NASHOBA APPLE DESCRIPTIONS
|A Treasury of Antique Apples|
|The varieties of apples that are grown today or have been popular in the past is truly staggering, far beyond what most of us are exposed to growing up in the United States. This section is devoted to a discussion of the wonderful antique apples, some of which are staging a comeback in commercial popularity.Among the antique apples there are excellent choices for making apple pies. Several of these are discussed in Apple of Your Pie, and we will be introducing information on more antique apples as a regular feature of this site.
What constitutes an antique apple? When applied to apples, the term antique might at first seem out of place. After all, when harvested they are as fresh and crisp as any “modern” apple. Names like Spitzenberg, Winesap, Newtown Pippin, English Golden Russett and Northern Spy are unfamiliar and hard to locate, but these and many others are the early foundation of our apple-growing heritage. Others, rarer still have all but passed away. Names such as Tolman, Summer Paradise, Granite Beauty, Gloria Mundi, Black Pippin come to us from the pages of history. (Ref: The Apples of Maine).
What specifically constitutes an antique apple is subject of debate, even among experts. There is no magical cutoff date or exact style of apple that can be ascribed to the antique apples. However, the following characteristics are generally considered germane when placing apples into antique or modern categories. Antique apples are varieties that, prima fascia, have been grown for “a long time”, some dating back centuries. Many antique apples appeared on the scene in the mid 1800’s others go back to 1600 in France, Holland or England.
Key to Symbols
|Apple for fresh eating/ dessert apple.|
|Cooking apple. Good for making puree, applesauce, apple butter and other culinary delights.|
|Good pie apple, holds it’s shape when baked|
|Hard cider/ juice apple.|
ALMATA South Dakota
Fruit medium size, skin solid pale red, flesh is solid watermelon red that is tart but when fully ripe can be eaten out of hand. It ripens in late August.
AMERICAN BEAUTY Sterling Massachusetts prior to 1854
Fruit medium to large in size, skin is yellow nearly covered in red with small brown dots. Flesh is yellowish, dense and juicy with a mildly sub-acid flavor. It ripens in late September to early October.
AMERCAN GOLDEN RUSSET New Jersey late 1700’s
The fruit is small to medium in size, skin is pale yellow covered in a thin russet. The yellowish flesh is fine, crisp, spicy and sub-acid with a sugary juice.
ARKANSAS BLACK Arkansas prior to 1886 Fruit medium size, skin red over yellow, deepening to purplish-red or almost black on exposed side. Very crisp flesh, coarse, greenish-white, sharp flavor, improving with age. Keeps all winter. Will tolerate low desert heat.
ASHMEADS KERNEL Gloucester, England, about 1700 Raised by Dr. Ashmead, a physician from Gloucester, England, about 1700. It is speculated to be seedling of Nonpareil, another high flavored apple variety. The flattish round sometimes slightly conical shaped fruit is medium in size and russeted a golden brown with an orange or reddish bronze cheek. The crisp yellowish flesh is tinged green and is sugary, juicy and aromatic with an acidic sweet flavor. Because of the high acid content, storage for weeks or months mellows the fruit and enhances it for dessert use. The fruit sets in clusters and because it is borne on short spurs, the laterals should be shortened back to 3 or 4 buds during pruning. It has a straggly tree growth habit and fruit production can be erratic with fruit size diminishing as the tree ages. The russet and dry skin, lopsided shape and short stems characterize this apple. Tom Burford described it in the October 2002 issue of US News and World Report as, “an apple not for sissies” because of its very high and complex flavor. This classic dessert fruit ripens in late September and early October and always ranks in the top 10 at apple tastings.
BALDWIN Willmington, Massacchusetts, 1750
Also called Woodpecker, Pecker, Flech, Steel’s Red Winter and Butters Apple. In The Horticulturalist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste of 1847 the Baldwin origin is described: “This justly esteemed fruit originated in Wilmington, near Boston, in that county of Middlesex, Massachusetts. The original tree grew on the farm of Mr. Butters and was known for a time as the Butters apple. Woodpeckers frequented this tree, and Mr. Butters called it the Woodpecker apple, which was soon abbreviated to the Pecker apple…. This fruit must have been known about a century. Orchards were propagated from Mr. Butters trees, pretty freely, about seventy-five years since, by Dr. Jabez Brown, of Wilmington, and Col. Baldwin, of Woburn and their sons, to whom the public are principally indebted for bringing the fruit so generally into notice.” The year of discovery was about 1750. Large and roundish, narrowing just a little toward the blossom end, the skin is yellow but striped and nearly covered with crimson on the sun-exposed side. In Central Virginia likely because of the soil conditions and heat, it does not develop the bright redness of color. The yellowish white flesh is crisp, tender and subacid. Seeds are ovate, pyriform in shape and the fruit contains 13.64% sugar that ferments to 6+% alcohol. The surface is covered with white star shaped flecks. The thick skin protects it from bruising and possibly some insect damage, but it is subject to scab infection and “Baldwin spot,” a physiological condition of brown flecks in the flesh just under the skin. The tree is slow to begin bearing and tends to biennial or even triennial production. It is also a poor pollinator for other varieties. The tree is long lived and will grow large even on a size controlling rootstock. The leaves are broad and folded near the edge rather than toward the midrib with fairly sharp serrations that curve toward the tip of the leaves and the bark is a reddish olive. The winter of 1933-1934 brought minus 40-degree temperatures to the northeast that devastated the Baldwin orchards, which were largely replaced by the McIntosh. There are a number of strains and also, a sport of the Baldwin called Olympia. The variety Royal Limbertwig was sometimes called Carolina Baldwin. It stores well and ripens in October.
BELLE DE BOSKOOP Holland 1856 Originated as a seedling in the Ottolander family nursery at Boskoop, Holland. It was probably brought to America in the 1870’s and may be a bud sport of Reinette de Montfort. The moderately vigorous tree, which grows large even on dwarfing rootstock, has open and drooping branches. The fruit is oblate and regular in shape and the greenish yellow skin is blushed and mottled a bright red with darker red stripes. The base is covered with a brown russet that extends in a net pattern over the surface and the skin is very dry to the touch. The creamy white flesh is coarse, tender, juicy and crisp with a subacid flavor. A triploid that requires special pollination, it bears heavily but may be slow to begin to bear. It ripens in late September.
BEN DAVIS Arkansas 1880
Also known as Baltimore Pippin, Kentucky Pippin, New York Pippin, Virginia Pippin, Hutchinson Pippin, Joe Allen, Red Pippin, Victoria Pippin, Red Streak, Funkhouse and Black Ben Davis, the last named for a Mr. Black. Gano is sometimes said to be the same as Ben Davis, a sport of Ben Davis, or a parent of Ben Davis. It is noted that the Black Ben Davis is a solid dark red, Gano is dark red but may have some stripes, while Ben Davis is always distinctly striped. Ben Davis reportedly originated in Washington County, Arkansas, about 1880, but others have placed its origin in Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. The region, soil and conditions of growth undoubtedly determine the quality and value of this apple. The skin is waxy, smooth and glossy of a red and red striped color with hard, coarse, fairly dry white flesh, giving it the deprecating name, Cotton Apple. Very firm and bruise resistant, it tends to bloom late and escape the late frosts. The tree is a very vigorous grower and will begin to bear early and will bear heavy crops annually. Medium in size the tree grows upright with narrow waxed leaves, narrowing at the base and apex. Most observers find the same tree characteristics in Gano and the Black Ben Davis with the older bark on the Black Ben Davis and to some degree on the Gano a purplish color. The center of the tree should be opened by pruning to permit air and sun penetration to reduce diseases. Once in the Midwest Ben Davis was called “mortgage lifter” for the income it generated by shipping barge loads on the Mississippi River to New Orleans for export. It ripens in late September and early October and in common storage it can keep until April or May.
