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The pomology (from Latin pomum tree fruit , or Pomona , the goddess of the garden fruits) or fruit growing is the study of the types and varieties of fruit as well as their determination and systematic classification . The term pomology was coined in 1758 by Johann Hermann Knoop in his work Pomologia .


The first pomological writings were written in the 18th century . In this context, in a letter published in 1801 in the pomological journal Der Teutsche Obstgärtner , Hofrat Ludolph Friedrich von Laffert also referred to literature from the 16th century, the little apple book of Elector August von Sachsen with early descriptions of the varieties. In the 19th century , with the increase in interest in breeding new varieties, many extensive books were created , including some richly illustrated, artistic works. The main centers of pomological research were Germany and France .

The historical authors (the pomologists ) mostly not only described the types of fruit, but grew them themselves, occupied themselves with the improvement and selection and devoted a large part of their time to recognizing the varieties and giving them names. In the period from 1860 to 1919, the German pomologists were organized in the German Pomologists Association , which campaigned for the expansion of knowledge of varieties and for issues relating to fruit growing.

The current areas of activity for pomologists, now often organized in the new pomologists association (founded in 1991), have shifted significantly into new areas. One of the most important tasks is the collection and preservation of old varieties that are threatened with extinction. In addition, there is a search for missing types of fruit that are known from literature or vernacular . These partially international searches have already achieved success.

Many of the varieties described in the literature of the 19th century are no longer known today or can no longer be assigned unequivocally. Once recognized, pomologists can recognize a variety at any time, but this variety can often not be assigned unequivocally to one of the varieties described in the old literature.

Often, within the framework of thematically appropriate events, such as campaign days by fruit growing associations, the identification and presentation of fruit varieties for visitors is offered. In the meantime, expert reports are also being drawn up on professionally planted fruit plantations in order to prove that the correct types of fruit suitable for the planned use were actually used. The problem here is the lack of robustness of certain types of fruit. Many of the varieties suitable for professional fruit production are not able to survive on an extensively farmed area without the use of pesticides. Wrong varieties mean increased costs for replanting in the future.

Well-known pomologists

Pomological works

18th century

19th century

Memorial plaque for Adrian Diel in Diez

20th century

  • Germany's fruit varieties , Eckstein & Stähle publishing house, from 1905, the standard work from the beginning of the 20th century, richly illustrated and extensively described varieties.
  • Fruit varieties worth cultivating , Verlag Bechtold & Comp., Wiesbaden, first edition 1909, contains 55 plates in twelve-color printing with descriptive text
  • Theodor Zschokke - Schweizerisches Obstbildwerk , 1925. Contains 10 deliveries with 10 tablets each with apples and pears.
  • Karl Duhan - The Most Valuable Fruits , 1957.
  • Hans Krümmel, Wilhelm Groh, Gerhard Friedrich - German fruit varieties , 1956–1960.
  • Uta Lohwasser, Matthäus Mäuser: Beautiful little fruits. Special exhibition in the Natural History Museum Bamberg June 17, 1998 - February 28, 1999. Booklet. 1998.

21st century

  • Annette Braun-Lüllemann and Hans-Joachim Bannier Old sweet cherry varieties (fruit variety plant): Genetic diversity in the cherry-growing areas of Hagen am Teutoburg Forest and Witzenhausen. Verlag des Pomologen-Verein, Detmold 2010, ISBN 978-3-943198-05-8 ( online as PDF file, 31.1 MB)

Gardens, museums, sights

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Herbert Petzold : 'Apple varieties' Neumann Verlag Radebeul, 1979 p. 13
  2. Ludolph Friedrich von Laffert: Excerpt from a letter from Mr. Hof- und Canzleyrath von Laffert, regarding the little orchard book from Churfürst August zu Sachsen, dated March 11, 1801 in Teutsche Obstgärtner ( digitized version )
  3. Variety determination and identification problems in “Snow white to rose pink”, interview with pomologist Jens Meyer about the determination of apple varieties, by Michael Güthlein, accessed at chrismon.de, 25.9.18

Web links

Wikisource: Pomological monthly books  - sources and full texts
Commons : Deutsche Pomologie  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Fruit  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Pomology  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations