Heritage Apple Varieties

Below is a list of heritage apple varities used in orchard projects thus far. If you have a heritage variety that you would like to publicize or donate to an orchard project, let us know!

Ben Davis

Ben Davis holds the high place in the South and Middle West (that) Baldwin holds in the North and East, and in the latter regions it ranks among the half dozen commercial apples. But for the fault of poor quality, Ben Davis would surpass Baldwin as a commercial variety; it is least of all apples subject to local prejudices as to soils and climates, and about latest in season– and since it stands shipping handling better than any other standard apple. Nurserymen like the variety because young trees make a rapid and growth where those of other varieties often fail. The trees are vigorous, thrifty, hardy, health, bear young annually and abundantly, blossom late, and are all in all ideal in every respect–except that they are short lived and produce small apples as they grow old. The apples are large uniform in size and shape, and are handsomely mottled, striped and splashed with bright red on a yellow background. There are few more beautiful apples. Looks belie the taste however as the fruits are poor in quality–though in the late spring they are acceptable for dessert as they are at all times for cooking. The origin of Ben Davis is not known, but it has been cultivated in parts of the South since about 1800. It seems not to have been described until the 1857 edition of Downing’s great book.

-U.P. Hedrick,  Cyclopedia of Hardy Fruits, 1922

Buck Mountain Ladyfinger


BOf Southwest Virginia is recorded as having originated as a tree in Fries, Virginia about 1913. It is directly associated with the Fries Cotton Mill, where “country mountain music” and original bluegrass was founded. However, there has been significant conjecture that the original seedling came from high on nearby Buck Mountain. The apple differs from other apples bearing the name Ladyfinger, although all share the trait of being elongate in form. As of 2008, only two trees are known to remain of this specific variety.


This apple originated in Mississippi before the Civil War and was believed lost until a mature tree was found in Grenada, Mississippi in 1919, and offspring were grafted. But the Mississippi River flood in 1927 wiped out all but one of the trees. That one tree was a prolific producer, reportedly yielding average harvests of a ton a year for a decade or more. A single apple often weighs more than a pound. This apple is fully mature by mid-August, but can often be picked as much as a month earlier to eat or cook. It is crisp, juicy and flavorful, with a yellow-green skin and red stripes. The inside is yellow.


Mammoth Blacktwig

Is often considered the South’s ultimate cider apple. It grew up in about 1800 on the farm of Major Rankin Toole near Fayetteville, Tennessee. And it was described and introduced for grafting in 1833. It is closely related to the more-northern Winesap. The tree growth is dense and drooping, as a traditional limbertwig. The fruit is medium in size, with yellowish flesh. Its color varies from orchard to orchard, and tree to tree, from fully green, through a washed or striped red form, to a mostly red apple. This is an October apple in the Virginia mountains—and its flavor is said to improve with storage before pressing for cider.


 Maiden Blush

The MAIDEN BLUSH was found as a seedling in Burlington, New Jersey in the mid-to-late 1700s. It was described locally by one Samuel Allinson about 1800, and then by Coxe in 1817. Coxe describes it as “already popular in the Philadelphia market.” It is a large, distinctive and beautiful apple, one of the most aesthetic while still on the tree. The skin of the Maiden Blush is smooth and clear lemon-yellow, with a waxy surface. It develops a wide crimson blush on the sunward-side. The apple flesh is white, but with a slightly yellow tinge. It is an August Apple that dries well and cooks well. In the early 19th Century, the Maiden Blush was also preferred by the Crain family, who may have introduced it into Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania at that time.


Pound Sweet

PUMPKIN SWEET (Vermont Pumpkin Sweet, Lyman’s Pumpkin Sweet, Pound Sweet) A very large sweet Apple which we received from Mr S. Lyman of Manchester, Connecticut. It is perhaps inferior to the Jersey Sweet or the Summer Sweet Paradise for the table, but is a very valuable apple for baking, and deserves a place on this account in every orchard. Tree upright spreading. Young wood brown. Fruit very large roundish more-or-less furrowed or ribbed, especially near the stalk. Color pale green with obscure whitish streaks near the stalk, and numerous white dots near the eye, sometimes becoming a little yellow next the sun Flesh white, very sweet, but not very juicy Good September to December.

–Andrew Jackson Downing, The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America, 1859


Winter Banana

WINTER BANANA was a Victorian era favorite appreciated for its great beauty. It originated in Indiana in about 1876, and was introduced by the Greening Brothers Nursery of Monroe, Michigan, in 1890. The fruit is quite large in size and round in shape, with the skin being a distinct pale, waxyellow with a rosy blush. The skin is shiny, smooth, and becomes greasy in storage. The yellowish-white flesh is crisp and juicy with an exceptionally mild flavor. The tree blooms late and bears young with alternatively heavy and light crops. It has a low chill requirement suitable for planting in warm regions. It is an excellent pollinator for other varieties. The bark is yellowish-green, and the leaves are broadly folded with indistinct serrations. The Winter Banana ripens in Virginia in late September and early October.


Chenengo Strawberry

The Chenengo Strawberry originated in the town of Lebanon, Madison/Chenengo County, New York, and was already being grafted and grown there by 1850. The fruit is long and conical with somewhat strange translucent or milky yellowish-white skin, which is usually smooth and shiny. This is overlain with red stripes and often with a bright pink blush on the sun side. The combination is visually striking. It is an August apple in New York State. The flesh is tender, with a distinctive fragrance like strawberry or roses. The trees are early to bear, and turn out to be extremely long-lived.


Clara’s Creek Apple

Clara’s Creek Apple – This is a first-rate cooking and fresh eating apple obtained in 1999 from the late Mrs. Clara Daugherty, a very sweet 95 year-old lady who lived here in Ashe Co. She and her late husband once had a large apple orchard in the 1940′s and sold apples throughout North Carolina and Tennessee. The Creek Apple arose as a seedling on the banks of a small creek which runs through her property. Clara contacted us with a request to graft the apple so she could transplant the tree to a more secure location. Too many of the apples would ripen and fall into the creek and be swept downstream. Fruit is medium to above medium in size with pale yellow skin. Flesh is firm, crisp, very juicy and tart in flavor with warm spicy overtones. It cooks up quickly but does not store well. A dependable bearer ripening in late August to early September.


Magnum Bonum

MAGNUM BONUM is thought to be a seedling of Hall grown in 1828 in North Carolina by John Kenney, or Kinny, of Davidson County. It was recorded in 1854. The medium-sized, roundish-oblate fruit is mostly red on a greenish-yellow background with some indistinct red striping and large conspicuous white and russet dots. The white flesh, sometimes stained red, is tender and juicy with an aromatic, subacid flavor. It is susceptible to cedar apple rust, but does not seem to be affected by other major apple diseases. The tree begins to bear within two or three years, even on standard rootstock. Beach in Apples of New York, 1905 wrote: “…medium to large with yellow skin mostly covered with crimson and dark red…its flesh is white…firm, fine, tender, juicy, aromatic, mild subacid, very good for dessert.” In Central Virginia, Bonum, as it was called, was a commercial variety in the 1920s and 1930s. This dessert apple stores well and ripens in September.



Priestly (Priestly’s American, Red Cathead, Bartlett) – Priestly originated in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and was first described in 1817. A fine fresh eating apple noted for its keeping ability, staying fresh and quite juicy until late spring. The tree is vigorous, productive and a dependable annual bearer. Fruit is medium to large, covered with red and darker red stripes. The yellowish-white flesh is firm, coarse and very juicy. Ripens November to December. Priestley was also a controversial figure whose views were so odious to some of his countrymen that his house, Fair Hill in Birmingham, was burned in a riot, and he and his family left England. Priestley spent the last ten years of his life in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, where he continued his work in science, religion, and education. But even in this democratic republic his liberal ideas were frequently received with intolerance, and the peace that he so ardently desired was often elusive.


Milam Apple

The Milam Apple originated in the Blue-ridge Mountains about 1750. Whether the seedling was actually grown by Thomas Milam or by Joseph Milam has long been a point of contention in the southern mountains. What is known is that the Milam Gap is located near to mile marker 53 of the modern Shenandoah National Park, in Madison County, Virginia. In any case, the Milam Apple was a local favorite, as well as a Southern export item to points as far away as Europe in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Most of the former orchards where the Milam was grown are now part of the Shenandoah National Park. It is often considered by southern Appalachians as being the first noteworthy apple variety to be developed on the western reaches of the Blue Ridge.