BLACK GILLIFLOWER (Sheepnose) American 1841 Large, long, conical, ribbed apple which, when highly colored, becomes almost purplish. Distinctive unusual flavor, reminiscent of Spitzenburg, rich and sweet, with relatively dry flesh it hangs well on the tree but do not allow it to become overripe as flesh will be too dry. It ripens in September. also known as Red Gilliflower, Black Sheepnose, Black Spitzenburg or just Sheepnose. Oblong in shape, it is a dark red deepening to black in skin color. Often the finish is dull and the skin is dry. The flesh is greenish white, dry, coarse, mildly sub-acid and tender. It has a distinctive aroma and flavor. The large tree is upright growing. For dessert or culinary use, it must be picked before it becomes too ripe on the tree. After ripening, the fruit will hang on the tree into the winter. It was grown in Connecticut early in the 18th century and is considered by some to be one of the parents of Red Delicious. The fruit is particularly suitable for drying. In Virginia the fruit begins to ripen in September.
BLUE PEARMAIN Origin Unknown
Described by Kendrick in 1833 and was a popular variety in 19th century New England. Its origin is uncertain. Mild, aromatic and sweet, which are characteristics of the pearmain flavor, the background is a pale red, splashed and striped with a purplish red with a pale blue bloom over the entire surface. The flesh of this large oblate apple is yellowish, coarse and aromatic. Beach in Apples of New York, 1905, states: “Probably it has been in cultivation for a century or more. Kendrick mentions it as common in the vicinity of Boston in the early part of the 19th century. Flesh yellowish, moderately firm, rather coarse, moderately juicy, mild sub-acid, decidedly and agreeably aromatic. Good.” It will shrivel in storage and ripens in September.
BLUSHING GOLDEN Blushing Golden apples have smooth deep yellow skin blushed with orange-red, making the fruit most attractive and distinctive. The fruit is medium to large, shaped much like Golden Delicious. Red spots on the skin indicate a late harvest. Usually the fruit matures about 2 weeks after Red Delicious. It retains its firm texture for several months in cold storage. It ripens in mid October
BRAMLEY’S SEEDLING Southwell, Nottinghamshire, England 1813 Originated in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, England, and on Church Street in Southwell there is a public house today called “The Bramley Apple.” It is reported that in the early 1800’s two “maiden ladies” by the name of Brailesford, planted two apple pips in their cottage garden. One of the seedlings grew into a noteworthy tree, the fruit of which so impressed a local nurseryman, Henry Merryweather, that he asked the owner of the cottage, by then a Matthew Bramley, if he could take a cutting to propagate it. It was first noted in 1809. There is a red sport called Crimson Bramley. This large greenish yellow apple with broad broken brown and red stripes has a firm flesh of yellow white tinged green and is juicy and acidulous. It contains 1% acid, which makes it so useful as a culinary fruit. The vitamin C content is 16.0 mg/100gm, one of the highest for a cooking apple. Leaves are dark green and very downy and the hardy tree is spreading. It is a regular and heavy bearer. There are conflicting reports to its resistance or susceptibility to scab, but in Central Virginia scab infection has not been a problem, nor has mildew. It is not particularly resistant to frost damage as some sources report. A triploid that needs a pollinator, in England Grenadier and Howgate Wonder are effective, but the American varieties, Golden Delicious and Spartan, are also successful. There is some tendency to biennial bearing. It keeps well becoming quite greasy in storage and Bramley ripens in early October.
A dark red, flushed fruit with very dark foliage. A seedling of a Foxwhelp type. Produces a sharp juice that is somewhat slightly astringent, making a rather thin, light cider of average quality.
CALVILLE BALNC D’HIVER France or Germany 1500’s
White Winter Calville is the classic dessert apple of France and is of either French or German origin. It is also called by the Anglo-American name Calvite. LeLectier, procureur for Louis XIII at Orleans mentioned it is 1627 and it likely dates to the late 16th century. This large flattish round apple with uneven ribs extending the entire length of the fruit and terminating in prominent unequal ridges at the base is pale green in color with light red dots on the side exposed to the sun. It turns yellow in storage as it matures and should be stored a month or longer to develop its maximum flavor. It has a distinctiveness of taste described by some as effervescence. In vitamin C it ranks very high and is often compared in vitamin C to that of an orange. A vigorous shy bearer that needs a sunny location to ripen fully, the tree does not produce fruit of the highest quality until it has cropped for a number of years. It is the definitive apple for making the classic French dish “tarte aux pommes”. Other than its very high dessert quality, it makes exceptional cider and vinegar. In Virginia it ripens in October.
CAMEO 1987 Cameo is one of the hottest new apples on the market. It was discovered in Darrel Caudle’s orchard in 1987 as a chance seedling. Cameo is a fantistic eating apple: crispy, juicy and snappy. Like Gala, they usually exhibit multiple colors, and tend to be a little rounder than the picture at left. Cameo reaches its peak in mid October.
CENTENNIAL CRAB Minnesota 1957
The small fruit is scarlet red over a yellow background with a juicy crisp flesh that has been described as having a nutty flavor. It ripens in August.
CORTLAND Geneva, New York 1898 (McIntosh x Ben Davis) A cross of Ben Davis and McIntosh. The skin is a dark red with a dusky blue cast over a yellow background color and may be more than half blood red with crimson overlays. Sometimes dark red stripes may show. The flesh is fine-grained, very juicy, tender and white and it is slow to oxidize on exposure to air. The vigorous tree begins to bear early and is an annual bearer that is highly productive. It hangs on the tree well after ripening. The tree grows tall, upright and spreading with dark red bark on old wood. The leaves are flat with the midrib a reverse curvature and the tips a clear, light green color with a dull rough surface. It ripens in mid to late September.
COX‘S ORANGE PIPPIN England 1830 (seedling of Ribston Pippin) Raised by Richard Cox (1777-1845), a brewer, as a seedling of Ribston Pippin at Colnbrook Lawn near Slough, Bucks, England and was noted in 1830. The skin is thin, yet tough, smooth and colored a dull orange red. As the apple matures, it brightens in color and is often more red than orange. Sometimes there is a surface russeting. The flesh is tender, crisp and yellow with a sweet slightly subacid flavor. This aromatic apple is considered one of the classic dessert apples of the world. Ripening off the tree enhances the flavor. It bears heavily and annually on a moderately vigorous tree that is susceptible to scab and mildew. The growth is upright and slender with small leaves with dull, fine serrations. The bark is reddish olive color. Since it blooms late and there is a heavy rebloom, it is a reliable bearer in frost prone areas. Golden Delicious, Egremont Russet, Worcester Pearmain and Lady Sudeley are good pollinators. Cox’s Orange Pippin is a parent of many esteemed varieties, including Ellison Orange Pippin, Holstein, Ingrid Marie, Freyberg, Golden Nugget, Kidd’s Orange Red (which is a parent of Gala), and Cherry Cox. Interestingly, the seeds are sometimes loose in the so-called pip pocket and can be heard when shaken. It ripens in September.
DABINETT Middle Lambrook, Somerset, England
This bittersweet cider apple ins probably a seedling of Chisel Jersey and was discovered in a hedgerow as a chance seedling also known a gribble. This tree is naturally a semi-dwarf. Precocious and very productive. Midseason bloom; late season harvest. Makes a sweet, full-bodied cider. Widely planted in England and France. Fruit 1-3/4″. Scab tolerant. Ripens late October
DUCHESS OF OLDENBURG Russia 1700 Also known as Borovinka, Duchess, New Brunswick, Charlamowsky, Queen Mary, Smith’s Beauty of Newark and there is a Red Duchess sport very similar to the original. Likely, it was known in Russia in the 17th century and was recorded in England in 1817. It is one of a group of four pioneer Russian apples brought to the United States in 1835 when the London Horticultural Society sent them to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in Boston. The other three were Alexander, Red Astrachan and Tetofsky. Duchess of Oldenburg is speculated to be a grandparent of both Northern Spy and McIntosh. A round medium sized apple with pale yellow skin almost entirely covered with irregular stripes and splashes of bright red, the yellowish flesh is crisp, tender, juicy, and brisk and sprightly in flavor. When fully ripe, it is suitable for eating out of hand, but it excels for culinary use before full ripeness. It bears early and annually and is still widely grown in Europe. The very hardy tree will tolerate heavy soils and will fruit biennially. Interestingly, the dull leaves have roundish depressions about ½ ” in diameter and the reddish bark is smooth and satiny. Trees more than one hundred years old were still producing some fruit in 2001 on North Manitou Island in Lake Michigan. It ripens in August and when overripe, the flesh becomes mealy and will not keep long.
EGREMONT RUSSET 1872 An English apple first recorded in 1872, but its origin is unknown. Medium in size and rectangular to truncate-conic in shape, the tough yellow skin has a golden brown flush nearly covered with russet. The greenish cream flesh is dense with a sweet and aromatic flavor. The flavor has been described as “nutty.” A small, upright growing tree, it is a heavy spur bearer and regular cropper. As the tree ages, the fruit size decreases and the quality of the fruit will vary from year to year. It is scab resistant and ripens in September.
EMPIRE Geneva, New York 1966 McIntosh type apple. Dark red with heavy, waxy bloom and crisp, juicy flesh with some aromatic quality. Good fresh. Fruit hangs on tree longer than McIntosh. Very consistent annual producer. McIntosh and Red Delicious cross developed at the Geneva Fruit Test Station in New York and introduced in 1966. It ripens about the same time or slightly later than the Red Delicious. Medium in size, it is a round waxy solid red fruit with a heavy bloom and sometimes the yellow background will show through. Some strains are red striped and red blushed. The whitish flesh is crisp and juicy. The tree has strong wide crotch angles and is vigorous with upright growth. Size control rootstock reduces the vigor of the variety and it bears fruit early and is somewhat self-fruitful. Attention to thinning is necessary to produce large fruit and it can become a biennial bearer. It is scab susceptible and the flowers are susceptible to frost damage in prone areas. A fair keeper, it ripens in September.
ESOPUS SPITZENBURG New York, 1800’s
Originated in Esopus, Ulster County, New York in the latter part of the 18th century and has the reputation of the apple that Thomas Jefferson considered a favorite. He ordered 12 trees of the variety from William Prince’s Flushing, Long Island Nursery in 1790 to plant at Monticello. “Spitz” is likely one of the parents of the Jonathan and is classified in the Baldwin apple group. It is a large apple, oblong in shape, smooth skinned and colored a lively brilliant red approaching scarlet. It is covered with small yellow specks. In hot and humid regions the color is not as pronounced. The yellow flesh is rich, juicy and sprightly and at the Monticello Apple Tasting conducted for more than ten years, it always ranks in the top five varieties. A shy bearer on slender willowy limbs, this biennial bearer needs a pollinator. The upright growing tree is moderate in vigor with olive colored bark and the dull leaves are folded with irregular shallow serrations. The branches have wide crotch angles and are long and drooping. It is susceptible to fireblight and if left on the tree too long, it will develop a condition called Jonathan Spot, which are brown skin-deep marks that detract from its appearance. Scab, canker and collar rot are also problems of this classic American dessert fruit. It ripens over a few weeks in late September and early October.
FOXWHELP Herefordshire, England before 1854 An English cider apple, likely from Herefordshire, named from its location next to a fox den. There are a number of sports: Red Foxwhelp, Improved Foxwhelp and Broxwood Foxwhelp. It is a small round bright red apple covered with some russet and was recorded in 1854, but was certainly known much earlier. It produces a musky flavor and strong aroma cider and it is often used to given strength to blends. Foxwhelp is considered one of the premier cider making apples.
This one is strictly for cider. One of the favorites in a 1987 hard cider test.
GALA New Zealand 1934 named in 1965 (Kidd’s Orange Red x Golden Delicious) developed in New Zealand by J. H. Kigg in Greytown, Wairarapa, and is a cross of Kidd’s Orange Red (Red Delicious and Cox’s Orange Pippin) and Golden Delicious. It was raised in 1934 and named in 1965. The cultivar known as Kidd’s D-8 was granted U. S. Plant Patent No. 3637 to Stark Brothers Nursery in Missouri and all other red strains are either patented or are patent pending. The red orange color comes from the red striping on the golden skin and some cultivars exhibit a brighter overall red color than others. The red color is a poor predictor of fruit maturity and in commercial production; a number of pickings should be made. Some strains like Regal Gala, called Fulford Gala in the United States, appear to be softer and have lower soluble solids at the same level of maturity. The creamy yellow flesh is crisp, dense and aromatic with a subacid flavor. It is small in size unless heavily thinned and conical to round in shape. Gala is considered a self-fruitful variety, but the use of a pollinator like Golden Delicious will improve the crop. It is also a good pollinator for other varieties. If frosted out, there is re-bloom on one year old wood, unless near petal fall, when the return bloom would already be aborted. There are some reports of mildew, but generally, there are no major disease problems that cannot be controlled. It seems more resistant to sunburn than many other varieties and there is little pre-harvest drop. The long stem allows particularly good spray penetration. It ripens in September and stores better than initially reported.
GILPIN Before 1817
Many synonyms. Likely from Virginia but of unknown parentage, it is a cider apple also suitable for dessert use. It was listed by A. J. Downing in Fruits and Fruit Trees of America, 1845. He wrote it was hardy and vigorous with “fruits of medium size, roundish oblong, skin very smooth and handsome, richly streaked with deep red and yellow. Stalk short, deeply inserted. Calix in a round rather deep basin. Flesh yellow, firm, juicy and rich, becoming tender and sprightly in the spring.” Coxe in Cultivation of Fruit Trees, 1817, wrote: “This apple is said to have been brought from Virginia. It obtained its name from a family in the Delaware State. It is highly esteemed for its excellence as a table apple late in the spring, and as a good cider fruit, it is a most abundant bearer, and hangs on the tree very late in the season. The tree is hardy of a handsome, open, spreading and vigorous growth…the fruit is small, the color a deep red, sometimes a little streaked with yellow…the skin of a polished smoothness. The flesh is firm, yellow and rich, not fit for eating until mid-winter when it becomes juicy, tender and finely flavored.” The size is small to medium. It ripens in October. Because of its late blooming, it is suitable for frost prone areas.
GOLDEN DELICIOUS West Virginia 1912 Known as Yellow Delicious and there are many strains, sports and cultivars. It is the second most popular apple in the United States and appeared in 1912 as a chance seedling on the farm of Anderson Mullins in Clay County, West Virginia. Probably, it resulted from a Grimes Golden pollinated by an unknown pollen parent, speculated to be Golden Reinette. Mullins sold the tree for $5000 in 1914 to Stark Brothers Nursery in Missouri and a steel cage was erected around it to prevent the theft of scionwood for propagation. Usually large and conic in shape with golden yellow skin, the flesh is firm, crisp, and juicy with a mild, sweet and distinctive flavor. The skin is dry and it bruises easily. Control of its natural tendency to russet has been a major concern in commercial production. The bark is a yellowish olive in color and the folded leaves are waved with sharp serrations. A round-headed tree with wide-angle crotches, if properly thinned, it will bear young and annually and there are 145 to 155 days from full bloom to maturity. Self-fertile, it is an excellent pollinator for other varieties because of its multiple blooming during midseason. Thinning is necessary to produce large fruit and the quality of the fruit depends on the season. It ripens in October.
A patented variety from Purdue and is considered scab immune with other major apple disease resistance. Medium in size and round conic in shape, the skin is a yellowish green and the flesh is very tart at harvest time around middle October, but after a few months of storage it will mellow to a desirable sweet-tart flavor. The tree is precocious to bear and produces full crops annually that must be drastically thinned to prevent breakage. It is gaining a reputation as one of the modern varieties suitable for cider making.
GOLDEN NOBLE (Glow of the West) England 1820 Very handsome pure yellow fruit with creamy white flesh and excellent texture. One of the best cooking apples with high acid and an extremely good fruity flavor. Trees are upright, spreading and moderately vigorous. A special garden tree because of the clear yellow glow of the apples in green foliage. Partial tip bearer. It ripens in October.
GOLDEN NUGGET A 1932 cross of Golden Russet and Cox’s Orange Pippin Small, broadly conical long-stemmed apple, predominantly yellow, streaked and splashed with bright orange; sometimes netted and spotted with russet. Sugary sweet, rich, luscious, of a most delicious mellow flavor. Short keeping life. Ripens just before Cox’s Orange. It ripens in October.
GOLDEN PIPPIN 1800 in Westchester County, New York An old American early fall apple of beautiful shape and color – greenish turning to deep gold. Yellowish, tender, juicy, melting flesh valuable for cooking and dessert. Downing called it “one of our finest American fruits” with a “vinous aromatic flavor.” Rediscovered by a lifelong fruit explorer, the late Conrad Gemmer of Susquehanna. Pa. Ripens in September
GOLDEN RUSSET New York prior to 1845 Also known as English Golden Russet and Russet Golden. Some consider it is seedling of English Russet. There are a number of strains and cultivars. It was known in the 18th century and was described by Downing in Fruits & Fruit Trees of America, 1859. A medium size apple, its russet skin varies from gray green to a golden bronze with a bright coppery orange cheek. Under favorable conditions, the skin is smooth and the shape uniform. The fine-grained, yellowish flesh is crisp with an exceptionally sugary juice. It is a tip bearer with a tendency toward biennial bearing and cross-pollination is necessary for heavy crops. It exhibits resistance to scab and other fruit tree diseases. The dark reddish olive bark has prominent whitish lenticels and the dull leaves are dark green and sharply serrated. Properly stored, it will keep until April. It ripens in October unless hot and dry weather accelerates ripening. Fruit will hang on the tree after leaf fall.
GRAVENSTEIN Italy before 1669 It is likely to be an Italian variety given to the Duke of Gravenstein in the 17th century, arriving in Denmark in 1669 and introduced into the United States from Germany in 1790. It was planted at a Russian settlement in Sonoma County, California, in 1820. There are a number of strains and cultivars like Mead, Red, Rosebrook, Washington, Australian, Yellow, Striped, Blood Red, Shaw, Crimson and others. It also has been called Ohio Nonpareil, Sabine, Early Congress, Harryman, Tom Harryman and Banks. Gravenstein has become so entrenched in the United States that it could be considered an American variety. The fruit is roundish, tending to be a bit lopsided with yellow skin marked with bright red and copper or orange. Soon after ripening, the skin develops a waxy or greasy feel. The yellowish white flesh is tender, fine-grained and crisp and the acid-sugar content is well balanced. The seed is ovate, pyriform and reddish brown in color and the fruit has a thin skin, large core and a short stem. The leathery leaves are shiny and satiny with shallow serration and the bark is smooth and reddish in color. Flowers of Gravenstein are large in size. Because of its uneven ripening and tendency to drop, picking should be frequent. Heavy pruning and thinning will control its tendency to biennial bearing. It is subject to cedar apple rust and spray injury. Especially suitable for pie and sauce making and dessert when a high flavored apple is wanted. It ripens irregularly and humidity can set up August ripening time 10 days or even 2 weeks. Storage life is very short.
GRIMES GOLDEN West Virginia 1804 Found by Thomas Grimes in Brooke County, West Virginia in 1804, near the town of Fowlersville. This town is near Wellsburg, West Virginia where John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, and his brother established a cider mill and nursery. Grimes Golden is believed to be one of the parents of Golden Delicious. Roundish or slightly oblong in form, the fruit is small to medium in size and the skin is a greenish yellow ripening to a clear yellow. It is sometimes roughened with yellow or russet dots. The yellowish flesh is crisp and tender with a spicy sweet flavor. A good all purpose apple, it contains 18.81% sugar that ferments to 9% alcohol and was popular for the making of hard cider and brandy in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It tends to over crop and must be heavily thinned to produce large fruit. The leaves are shiny and smooth, dark green in color and heavily folded with fine serrations. Heavy pruning to remove its bushy growth will also improve fruit production. There are knobs at the base of its branches making the limbs more resistant to breakage. Grimes Golden is self-fertile and is an excellent pollinator for other varieties. It is subject to collar rot, but is somewhat resistant to fireblight and cedar apple rust. Grimes ripen early to middle September and stores fairly well. Trees of this variety are found in abandoned orchards in Virginia and after 50 years of neglect are still bearing small, sooty-blotched fruit of extraordinary flavor. It ripens in September.
HIGHTOP SWEET Plymouth 1600’s . It likely originated in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the 17th century and was recorded in 1822. Under the name of Sweet June, it was dispersed westward and at one time the two were considered distinct varieties. In Virginia it was and still is called June Sweeting. The “hightop” description probably comes from the tendency to form its first scaffold limbs high on the trunk. Medium in size with a smooth light yellow skin with a faint bronze blush, it is covered with minute green dots. The yellow flesh is tender fairly juicy and very sweet. The vigorous tree grows very upright and is heavy bearing. It is a culinary apple, especially suitable for drying. Beach in Apples of New York, 1905 wrote: “Fruit of medium size; flesh yellowish, very sweet, rich and of very good quality. Trees grow upright and are vigorous and productive. In 1822 Thatcher remarked: ‘This tree, it is believed, is peculiar to the old Plymouth colony. The first settlers, either from choice, or for want of other varieties, cultivated it more generally than any other apple.’” It stores for only a short time and ripens in late June and early July.
HONEYCRISP Minnesota 1991 (Macoun x Honeygold) Patent #7917 Skin is mottled red over yellow. The flesh is very crisp and is excellent for eating. Good keeper – up to 5 months. Topped with McIntosh and Delicious for fresh eating in taste tests. It ripens in September.
HUBBARDSTON NONESUCH Hubbardston, Massachusetts 1832
Also called American Blush, American Nonpareil, Farmer’s Profit, Hubbardston’s Pippin. Old Town Pippin, Orleans, Van Fleet and John May. It came from the Massachusetts town of Hubbardston and was first recorded in 1832. This large, roundish, conical apple has a rich yellow, smooth and glossy skin nearly covered with a deep red and is indistinctly striped crimson. It is russeted around the stem base and dotted with large russet specks. The flesh is yellowish, crisp, tender and subacid and the core is small. The wood is a brownish chestnut with whitish specks and the dark green shiny leaves are heavily folded and waved. Soil and climate conditions affect the tree and fruit characteristics remarkably. This variability often makes identification difficult. It bears heavy crops early and annually and there is a tendency to biennial production. This premium dessert fruit is subject to pre-harvest drop and interestingly, the smaller fruit will store longer than the large ones. Hubbardston Nonesuch ripens in October.
HUDSON‘S GOLDEN GEM Oregon 1831 Discovered in a fencerow thicket in Oregon and introduced in 1831 by the Hudson Wholesale Nurseries of Tangent, Oregon. It and Zabergau Reinette are probably the largest size high-quality russet apples. It has pronounced conical shape, smooth, uniformly dull russet skin, a very long stem and sugary, juicy, crisp flesh. The flesh is light yellow in color. In some climates the shape is irregular. It is a vigorous, productive and annual bearer. In taste tests the flavor has been described as pear-like and nutty. The tree remains small even on size controlling or standard rootstock and the fruit will hang on the tree long into the winter. There is a tendency to biennial production and cross-pollination will increase the fruitfulness. It has some resistance to scab infection. Hudson’s Golden Gem will store well and ripens in late September.
IDARED Idaho 1942 (Jonathan x Wagener) Introduced by Leif Verner in 1942 at the Idaho Experiment Station, Moscow, Idaho, from a cross of Jonathan and Wagener. A high flavored and aromatic apple of good size and shiny, nearly solid red skin, the longer it remains on the tree the higher the color. Its flesh is crisp, white and juicy and the flavor is intense at the time of ripening, but diminishes during storage. Trees bear young and annually with heavy yields. Adequate potassium in the soil is necessary for Idared to color well. The tree blooms early and is useful as a pollinator. It is somewhat susceptible to powder mildew and fireblight, but is scab resistant. Idared is suitable for pie making, applesauce and cooking. In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia it was popular for blending to impart a high flavor to apple butter. It stores well and ripens in October.
