedges” being planted across Cambridgeshire and the remnants of some still exist today. They must be the best tasting hedges in the world!
Will came across our dwarf growing Oullin’s Golden Gage in one of these ancient hedge rows and propagated trees by grafting to ensure that the dwarf growing habit continues. These dwarf trees carry the Sibley name and add to the rich and fascinating history of Fruit Growing!
Plants are despatched on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We deliver to England, Wales and mainland Scotland using a next day delivery courier service.
A delivery charge of £11.50 will be applied to all orders. We send a maximum of 5 trees per consignment. If you would like to order 6 trees or more, please contact us for a bespoke quote as we may be able to offer you a better price for larger orders.
We do not currently offer delivery to the Scottish Highlands and Islands, to Northern Ireland or outside the UK.
For more information visit our delivery page.
With a combined experience of over 50 years in the industry our knowledge on how to grow our Terrace plants is second to none.
Every tree and plant sold comes with a care leaflet to get you started on your growing journey as well as a lifetime advice package - this means you can be confident that you will be provided with all the support and knowledge to get the best out of your new plant.
Visit our advice hub for guides about growing fruit trees as well as inspiration for your garden and how to use your produce.
View our FAQs for the most commonly asked question in relation to caring for fruit trees
Contact us if you would like specific advice about a plant before you place your order.