Virginia Beauty

VIRGINIA BEAUTY originated on the property of Zach Safewright in the Piper Gap area of Carroll County, Virginia. In the 1850s, it was given the name Virginia Beauty. Large in size and oblate to truncate in shape, the smooth and glossy, greenish-yellow skin is half to nearly totally covered a shaded brick-red with indistinct red stripes in the greener areas. There are indistinct russet dots over the entire surface and the basin is usually covered to the shoulder with a brownish green russet. The yellow flesh is finegrained, tender, and a light sweetness in flavor. Vigorous growing with wide crotch angle branches, the tree is hardy, and on some soils, is a shy bearer when young. In the early part of the 20th century, the Virginia Beauty was popular for not only dessert, but also for processing, especially for apple preserves. It stores very well and ripens the first weeks of October.

-Virginia Vintage Fruit

Wolf River

Wolf River is a seedling of the huge Russian apple, Alexander, and gains much of its size and traits from that famous parent. It was originally found near to the Wolf River in Wisconsin in 1875. It was introduced to Appalachia soon thereafter, and became a well-loved adopted variety. It is extremely large, rounded and ribbed, with a pale-yellow skin that is nearly covered with pink, deep red and bright crimson flush and sometimes with red stripes. The cream colored flesh is soft, tender, and fairly mealy in texture. The smooth skin becomes greasy when stored. New Englanders and Appalachians alike feel that it makes a good baked apple and a decent pie, and that it makes an interesting blend in cider. But Wolf River is really a drying apple, and that is what it is most famous for. Vast quantities were dried along rafters in upper rooms, or near woodstoves and fireplaces.


Yates Winter Apple

Was grown by a Matthew Yates of Fayette County, Georgia in about 1844. It is a small, pale yellow apple that is blazed with very dark red. It can be identified in part by its covering of grey dots. Its other distinctive feature is a tendency for red-staining in the flesh, just under the skin. The flesh is yellowish-white. This is a late, sweet apple, extremely preferred in the Southern Mountains as a cider and sometimes brandy apple. Its behavior is essentially that of a wild mountain apple—that is, it will bear heavily, but the fruits will tend to grow in bunches unless they are thinned.

Yellow Transparent

Yellow Transparent is a Russian Heirloom of the Piprovka or Petrovka group. It is recognized as being the earliest summer apple, often ripening in July. Small to Medium flattened fruit with transparent pale yellow skin. Crisp, sweet and juicy, but has a very short life after ripening on or off the tree. Often picked in a greener stage for cooking. Excellent for sauce, pie and drying. Bears very young and heavily. From Russian Baltic to Britain (Kew) about 1800, and to the US by 1870.


York Imperial

Is a popular southern apple, more generally cultivated in the Virginia and Shenendoah possibly than any other variety The apple is easily recognized by its bright red color, indistinctly striped with carmine, but more so by the shape of the fruit–both ends being distinctly truncate, and the axis very oblique–so that the apples are always lopsided. The apples keep and ship exceedingly well, and the trees do well in a wide variety of soils and climates southwards from their Pennsylvania point-of-origin. York Imperial can be grown particularly well on heavy, fertile soils such usually as have a substantial foundation of clay. The variety takes its name from York, Pennsylvania where it originated soon after the Revolutionary War.

Winter Sweet Paradise

Winter Sweet Paradise (Winter Paradise, Grandmother, Wine Sweet) – This apple probably originated near Paradise in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and was first mentioned in 1842. It grows well at altitudes of 1200 to 1500 or higher but does not do well in lower altitudes. Very sweet with a pleasant spicy undertone in flavor. Fruit is medium to large with dull green or yellowish skin, sometimes having a slight brownish or purple blush on the sunny side. The white flesh is tender, juicy and sweet and is sometimes said to have pear-like flavor. Ripens in September and is a good keeper.


Cambellite – Winter White Permain

“In my last post, a book review, I mentioned the diKerences in how writers describe fruit. Sure, the older descriptions are adequate. They do the trick. But in my opinion, they are flawed by their accuracy. Here’s a sample piece of Charles Downing’s (The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America) description of the White Winter Pearmain, ca. 1881: “Basin uneven. Skin pale yellow, with slight blush or warm cheek, thickly sprinkled with minute brown dots. Flesh yellowish, tender, crisp, juice very pleasant subacid. Very good.“ Okay, Okay. Downing is trying to be objective. He knows that beauty (and flavor) is in the eye of the beholder. He’s describing the characteristics of hundreds of fruit varieties in his book, and he must use uniform terminology. But I’d like to know something about the life of this apple! The personality! Give me some metaphors! …” Consider the following, written about the same time, by J.M. Hasness, the Secretary of the Holt County Horticultural Society, for the Report of The Missouri State Horticultural Society, 1884: ”Some varieties, like men, start oK well, make a brilliant record for a few years, than so utterly fail as to disgust their warmest friends and admirers. Of such is the White Winter Pearmain, famous in Northwest Missouri fifteen years ago, and at that time really a fine, delicious variety, but now I pronounce it worthless.”

Grimes Golden

Grimes Golden was found by Thomas Grimes in Brooke County, West Virginia in 1804, near to the town of Wellsburg, West Virginia. John Chapman had  established a nursery at this location with one of his half-brothers some 20 years before. One of the parents of Golden Delicious. Roundish or slightly oblong in form, small to medium in size, with a greenish-yellow skin, ripening to a clear yellow. Sometimes roughened with yellow or russet dots. The Grimes Golden was a popular apple on the Kenawa River trade, and was shipped downriver to markets at Saint Louis and New Orleans. It is a late September apple, and it stores and ships fairly well. Now, there’s an opinionated comment. It sounds as though Mr. Hasness has been let down a few times by the people in his life. Poor guy. He then got an axe, went out to his orchard, and took out his frustrations on his worthless White Winter.

Court Pendu Plat

Court Pendu Plat is one of the oldest known apples in Europe, apparently dating back to the Roman Empire. Its “Court Pendu” or short stem means that it grows against its branch like a peach.. The flattened (“plat”) shape is quite distinctive. In spite of this it is a modern-looking apple with an attractive bi-colored red/orange flushThe flavor is aromatic with a noticeable fruity peardrop overtone, and the flesh is quite dense.

Isaac Newtons Flower of Kent

The tree is an old variety known as the Flower of Kent. It likely originated from France and produces a pear-shaped fruit smaller than today’s popular varieties. The cuttings (or scions) made it to Alta Mons in a rather circuitous way from Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, England. The manor was Newton’s birthplace and the site of the famous story of the falling apple. After Newton’s death on March 20, 1727, the manor’s new owners transferred cuttings of the tree to Belton Park, Lincolnshire, a few miles away. From Belton Park, scions were transferred to the National Fruit Research Station in East Malling, Kent. Meanwhile, cuttings from the Woolsthorpe tree were transferred to University of Nebraska in the 1990s, where a tree was grafted and planted in front of their Physics Building. In 2012, Roanoke College Students acquired cuttings from this source.

Indian Creek

Indian Creek is a smooth, delicate, thin-skinned nearly-white eating apple with an elongate “cats-head” shape. It has a fine-grained ivory-colored flesh, which, although sweet, and not overly soft, bruises very darkly and easily beneath the skin. This would never survive as a commercial shipping apple. It is reminiscent of the pale, early Pipirovka or Petrovka group apples in Russia (which include yellow transparent)—though, as you can see from the photo, the apple is always much more elongate than any yellow transparent ive ever actually seen—it does have that very light, nearly white coloration—although in the sun, when very ripe, it does get a very tiny pink blush that I have never seen on a yellow transparent—and the flavor is definitely different. Unlike Transparent, the Indian Creek becomes very—almost overly sweet as it gets a little over-ripe.

Bloody Ploughman

This dessert/cider variety takes its name from a ploughman who was shot whilst stealing apples from the Megginch estate in Scotland. The apples were thrown on a rubbish heap by his widow in disgust, and the seedling that emerged was subsequently named. The fruits are blood red, crisp and juicy. When very ripe, the flesh becomes stained pink.

Bardsey Island Apple

On the island now is the remnants of St Marys abbey, an old houses, a curious square lighthouse, the Bardsey apple tree and a large graveyard. The island is also home to Britain’s first bird observatory, built in 1953… … In 1998 a chap named Andy Clarke was catching said birds in order to tag them. He picked windfall apples from below a gnarled tree beside Plas Bach (one of the islands houses) to use as bait in his nets. He is a keen organic gardener and noticed that the tree and apples were completely free from disease. He collected some and sent them to local orchard expert Ian Sturrock, who was unable to identify them, sending them to Dr Joan Morgan, the leading fruit historian in the UK. It was declared that the fruit and its tree were unique, ‘the rarest tree in the world’. Afal Ynys Enlli, the bardsey apple tree. Joan claimed the fruit to be ‘boldly stripped in pink over cream, ribbed and crowned’.

Lost Mountain

The Lost Mountain is a seedling tree related to the antebellum Ferguson farmstead in the Back Creek basin in western Roanoke County. The Ferguson farm having been sold for development and the original orchard lost, volunteers from the original Ferguson plantings have been identified. The apple is a rich rust color, with a tart and very juicy, yellow-green flesh.

Port Onieda

The Port Oneida Historic Rural District is an outgrowth of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Leelanau County in northwest Lower Michigan., consisting of mid-19th-century historic farmsteads preserved by the National Lakeshore. The Port Oneida apple is a senescent tree that hasn’t blossomed in (potentially) decades, associated with a historic farmstead (presently only a barn still stands at the homestead site, isolated from the road system and only several hundred yards from the infamous Manitou Passage of Lake Michigan). The Port Oneida was originally identified by Herb Scaer.

Virginia Eileen

The Virginia Eileen is a brightly colored, very crisp and tart late-autumn apple from a seedling near the Port Oneida Historic District in Leelanau County in northern Lower Michigan, identified in October 2011 by David Scaer and named for his mother, Virginia Eileen Scaer.


Nelson County Crab is a candidate in orchardist Tom Burford’s opinion for Thomas Jefferson’s lost Taliaferro. This is a precocious tree, early blooming. Jefferson stated the Taliaferro apple was very juicy and good for eating. He praised it as the best cider apple he had tasted, producing a hard cider similar to wine or Champagne. In 1835, a William Kenrick described the fruits as being small, only 1-2 inches in diameter, with white, red-streaked skin. Kenrick claimed that the apples were unfit for eating, but reaffirmed their value in cidermaking. Jefferson called the variety “Taliaferro” in reference to a Major Taliaferro from whom he got his first samples of the fruit. Taliaferro himself claimed that the apples came from a farm owned by the Robertson or Robinson family.

Burfords Red Flesh

Beautiful red flesh inside crimson skin. One of the venerable Tom Burford’s discoveries, this apple is crisp, juicy and tart. Great for ciders and makes lovely red/pink sauces and chutneys. Fruit sweetens in storage. Fall foliage is a glowing, awe-inspiring orange-red.

Wellington Bloomless

Apple mutant Wellington Bloomless is known to produce only apetalous flowers that readily go on to develop into parthenocarpic fruit. Through genetics, a single recessive gene has been identified to control this trait in apple. Flower phenotypes of these apple mutants similar to those of the Arabidopsis mutant pistillata (pi), which produces flowers where petals are transformed to sepals and stamens to carpels

Frequin Rouge

Precocious and productive English Bitter Cider Apple. High in Tannin, this is NOT an eating apple! The “bitters” are quite astringent; used as 3 to 5% in fresh sweet cider, bitters contribute to a cleaner “mouthfeel”, a more refreshing aftertaste.. Scab and fire blight susceptible. Matures early midseason. Moderately vigorous.

Drap D’Or

A large flat to somewhat conical apple, of a bright, but pale yellow color, covered all over with small black specks, (never with a red cheek;) the flesh is tender, very light and pleasant ; the growth of the tree is large and spreading ; it bears well and should be found in every good collection. Ripe in September and October. This may be akin to or same as the British ‘Golden Noble” apple. This is a golden eating apple named for the famous “Field of Cloth of Gold” meeting between Francois the First of France and Henry VIII of England. This meeting took place at Balinghem, near to Calais. With its pageantry designed by Cardinal Wolsely himself, the 1520 meeting between the two kings represented for Brittany the chivalric mark of the Age.

Lass O’Gorwrie

Lass o’Gowrie apple from Perthshire, Carse of Gowrie, Scotland. A fine 19th Century Scottish cooking and dessert apple., it was first formally described in 1883. A medium sized, round-conical fruit. Yellow skin, flecked with a crimson flush. Crisp, juicy, sharp tasting flesh. Has a delicate flavour when cooked and keeps its shape.

Albemarle Pippin

The ALBEMARLE PIPPIN originated in 1700 near the village of Newtown on Long Island, New York. Col. Thomas Walker of Castle Hill brought the variety back to Albemarle County as he returned from the battle of Brandywine in 1777. It was grown widely in Virginia by 18th century agriculturists, including George Washington, John Hartwell Cocke, and Thomas JeHerson. The crisp, juicy, firm flesh and distinctive taste, along with its excellent keeping qualities, made the Pippin the most prized of 18th century American apples. It attracted notoriety when Andrew Stevenson, American minister to St. James, presented the young Victoria with a gift basket of the apples in 1838. “Never did a barrel of apples obtain so much reputation for the fruits of our country,” Sallie Coles Stevenson reported. In appreciation, Parliament permitted the Virginia apple to enter Britain duty-free, making it an important and pricey export. After World War I, Parliament levied duties again, and the Pippin’s market waned. For those who prize a rich, complex flavor and firm, juicy texture, this apple has few peers.

-Virginia Vintage Fruit

Beauty of Bath

Beauty of Bath is an attractive early-season English apple, hailing from the Victorian era. It will ripen in mid-July in southern England. Beauty of Bath was grown commercially in Victorian times because it was one of the earliest-ripening varieties then available, and it is a heavy-cropper with good disease resistance. There is no commercial demand for this type of apple today because the market for apples in early summer in the northern hemisphere is dominated by high quality late-season varieties imported from the southern hemisphere. Late season apples store and handle much better than early season varieties. Indeed Beauty of Bath is best eaten straight from the tree, as it does not keep more than a day or so. Although the flavour does not compare with later season apples, Beauty of Bath would have been a welcome sight in early August for the Victorian apple enthusiast, as the first sign of the new apple season. Like most early varieties it is primarily quite a sharp flavour, but can be sweet if you catch it before it becomes over-ripe.

Somerset Red Streak

REDSTREAK: Somerset Redstreak, Scudamore’s Crab. Once the most famous cider apple and the foundation of the Herefordshire cider industry under Lord Scudamore’s direction. It was valued for its distinctly pink or red cider. Lord Scudamore was the ambassador to France of Charles I. He retired to cider making when Cromwell took over. It may have arisen as a wild seedling in the early 1600s, but Lindley says Knight believed Scudamore planted the seed himself, so it could be from around 1650. Over the centuries, varieties were ‘improved’ with breeding and Redstreak fell out of favour, it declined by the 1700s to only a single documented tree. Somerset Redstreak is a local derived variety of Redstreak around 1920 from the Long Ashton research station near Sutton Montis, Somerset.

Potter County White Transparent

White Transparent, Ghost or Spirit Apple, or Apples of Saint Peter. The Russian Petrovka group are all thin-skinned pale apples that ripen near the feast of Saint Peter, and are offered to Widows and orphans (first fruits) or to the graves of the recent dead of the winter, representing God’s Mercy after trial. Apple associated with Baba Yaga, and with foretelling the past or the future. This Transparent is from Coudersport, Pennsylvania, likely brought as seed with Russian immigrants.

Irish Peach

Dr Lamb describes it as “The most delicious fruit of its season, but like all early varieties it should be fully ripened on the tree, and eaten soon after gathering…Its great weak point is its susceptibility to scab”. Small, round, slightly flattened, angular fruit. Smooth, pale-yellow skin with brownish-red flush. Slight stripes of darker carmine red and with slight greyish russet specks. It is quite likely that the Irish Peach originated in Co. Sligo. It was held in great esteem during the 1800s and was exported to England where it is still available today.