INGRID MARIEThe Island of Fyn, Denmark in 1910
Is thought to be a seedling of Cox’s Orange Pippin. There are a number of sports available. The skin of this dessert fruit is greenish yellow and almost completely covered with a dark crimson flush. There is only a faint trace of stripes and some small russet patches. The lenticels are very large russet and white dots. Environmental conditions can cause cracking around the eye of the fruit. The white flesh is fine-grained, crisp and juicy. Ingrid Marie ripens in September.
JONATHAN New York prior to 1826 Also called Phillip Rick and Ulster Seedling. There is a strain called Red Jonathan. When it was introduced in the 1820’s, its similarity to the Esopus Spitzenburg prompted it to be called the New Spitzenburg and it is considered a seedling of Esopus Spitzenburg. It originated on the farm of Philip Rick, Woodstock, Ulster County, New York and was first described by Judge J. Buel, who named it for Jonathan Hasbrouck, the finder. There are numerous sports and strains including a Double Red from Experiment Station at Kearneysville, West Virginia. Medium size and round in shape but tapering toward the blossom end; the yellow skin is nearly covered with bright red stripes and blush. The white flesh is firm, tender and juicy with a sprightly subacid flavor. The tough, yet thin, skin is smooth and dry to the touch. One of the few self-fruitful apples, the moderately vigorous tree bears early, annually and heavily and the tree remains fairly small with slender, delicate growth. Its leaves are dull, somewhat coarse and pubescent and the serrations are irregular and coarse. Jonathan is subject to fireblight, mildew and cedar apple rust, but is scab resistant. Often, fireblight will kill a young tree. It stores for only a short time and ripens in late September and early October.
JONAFREE United States
Firm, crisp, juicy pale yellow flesh. Skin is 75% medium red, smooth and russet free. Good dessert quality. Tree is field immune to scab and resistant to fire blight and apple cedar rust. It ripens in October
KANDIL SINAP Turkey or Russia early 1800’s Also called Jubilee, came from the Crimea of Russia probably in the 1800’s. The porcelain-like cream yellow skin is washed with a red blush and the snow-white flesh is crisp, juicy and sweet. The fruit will bruise easily. Under certain growing conditions, the flesh will have a vinous flavor. The tree grows in a pronounced narrow, pyramidal dwarfish form, but it is a heavy and regular bearer suitable for dessert and culinary use. It ripens in October.
KARMIJN DE SONNAVILLE Netherlands 1949 (Jonathan x Cox’s Orange Pippin) Rich robust flavor with masses of sugar and acidity and crisp juicy flesh. One of the strongest-flavored apples comparable to Ashmead’s Kernel. Apples red or with red flush and larger than either parent. Flowers are large and beautiful. Susceptible to apple scab and grows best in cooler summer areas. Not Bearing Yet.
KERRY IRISH PIPPIN Ireland 1802 Also called Aromatic Pippin, Edmonston’s Aromatic Pippin, Odelson’s and Red Streak Pippin. Itis an Irish apple first recorded in 1802. The skin of this dessert apple is greenish yellow, ripening to a golden yellow and over one half flushed orange red with short red stripes. Usually it is covered with white dots and russet patches. The creamy yellow flesh is crisp and dry and it is very aromatic and subacid. The fruit is small in size, usually not exceeding 2 inches in diameter and the stalk cavity is often knobbed. The tree is brushy or broom-headed with greenish brown shoots that are usually heavily spurred but the spurs do not always bear heavily. It ripens in August.
KESWICK CODLING England 1793
It came from Gleaston Castle, near Ulverston, Lancashire, England, was first recorded in 1793. This early season tart-cooking apple is large in size and oblong and conical, but not regular in shape. The greenish yellow skin is covered with large gray or green russet dots and there is prominent ribbing. The creamy white flesh is soft, coarse-grained, dry and acidic. It is known for making very smooth puree and cooks well even when the fruit is not mature. The smooth skin will become greasy in storage. The vigorous tree bears heavy annually and will often fruit on the previous year growth. Keswick Codling was described in the report of the Commissioner of Agriculture for the Year 1862 as “Fruit…size, medium to large; form…roundish ovate, conical; color…greenish yellow becoming light clear yellow with a brownish blush cheek in the sun, light dots, and one or two raised lines from stem to calyx; stem…slender; cavity…shallow; calyx…closed; basin…core…medium; seeds…ovate; season…August to October. The tree is spreading upright, hardy, and very productive. As a cooking apple, and a tolerable eating apple when fully ripe, the Keswick Codlin takes, at this time, a leading position for locations where the ground is very rich, and where quantity of fair handsome fruit is more to be desired than a standard of quality. It bears very young; is well known and much grown in Illinois and the west, but not in New England.” Crops heavily an ripens in early September.
KINGSTON BLACK England 1820 One of the classic cider apples and is speculated to have originated in Somersetshire, England and was raised at Kingston, near Taunton about 1820. It is one of a very few single varieties used for high quality cider making. Classed a bittersharp, the apple is an irregularly shaped medium sized fruit about 2 inches high and 2-1/4 inches wide. The skin is a dark mahogany over an orange background and the juice is a tawny red. It is moderately sweet with a strong astringent aftertaste. The open framework tree blooms late and is a shy bearer. It does not grow very large. Kingston Black has the reputation of being difficult to grow. It ripens in late September.
LADY France 1600 known in France as Nome Api for over 300 years and is also called Lady’s Finger, Petit Api, Pomme de Api, Pomme Rose, Christmas Apple, Lady Sweet and dozens of other synonyms both correct and incorrect. It is possibly the Appian apple of the Roman Empire. There are cultivars of Lady Apple that are larger in size but are considered of lesser quality, i.e. Black Lady Apple, Star Lady Apple, Large Lady Apple, Rose-colored Lady Apple and the seedlings Helen and Highland Beauty. One of the first European apples brought to America, it is thought to have been found in the Forest of Apis, Brittany, France and was recorded in 1628. It is small, flattish in shape with a shiny skin that ranges from creamy yellow in the shade to a deep glossy crimson on the sun-exposed side. The flesh is tender, white, crisp and very juicy with much of the flavor in the skin. The flavor has been described as effervescent. Upright in growth, the use of limb spreaders in the tree is necessary to expose the fruit to sunlight for color improvement and permit air circulation to reduce diseases. Slow to begin bearing, once production begins fruiting is heavy but tends to strong biennial bearing. Cross-pollination will improve fruit production. It is scab susceptible. For dessert, cooking, cider making and decoration, especially for Della Robbia wreaths, Lady Apple is a long keeper that ripens in October.
LATE STRAWBERRY 1848 in Aurora, New York
This dessert apple ripens over a number of weeks and bears early, heavily and biennially. Beach in Apples of New York, 1905, describes it: “An attractive apple, pale yellow overspread or striped and splashed with light and dark red, very good in quality especially for dessert use. Many esteem it one of the best dessert apples of its season. It originated in Aurora, Cayuga County, New York. In 1848 Thomas described it as a new and newly introduced apple. Flesh yellow white, fine, crisp, tender, juicy, somewhat sprightly aromatic, subacid and very good.” Fireblight often attacks the blossoms, but otherwise it is a healthy, vigorous, upright spreading tree that is productive and an early bearer. It ripens in September.
LIBERTY Geneva New York 1962 Resistant to apple scab and mildew. A handsome red apple, usually school box size, of the McIntosh type with a wonderful sweet/tart balance. Crisper, keeps better and more heat tolerant than other McIntosh hybrids. Very productive. . It stores well and ripens in mid-September.
