ANNUAL SWEETENING An old Oxfordshire variety, unknown and unrecorded outside the area. The last remaining old tree is over 100 years old, in the ownership of, and introduced to us by, Mrs Olive Harris. Her family have lived at Lovegrove’s Farm, Fordwells, since 1836 and the minimum age of the tree was established by her grandfather, who died in 1915. It is a very small dessert apple, pale golden yellow when ripe with many pale dots, evenly formed, rounded and slightly oblong. Ripe in mid to late September, it is sweet, firm and well flavoured. It can be stored to the end of November, remaining firm if kept cool. Trees are only moderately vigorous but crop well and regularly. Our thanks go to Mr and Mrs Harris for their help and dedicated conservation. They also have the last known old tree of Bamfairs

Pollination Group 4

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

ANTONOVKA An old Russian apple originating at Kursk, first recorded in 1826 and known in Britain for at least a century. It is still grown in Europe and particularly in Russia. A mid-season dessert and culinary apple, large and ribbed, and ripe in September. The skin is a striking pale whitish-yellow with dots under the skin. The white flesh is crisp, juicy and perfumed when first ripe, but becomes dry and soft when stored, lasting to November. It keeps its shape when cooked but is very tender. The flavour is sweetish and fairly rich and gentle. Bunyard said it was of culinary use only and ‘hardly worthy of retention’, but it deserves a better reputation. A vigorous grower.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

API ÉTOILÉ Known in France in the early 1600s and first noted in Britain in the catalogue of the London Horticultural Society in 1826, which called it just Etoilée. Hogg described it as a variety of Api, but with a very distinctive shape; the apples are unusually flat and with five prominent ribs, giving it a star (Etoilé in French) shape. Deep yellow skin in the shade, but orange-red in the sun. An excellent, sweet, crisp and juicy dessert apple, with a rich flavour, ripe from the middle of September and storing into the New Year. Both Scott, in 1872, and Barron in 1883 (when it was exhibited from Barham Court, Maidstone, Kent) described it as a small and pretty apple. It has not been noted in Britain since the 19th century, but has continued to be grown in Europe. We have now re-imported it from the Conservation Botanique, in France. A very pretty and tasty apple. Starry, pale blossom.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

 

 

API NOIR A very dark form of the French Pomme D'Api, or Api, which probably dates back to around 1700. The small, sweet apples have a very deep red to mahogany flush and stay crisp until spring. The striking colour made them popular for garlands and table decorations. The trees were often a decorative feature in gardens, where they were grown in pots, as low edges to beds and as cordons. They were valued for their pretty blossom and for the brilliant display of fruit, which is generously produced and hangs on the tree into the autumn. Can be stored until April.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPLEFORD SERENDIPITY An important old apple tree, introduced to us by Pamela Brice and her daughter, Clare, of Appleford Farm, Rivenhall End, Essex, who are justly very proud of their tree. Aside from being a good old dessert apple, now without its original name, which will not be readily discoverable, it is important for the way in which the old hollow trunk is regenerating itself. It is discussed in detail on our website, in an article on old trees and the ways they survive. The tree is the last survivor of a domestic farm orchard and was old when Pamela Brice went to live there 59 years ago. The farm had been in the family for 400 years. Now hollow and a ‘squirrel run’, it still produces well and is now advanced in producing new trunks from the old one. The name was given to it by Pamela and Clare. The medium sized conical dessert apples are beautifully streaked with red, ripe in late September and will last well into November. Crisp, sweet and well flavoured, they are bursting with juice. We are grateful for all the help and enthusiasm of the Brice family.*

Pollination Group 4

 
             

 

ARCHIDUCHESSE SOPHIE Around 1823, an apple was raised by Joseph Schmidberger at the monastery of Saint-Florian near Linz, Austria. It was named Erzherzogin Sophie, though it was subsequently known in France and England under the more gentle name of Archiduchesse Sophie, or Archduchesse Sophia. In 1872, famed nurseryman John Scott described it thus: “Small, top quality, January to February. A fine and beautiful sort for the dessert; well worth cultivating for its fine appearance.” It was still known up to 1895, but had disappeared from all collections around the world and appeared lost. When we compiled our database of lost apples and possible sources we noted the Archiduchesse in the Grove Collection in Tasmania and they sent us scions in 2005. It first fruited in 2013 and is surely the same apple. A dainty apple, with pale yellow skin, speckled streaked and striped with pink and carmine. Round and slightly flat, sometimes with rounded ribs. The tender flesh is richly flavoured and sweet, with just the right amount of acid. In our warmer summers, it is ripe in early October, and will keep until the year end.

 

ARD CAIRN RUSSET Introduced in 1890 by Hartlands of Ard Cairn, County Cork. Medium sized fruit of bright orange-red, with gold russeting. The fruit has firm flesh with a very rich flavour, which becomes even more intense after storage. It keeps until December. Attractive blossom with dark buds.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARLINGHAM SCHOOLBOYS From Arlingham, Gloucestershire, and named before 1914. Triple purpose, medium sized, mid-season, storing to the end of November. Green with red stripes and flushes. Vigorous trees. A fairly good dessert apple with a sweet and full flavour, without too much acid. When cooked it keeps its shape, with a mild flavour. It is, perhaps, better as a dessert apple. Large flowers with dark buds.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
             

 

AROMATIC RUSSET A spicy, richly flavoured dessert apple, which was certainly known in England by the mid nineteenth century and which became very popular. It was listed in the Aldby Park archive, discovered by Louise Wickham and sent to us, believed to have been written in the middle, possibly the first half, of the 18th century, from known plant dates and the script style. It could be the planting list of Thomas Knowlton, who worked between 1725 and 1760 on various estates in Yorkshire, including Aldby Park. It was listed in the London Horticultural Society catalogues of 1826 to 1842. Medium sized fruit, greenish-yellow in colour, covered with silvery-brown russet and tinted tawny orange on the side near the sun. Small trees, which bear good crops. The fruit is ripe in October and will store until February.

Pollination Group 3

 

ARTHUR TURNER Introduced in 1912 by Charles Turner, of Slough, as Turner’s Prolific. An early cooking apple, ripe in September, which can be used for most culinary purposes and needs little sugar. Once popular with commercial growers as it is an abundant cropper and is not prone to scab. Good for espaliers and cordons as it freely bears spurs. A good baking apple.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

 

 

ARTHUR W. BARNES A medium to large dessert/cooking apple raised by N.F. Barnes, head gardener to the Duke of Westminster, in 1902. It was introduced by Clibran's of Cheshire in 1928. A cross between Gascoyne's Scarlet and Cox’s Orange Pippin, it has red streaked apples and was once a popular exhibition fruit. It cooks to a juicy, pale yellow purée, when stored, though keeps its shape when young. When fully ripe is a crisp, sweet and juicy dessert apple. Middle to late season, storing until December.

Pollination Group 4