Lady Apple

Lady Apple (Api) are among the oldest variety known, first cultivated by the Romans (Apparently associated with the Appian Forest and Appian Way). The French loved them and thought they were a royal apple; they were medeival landmarks of cathedral and pilgrimmage routes. Sometimes referred to as the apple of Chaucer. Early American colonists thought of them as a symbol of wealth. they make their appearance just before Thanksgiving and stay until Christmas. Very small, with bright red and yellow coloring, they are a cheerful holiday fruit that’s fun to eat (two bites is all it takes).

James Grieve

James Grieve is an old variety of apple. It gets its name from its breeder, James Grieve, who raised the apple from pollination of a Pott’s Seedling or a Cox’s Orange Pippin apple in Edinburgh, Scotland some time before 1893. This is a savoury, juicy apple with strong acidity at first, which then mellows as the fruit matures during September, but the flesh softens soon thereafter. When picked early, it makes a sweet and delicate stewed apple, but then can be used as a dessert apple. James Grieve apples used to be grown all over Europe and were delivered to the city markets via train or horse-and-cart, but because they bruised easily they had to be carefully packed in laundry-type wicker baskets filled with straw. Unfortunately, the fruit cannot sustain modern supermarket handling, and so they are now only grown in gardens and for direct sale to consumers. Nonetheless, James Grieve is a very good apple because it produces fruit every year, is somewhat disease-resistant, and a very good pollenizer for other apples. It may drop early in warm weather. It is also a good apple for making apple juice.


Dusky red skin, flesh is considered bitter sharp. Strictly for cider. This is one of the most valuable of the cider apples of Herefordshire. The earliest record we have of the Fox-whelp is by Evelyn in his “Pomona,” which is an appendix to the Sylva “concerning fruit trees in relation to cider” This was first published in 1664, and at that time and long after the great apple of Herefordshire was the Red-streak. The Fox-whelp is disposed of in a lew words – “Some commend the Fox-whelp.” Ralph Austen, who wrote in 1653, makes no mention of it when he says, “Let the greatest number of fruit trees not onely in the orchards but also in the feilds be Pear-maines, Pippins, Gennet-Moyles, Red-streaks, and such kinds as are knowne by much experience to be especially good for cider.” Neither is any notice taken of it by Dr. Beale in his “Herefordshire Orchards, written in an epistolary address to Samuel Hartlib, Esq.,” in 1656.


A very high quality English cider variety, provides a bittersweet juice for cider making. Dabinett dates from circa1900, when it was found by William Dabinett growing as a wilding (a natural seedling) in a hedge at Middle Lambrook, South Petherton, Somerset. The exact genetic makeup of Dabinett remains unknown, though one ‘parent’ was probably the Chisel Jersey apple, a similar late “bittersweet” variety. The variety became very popular and was widely planted across the south-west of England.

Doux de Normandie

Is the essential «Norman Sweet » cider apple, and the living basis of most or all Calvados production . It is a tiny mottled and striped local fruit highly prized for its sugar and alcohol potential—much of its taste is associated with its skin. Source of Breton Jus de pomme (apple juice), and cidre doux (sweet cider)

Isle of Wright Pippin

This is a very old variety, and is, no doubt, the medieval “Orange Apple” of Ray and Worlidge. According to Mr. Knight, it is by some supposed to have been introduced from Normandy to the Isle of Wight, where it was first planted in the garden at Wrexall Cottage, near Undercliff, where it was growing by 1817. Skin is yellow with orange flush, with some russeting. Flesh is tinged green, with slightly sweet flavour. Good bouquet. Early flowering, but maturing late. Very resistant to canker and mildew.

Mountain Boomer

First described in 1900 by the Virginia State Horticultural Society. Not widely distributed, the apple was most popular in Tennessee and Kentucky in the early part of the twentieth century. Fruit is large to very large with pale greenish-yellow skin with an occasional red blush. it is an excellent cooking and baking apple. Mild flavored with firm, juicy flesh. Ripens in September in the mountains.

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