LOWLAND RASPBERRY before 1870
Also known as Liveland Raspberry and Livland Raspberry. Lowland Raspberry is a literal translation of the German name Lievlander Himbeerapfel. A Russian apple of great hardiness, it was imported from Russia by A. G. Tuttle of Barraboo, Wisconsin and was recorded before 1870. Medium in size, it is striped red on a cream background and has tender, white flesh tinged with red. It is fine-grained and the flavor has a hint of sweetness. Trees grow upright and compact and are genetically small even when grown on their own roots. Biennial bearing, the fruit maintains its quality on and off the tree better than most other apple of the same season. The bark is yellowish and the dull, coarse leaves are rounded or oval and closely serrated. The seeds are remarkably small. Lowland Raspberry ripens in July
MAIDEN BLUSH New York 1817 The American Maiden Blush was brought to notice by Samuel Allinson of Burlington, New Jersey, and was described by Coxe in 1817 as “popular in the Philadelphia market.” The thin skin is tough and smooth and a pale waxen yellow in color with a crimson blush. The white flesh with a slightly yellow tinge is crisp and tender with a sharp acid flavor that mellows when fully ripe. The upright growing tree is vigorous and bears heavily annually. The bark is olive in color and the dull smooth leaves have a slight bluish cast with sharp regular serrations. It is subject to fireblight, scab and apple blotch. Ripening over a period in September it is popular for dessert and cooking. In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia it was a favorite apple variety for drying because the flesh remains white and bright.
MACOUN Geneva, New York 1909
Cross of McIntosh and Jersey Black. A medium sized conical fruit has a waxy skin, blushed with red over green with a bluish bloom. The greenish white flesh is crisp, juicy and easily bruised. Macoun is difficult to thin resulting in small fruit size and is also subject to pre-harvest drop. The high quality McIntosh flavored fruit stores well and ripens in October.
MCINTOSH Ontario, Canada 1798 Fruit beautiful deep red color, size variable. Flesh white, firm, tender, very juicy, flavor characteristically aromatic, perfumed, subacid. One of the best flavored apples, makes aromatic cider. Precocious, that is, bears fruit when young. Not a good keeper when grown in warmer climates. Subject to early fruit drop.
also called Lilac, Martin, Maclellan and McClelan. It came out of a Woodstock, Connecticut seedling orchard in 1780. The light straw-colored skin is covered with stripes and marbling of red and the greenish white flesh has a sweet, yet vinous flavor. It is medium to large in size and truncate-conic in shape. The regular bearing tree grows upright. Beach in Apples of New York, 1905, described it as a “very choice dessert apple, handsome, fragrant, tender and excellent in quality.” It ripens in September.
MOTHER Bolton, Massachusetts 1840 Beautiful apple, good size with thin golden yellow skin covered with deep red marbled and striped with carmine. Fine tender, rich, aromatic flesh. Great fresh off the tree! This apple must be eaten within a day of harvest as it deteriorates rapidly after harvest.
MUTSU Japan 1937
known as Mutsu in the United States, but is now often called Crispin, as it is known commercially in Britain and Europe. It was first fruited at the Aomori Research Station, Kurioshi, Japan, in 1937 as a cross of Golden Delicious and Indo and was introduced to the United States in 1948. Crispen is known in Japan as the Million Dollar Apple, where it sells at very high prices. The individual fruits are often grown in paper bags on the tree causing them to develop a crystal yellow or pinkish color, but the flavor is diminished by the bagging. The fruit is large, oblong in shape, as well as irregular in shape and the smooth greenish yellow skin is waxy and clear with a copper blush. The dense flesh is very crisp, juicy and coarse-grained with a sprightly flavor. Some tasters detect a slight anise flavor. A vigorous grower, the fruit is free from russeting and will not shrivel in storage. It exhibits resistance to frost injury and spray injury, but there is some susceptibility to scab and cedar apple rust and the fruit will bruise easily. There are reports of bitter pit. Hot, dry weather will enhance the spicy flavor and the fruit will remain whole when cooked. It is suitable for dessert, cooking and cider making. A triploid with biennial tendency, pollination must be considered. It ripens in late September and early October.
NEWTOWN PIPPIN New York 1759 It was noted in 1759 and it is thought to have originated early in the 18th century on the Newtown, Long Island, New York estate of Gershom Moore. There is a report that the first Moore to settle in Newtown Village brought it as either a seed or young tree from England about 1666. The original tree died in 1805 from excessive cutting of propagation wood. During the reign of Queen Victoria, it was the only food commodity exempt from crown import tax because of the court favor of the variety. There are two distinct strains, differentiated as early as 1817, a green and a yellow. Generally, the Albemarle and those with yellow in the name are assigned the yellow type and the Brooke and those with green in the name are the green type, but often-positive identification is difficult. Soil conditions and weather determine the appearance and taste to some extent. With variability in color and size, the fruit is usually medium to large and solid green becoming a yellow or greenish yellow with a reddish blush. It is roundish, flattened and angular in shape with a short stem. There may be russeting around the basin and small russet dots over the surface of the fruit. The yellowish flesh is very firm, crisp, juicy and subacid with what some describe as a clean fresh taste. Seeds are purplish black and oblong and the wood is brown and close-grained. The shoots on the vigorous tree grow medium in length and fairly straight with short internodes. Medium green in color and oval in shape, the leaves have a bluish cast and are sometimes browned on the edges. They are fairly small in size, folded, and reflexed with irregular dull serrations. It is susceptible to scab infection but shows resistance to collar rot. A reliable early bearer, fruit hangs well to the tree. Albemarle or Newtown Pippin is an all-purpose apple that develops optimum flavor after a few months of storage. Cider made from the fruit is very clear and is considered of the highest quality. It ripens in late October.
NONPAREIL France, 1500’s
An English apple that dates to the Queen Elizabeth I era. It was first described by 17th century French writers and probably originated in France and was brought to England in the 1500’s. It is yellowish green with a slight pale orange flush and is spotted and streaked with brown russet. Small in size, it is round shaped with fine, tender crisp greenish flesh of a vinous flavor. The stalk is long and stout and the skin is rough and dry. Weak and spreading in form, the tree remains small and can be tub planted. It is one of the few apples varieties that along make a quality cider. Nonpareil ripens in October.
NORTHERN SPY New York 1800 It was found in an orchard at East Bloomfield, New York with seedlings brought from Connecticut about 1800. It has been selected for use in the development of new varieties and in rootstock research. The fruit is large, especially on young trees, and on well-colored fruit, there is a clear yellow shade with bright red tints, distinctly streaked with the yellow under color making the red almost scarlet, but fruit color can be quite variable. The white flesh is very juicy, crisp, tender and sweet with a rich, aromatic subacid flavor. The hardy tree has an upright free growing habit with long curved branches and dense foliage. The shiny smooth leaves, medium in size, are folded, reflexed, and slightly waved with sharp, shallow but indistinct serrations. The principal veins in the leaves are prominent and the leaves are slow to unfold. It is subject to bitter put and blossom fireblight and the fruit will bruise easily. During rainy weather, the fruit may crack and because of the delicate skin, it is easily damaged during harvest. Northern Spy blooms late and escapes frost, but it is notorious for being slow to begin bearing. On standard rootstock 10 years may expire before the first harvest, but on size controlling rootstocks bearing usually begins in 3 to 4 years. There is a claim that three planted in grass sod will begin to bear earlier than those planted under cultivation One of the best storing apples, Northern Spy ripens in late September and early October.
PINK PEARL California Introduced in 1944 by the California plant breeder, Albert Etter. Rich flavored with bright pink flesh, the skin is cream and pale green with a light crimson cheek. Unlike one of its parents, Surprise, which was first noted in England in 1831, it has solid green skin, but pink flesh. Medium in size and irregularly cone shaped somewhat like the Yellow Bellflower. When the skin is broken, it is aromatic. The flesh is fine-grained, crisp and as grown in Central Virginia, the flavor is a tart-sweet balance. Because of the heat and humidity, it is difficult to grow in certain parts of Virginia, but with scab and cedar apple rust control the quality of the fruit is high. It blooms early with crimson pink blossoms and cross-pollination increases fruitfulness. Pink Pearl ripens in September.
