The Mount Perry Peanut Tree Pyramid Image.

Robert P. Herbst
© Copyright 2001 by Robert P. Herbst

It's a hot day in the middle of Mount Perry, Florida, but I am content sitting here in the shade of a Mount Perry Peanut Tree, looking up at the cool, snow covered peak of our beloved Mount Perry.

It's interesting to note the mount perry peanut tree originated right here in Mount Perry, Florida. It was the result of a genetic mistake. It was an off shoot of attempts made by our very own, world famous, genetics expert, Dr. Gene Splicer. He was attempting to create a pine apple tree by splicing the genes of a pine tree with an apple tree. These experiments were a dismal failure.

Some how, during his experimentation, he dropped his peanut butter and jelly sandwich into the automatic gene splicer. The seeds which came out of the machine grow the, now world famous, mount perry peanut tree. As always, sometimes the best results of any experiment, happen by accident.

Although this genetic mutation was created quite by accident, Dr. Splicer is always happy to take all the credit for it. He points to his creation with great pride and states, "I did this?"

The tree grows about twenty feet in height and is broadly branched with lots of healthy looking, dark green leaves. This makes the tree not only a commercially viable orchard tree but it also functions as a landscape shade tree.

It seems to do well in just about any soil with a minimum of fertilization. It should be noted however, if fruit is desired, a minimum of two trees must be planted within fifteen feet of each other to facilitate pollination.

Along about spring time, when the first leaves and flowers appear on the tree, the peanut crop begins to form in large clusters on the ends of the branches. Oddly enough, honey harvested from the bees which pollinate the mount perry peanut tree has a distinctly peanut butter and jelly flavor. It can readily be substituted on sandwiches given to little children who have never seen the real thing.

The fruits mature and ripen about mid summer. They should be picked promptly to encourage the emergence of the secondary crop. The peanuts should be promptly roasted and ground up to make our world famous mount perry peanut butter. Like serving guava jelly with hush puppies, Mount Perry, Florida, is one of the few places in the United States which has great quantities of mount perry peanut butter on every table in every restaurant.

 The tree is immune to most insect attacks because it is a relatively new member of the Florida Forest Community. About the only insect known to bother the tree is the mount perry grape borer.

This insect bores a tiny hole into the immature fruit of the trees secondary crop, which are the grapes used to make the jelly, the peanut butter goes with. The insect lays an egg in the hole, the egg develops into a worm and the worm eats its way on into the immature grape. This causes the infested grape to float in water.

It is adaptable to a wide variety of climatic conditions from North to South, and East to West. Although, when planted South of the Equator, the fruiting seasons seem to be reversed and the grape crop comes first.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the grape crop is usually floated in a water bath after harvest and the infested grapes are skimmed off for the production of our, now world famous, mount perry peanut butter and jelly wine. The wine is famous because it has a real worm in the bottom of each bottle. This wine is not only unique because of the worm but also because of it's taste. The taste is remarkably similar to the taste of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

South of the Equator, insect predation is not a problem, the grape borer is completely confused by the reverse seasons. It tries to eat a hole in the peanut but the masticated peanut meat becomes peanut butter and sticks to the roof of its mouth. With its mouth firmly blocked with peanut butter, the insect quickly succumbs to starvation.

The reason for the worm being in the bottle is not clear. The custom started when a live worm crawled out of a fermenting grape so drunk it couldn't tell which direction it was to the safety of the ground. It fell into the bottle it was crawling on. The bottle was subsequently filled and sealed.

Since this moment, no bottle of mount perry peanut butter and jelly wine is considered complete without a worm floating about in the bottom of the bottle. It is rumored the worm drinks almost all the alcohol in the wine before it drowns. Therefore, whoever gets the worm in their glass gets a lot drunker than anyone else. Just why this is important, is anyone's guess.

For reasons known only to a few of the scientists who worked on the project, the tree seems to grow best when grown in the same orchard with the "bread and butter vine". For some odd reason, when the vine is not grown in conjunction with the tree, the tree gets all sticky and has a tendency to stick to your fingers. Then the finished product has an even greater tendency to adhere to the roof of your mouth when you eat it.

If you feel you might like to have a mount perry peanut tree growing in your back yard, send your request to, The Mount Perry Mental Health Association at 101 N. Jefferson Street, Mount Perry, Florida 06660 and a tree will be delivered to your home by some of our friendly, trained, professional staff members. The staff are well schooled in how to deal with situations like this. Later, their specially trained technicians will show up at your door dressed in white uniforms, with a net, to help you plant your mount perry peanut tree.

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