There are many different named varieties of mayhaw trees out there and many people wonder where their names originated. There are four basic groups of name sources for the mayhaws we have today which help distinguish one selection or variety from another.
‘Superspur,’ for example, is named for its tree characteristics. It has a high volume of fruiting spurs along the branching structure. Other trees are named after the people who found them or for someone they know. Examples include T.O. Warren’s ‘Superberry’, ‘Marline’, ‘Betsy’, etc. Still other names relate to the berry characteristics. Names such as ‘Heavy’, ‘Crimson’, ‘Goldie’, and ‘Big Red’ apply here.
The final source of names relates to the location where the trees were found. ‘Winnie-7’ and ‘G-2’ are good examples.
A lot of mayhaw names will, no doubt, fade over time as newer selections are made. This trend parallels the apple industry which has had over a thousand named varieties.
I have been asked what the “G” stands for in the named varieties originating from our farm. The “G” stands for Gist, which is a small town in Texas. Gist has a vast mayhaw flat with fantastic selections of wild mayhaw trees. As we followed individual trees in the flat we gave each tree a code number in association with its location. Later, if a tree proved worthy of propagation, we gave it a proper name. For example, ‘G-1’ became ‘Texas Star,’ ‘G-2’ became ‘Spectacular,’ and ‘G-5’ became ‘Royal Star.’ Many trees we observed, however, were later deleted from our research program as they did not exhibit the qualifications we were looking for.
MAYHAWS & THEIR NAMES
(Reprinted and edited article from the 2000 Louisiana Mayhaw Association Newsletter)
By Bobby Talbert476 Pine Knot LaneMilam, TX 75959
Continued cultivar development has occurred since the above summary was written. Most if not all the continued development has been the extensive work by Billy Craft. Billy has developed and released several more mayhaw cultivars including the following: Cajun, Red Splendor, Marlene, Double G, Surprise and the latest called Re Champ. Several of these are commonly used in orchards today with Red Champ (Maxine/Double G) being the latest and most sought after. Both Double G (Texas Star/Royal Star) and Surprise (Double G/Maxine) are also popular cultivars in use today.