RED ASTRACHAN Russian, from England in 1816 A Russian apple imported into England from Sweden in 1816 and was brought to America in 1835 and widely distributed. Medium in size and roundish oblate in shape, the skin is a very pale yellow and cream marked with splashes and stripes of bright red. Sometimes the fruit is a solid red. The white flesh is streaked with red when fully ripe and is crisp, sweet and moderately juicy. The blossoms are a whitish blue. The large oval leaves are medium to dark green with a bluish cast, slightly folded and reflexed and the serrations are shallow and irregular. The tree is of medium size, a vigorous grower that comes into bearing young, yielding moderate to heavy crops biennially or sometimes annually. Red Astrachan is very susceptible to blister canker and scab infection and the fruit is highly perishable and must be used soon after picking. It is particularly known for making distinctive tasting pies. Beginning in early July, it ripens over a number of weeks.
RIEN de REINNETTES Netherlands 1802
Also called Queen of the Pippins and Reinette Queen and there is confusion about it being the same as King of the Pippins and Golden Pearmain or Clarkes Pearmain. It was first described in 1802 and although first popularized in France it may have come from the Netherlands. Medium in size and round to ovate in shape, the dull yellow skin is flushed and flecked red with dots and patches of russet. The dense white flesh is tender with a sweet subacid flavor. It ripens in October.
RHODE ISLAND GREENING Rhode Island 1650 It was known in 1650 and probably originated at Green’s End, Newport, Rhode Island. Medium to large in size and ribbed at the eye and on the body, the yellowish green skin may have a brownish or orange blush with russet at the base and pale russet dots. The greenish yellow flesh is fine-textured and firm with an acid flavor. The core is small and the seeds are ovate and pointed. A triploid, it is a poor pollen producer that should be grown in combination with two different pollen-producing trees. Vigorous and long-lived, the tree is slow to begin bearing and has a tendency to biennial bearing. The reddish olive bark is smooth with few lenticels and the large deep green leaves are oval, flat and sharply serrated. Some damage from blossom and twig blight may occur and on some soils and in some climates pre-harvest drop is a problem. When cooked, the fruit becomes a golden brown and the texture is fine and tender. Beach in Apples of New York, 1905, described it: “A very large fair apple, of a round shape with a yellowish green skin, spotted with red like a Newtown Pippin; the ends are somewhat flattened, and the stem and crown sunk below the level of the fruit; the flesh is rich, juicy, tender and a very yellow…” September and early October.
RIBSTON PIPPIN England 1769 Originated in Yorkshire England around 1700 and was grown from three apple pips (seeds) sent to Sir Henry Goodricke of Ribston Hall at Knaresborough in Yorkshire from Normandy in 1709. Only one seed germinated and matured. The original tree was blown down in 1810, but was propped up and lived until 1928. A seed of one of its progeny produced the Cox’s Orange Pippin. The apple skin is a yellow flushed orange and streaked red with russet at the base and apex. The yellow flesh is firm, fine-grained and sweet. Some tasters detect a “pear-drop” flavor and others have compared it to fermenting cider. Irregularly shaped and sometimes lopsided, the apple is usually round to conical in shape and flattened at the base with distinct ribbing. Weather conditions during ripening cause a marbling or water coring of the flesh and in very hot weather the fruit will ripen prematurely. It is very slow to begin bearing and the proper pollinators will increase the fruitfulness. It does not need thinning and good culture, especially attention to the soil condition, is necessary to produce good crops. A vigorous tree with upright growth, its medium sized ovate to oval shaped leaves are a deep green color and distinctly folded with sharp, regular and shallow serrations. The surface of the leaf is smooth and dull with a heavy pubescence. Ribston Pippin does not store well and ripens in September.
ROME BEAUTY Ohio, 1848
It is speculated to be a seedling of Westfield Seek-No-Further. It was recorded in 1848. Joel Gillett in Proctorville, Ohio bought a number of grafted trees from Putnam Nursery in 1816. One had sprouted below the graft and Gillett gave this tree to his son. It produced large attractive apples he named Rome for the township. The original tree was washed away in a flood in 1860. There is a sport called Rome Beauty Double Red, a tetraploid, flatter and of higher color than the original. Medium to large in size and uniformly round in shape and fairly smooth and well-colored, the greenish yellow skin is mottled and flushed with bright red which deepens to a solid red on the sun exposed side. It is conspicuously striped bright carmine. There are many strains and cultivars that vary in coloration. The creamy yellow flesh is coarse-textured and juicy and the skin is tough. The stalk is long and thick and usually projects at an angle. The tree growth is narrow and upright and the bark is a reddish olive in color. Leaves are small, shiny light green, oval and sharply serrated. Its limbs and unusually supple and are therefore less often damaged by high winds. Rome Beauty is self-fruitful and blooms late, escaping late frosts. An all purpose apple; it is considered one of the best varieties for baking. It stores well and ripens in early October.
ROXBURY RUSSET Massachusetts prior to 1649 Originated early in the 17th century in Roxbury, Massachusetts and is probably the oldest named variety of apple in America. Propagation wood was taken to Connecticut soon after 1649. Medium to large in size and elliptical in shape, the green skin is tinged a bronze and overspread with a brownish yellow russet. Sometimes there is a reddish blush on the sun-exposed side. The hint of ribbing can be sometimes seen. The greenish yellow flesh is coarse, medium depth; calyx is closed; basin round of moderate depth; the core is compact and the seeds are usually defective. The spreading tree is crooked growing when young and the bark is a reddish olive. The broad oval shiny leaves are folded near the edge and slightly reflexed. A deep green in color, they are regularly and moderately serrated with a heavy pubescence. The Roxbury Russet can be distinguished from the Golden Russet by the larger tree with a heavier crop, larger and distinctly elliptical fruit, thicker stem with a red tinge on one side and coarser and more yellow flesh. Roxbury Russet stores well and ripens in late September and early October.
SNOW APPLE (Fameuse) Canada 1739 The variety was noted in Canada in 1739, where it is also speculated to have originated in a seedling orchard from seeds brought from France. However, some European pomologists claim it originated in Canada. Snow is the probable parent of the McIntosh. It is reported in Historic American Trees that during the American Revolution a contingency of Hessian soldiers planted an orchard about three miles north of Winchester, Virginia, of Fameuse apple trees. Sixteen of the trees survived into the 20th century and were still bearing fruit in the 1930’s. Snow is one of the very few apple varieties that tend to reproduce its likeness from seed. The coloration can vary, but usually it is a solid red or pale yellow flushed red and the flesh is pure white, sometimes streaked red. It is tender, juicy and subacid. Where conditions are favorable, scab will develop. For maximum production a pollinator is necessary. To increase the fruit color leaves were often removed from around the best apples on the tree. The medium size tree bears heavily, nearly annually, with vigorous growth and produces short spurs. The bark is a dark red and the coarse shiny leaves are waved with sharp serrations. It is a quality dessert, cooking and cider-making apple that ripens in late September.
SPENCER Summerland, British Columbia 1926
Spencer is a cross between McIntosh and Golden Delicious from the Summerland, British Columbia Experimental Station in 1926. Tall round to conical in shape, it is medium to large in size with a yellow background flushed with streaked carmine or an orange red. The creamy white flesh is soft and very sweet. This dessert apple ripens in September.
STANDARD DELICIOUS This parent of Red Delicious has superior flavor and crispness to the red offspring in the supermarket bin. Green skin with red stripes and the familiar elongated shape and five points at the bottom.
STAYMAN WINESAP Kansas 1875 A seedling of Winesap grown in 1866 by Dr. J. Stayman at Leavenworth, Kansas, and was introduced in 1895 by Stark Brothers. In Virginia it is often called just Stayman and at one time was a major commercial variety in the state, especially the Valley of Virginia. Medium to large in size, the greenish yellow skin of the fruit is flushed a dull red with darker red stripes. The surface is covered with a light russet and often there is heavy russet in the stem cavity. The skin is subject to cracking from possible environmental conditions and this has discouraged commercial production and the removal of the variety from many orchards. The white flesh is tinged a greenish yellow and is firm, tender and fine-textured. The subacid flavor is distinctive because of its tart and vinous qualities. Stayman is a triploid that requires a pollinator and it is a poor pollinator for other varieties. Because it will bloom slightly later than many other varieties, it is suitable for frost prone areas. The moderately vigorous tree bears early and heavily and the growth is straggly with long shoots that have few lenticels. Sometimes there is characteristic brownish and roughened “rust” at the base of the vigorous shoots. The medium green leaves are average size, broadly oval with coarse sharp serrations. Interestingly, one-year-old trees grow in the nursery in random slanting directions. Stayman will scald in storage but the flesh quality will remain high for a long period. It ripens in late October.
SURPRISE 1831 Also called Red Core and was recorded in 1831. Small in size, the clear greenish skin turns a yellow on ripening and the crisp, juicy flesh is stained red. Surprise is one of the parents of Pink Pearl, developed by Californian plant breeder Albert Etter. It ripens in October.
SWAYZIE Niagara, New York 1872
Also known as Swayzie and Swazy and mistakenly as Pomme Gris or Pomme Grise D’Or. It is a variety of Pomme Grise group and is distinguished from the Pomme Grise in that it is more oblong, a richer yellow in color and more aromatic. Generally, it is preferred to the Pomme Gris. Usually small in size and roundish in shape, the greenish yellow skin is covered with a cinnamon russet and numerous white dots. The white flesh is crisp, juicy, fine-grained and very aromatic, sprightly and subacid. Likely, it was found on the Swazie farm in the vicinity of Niagara, New York and was noted by Downing in 1872. A shy bearer that stores well, it ripens in October.
TOLMAN SWEET Massachusetts 1822
Originally named Tolman Sweeting and has the synonyms Brown’s Golden Sweet, Talman’s Sweet and Tolman. It is thought to be a cross of Sweet Greening and Old Russet from Massachusetts and was described in 1822. Others claim its origin is not known. Medium in size and rectangular to conic in shape, the pale yellow skin sometimes has a red blush and lines of russet and often a suture line is obvious. The white flesh is drier than juicy and of a pronounced sweet flavor. It bruises easily. The tree is spreading with long drooping branches and yields full crops annually. A late bloomer, it is hardy and vigorous and bears early. The dull oval shape leaf is a bluish green with regular moderately distinct serrations and a heavy pubescence. The leaf is folded and distinctly waved. Tolman Sweet is susceptible to fireblight. It is an exceptionally good apple for baking and is particularly suitable for cider making because it contains 14.6% sugar that ferments to 7% alcohol. Beach in Apples of New York, 1905, wrote: “The fruit is generally much esteemed for certain culinary purposes as pickling, boiling and backing. The tree is a good grower, long-lived and very hardy. Manning in 1891 called attention to the correct orthography, the name having been differently spelled by various authors and mentioned the supposition that the variety originated in Dorchester (Massachusetts). Flesh white, firm, neither tender nor crisp, rather hard, moderately fine, rather dry to moderately juicy, decidedly sweet, good to very good.” It ripens in late September and early October.
TREMBLETT’S BITTER England late 1800’s A bittersweet hard cider apple. Firm, medium size, apple. Good for blending, not much needed to spice up the cider.
WAGENER NewYork,1791 It originated in 1791 at Penn Yan, New York, and was found by George Wheeler, who gave it to Abraham Wagener for propagation. It is a parent of Idared and possibly Northern Spy. Medium in size, it is prominently ribbed at the eye and on the body. The greenish yellow skin is flushed a reddish brown with some pale red striping. A light bloom covers the surface and it is greasy to the touch. The white flesh is very crisp and tender with a sweet flavor, somewhat resembling Northern Spy in taste. Bunyard, the English pomologist, in The Anatomy of Dessert called it “one of the best late varieties” and Bunyard had little praise for the American apple varieties. The tree bears well and heavily and the fruit will hang long after ripening, but the tree diminishes in vigor as it ages. The growth is narrow and upright and the bark is a yellowish color. Oval and light green in color, the leaves are pronounced folded and slightly waved with sharp regular serration. They are covered with a heavy pubescence. Thinning is necessary to produce large fruit. Suitable for dessert, applesauce and cider making, it stores well without shriveling and ripens in October.
WICKSON APPLE California A variety developed by Albert Etter, the California plant breeder, and named for his fellow pomologist and friend, E. J. Wickson. It is a cross of Newtown (Albemarle) Pippin and Esopus Spitzenburg, selected in 1944. It is considered more a crab than an apple, but is very sweet with sugar content up to 25%, which gives it the extraordinary sweet taste and potential for cider making. The fruit will range in size from one to two inches in diameter and will bear heavily on first and second year growth. The color is red and yellow and the fruit will hang in garlands on the tree. Wickson ripens in September.
WINESAP USA1817 Also named American Wine Sop, Banana, Hendrick’s Sweet, Holland’s Red Winter, Pot Pie Apple, Potpie, Red Sweet Wine Sop, Royal Red of Kentucky, Texan Red, Winter Winesap and Refugee. There are dozens of strains, including the Virginia Winesap, a darker sport, found at the Garland Orchards in Troutville, Virginia in 1922 and marketed by Stark Brothers. Winesap was first described as a cider fruit by Dr. James Mease in Philadelphia in 1804 and in 1817 William Coxe illustrated and described it is A View of the Cultivation of Fruit Trees. It was known during the colonial period in Virginia and Coxe wrote of it as popular for cider making in New Jersey, but there is no documentation at this time of its place of origin. Small to medium in size and round to oblong in shape, the skin is a deep red or maroon in color with the yellow background showing on the shaded side. Indistinct flushes and stripes of a darker red and sometimes a netting of russet overlay the lighter red and the yellow flesh is sweet, crisp and aromatic with a vinous flavor. The seeds are brown, short and ovate in shape. Small, folded and oval in shape, the leaves are a medium to round and dull. The new growth bark is a dark red with few lenticels. A dependable bearer, it produces heavy crops annually and is suitable for cooking, dessert and cider making. The blossoms of the Winesap are pink instead of the white of most varieties. An exceptional keeper, it ripens in Virginia in October.
WINTERBANANAIndiana1876 Also called Banana, Flory Banana and Flory. It originated on the David Flory farm in Case County, Indiana, about 1876 and was introduced by the Greening Brothers Nursery of Monroe, Michigan in 1890. There are a number of strains, including a spur type. The variety Banana Sweet, also called Banana, is a distinct variety. When fruit baskets were popular, Winter Banana was often used as the focus fruit because of its beauty. Large in size and round in shape, the skin is a pale waxen yellow with a rosy blush. The skin is shiny, smooth and greasy with a distinct suture line. The yellowish white flesh is crisp and juicy with a mild flavor and an aroma, which the pomologist Hedrick described as a “suggestion of musk exclusively the property of this apple.” The vigorous tree blooms late and bears young alternatively heavy and light crops. It has a low chill requirement suitable for planting in warm regions. Winter Banana is susceptible to cedar apple rust and fireblight and it bruises readily. It is an excellent pollinator for other varieties, often planted particularly for that purpose. The bark is yellowish green and broadly folded with indistinct serrations. The mild flavored dessert fruit ripen in Virginia in late September and early October.
WISMER DESSERThas the synonym Wismer. J. H. Wismer of Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada, introduced it in 1897. Compared in color to the Esopus Spitzenburg, the skin is a pale yellow slightly flushed orange and streaked red with russet dots. The cream colored flesh is fine-grained and tender with a sweet, nutty, subacid flavor. The vigorous tree is hardy and a heavy bearer. The publication Canadian Horticulture in 1897 said that it is “of such fine grain and buttery flavor that one might easily take it for a pear.” It ripens in September.
YARLINGTON MILL England 1800’s Sweet to bittersweet English cider apple. Firm, medium size apples hang on tree well. Late season blending apple. Bears consistently.