LAXTON'S SUPERB One of the best known late dessert apples, raised in 1897 by the Laxton Brothers of Bedford. A cross between Cox and Wyken Pippin. The fruit is very sweet and juicy with a scented flavour, though it can vary from year to year and from one area to another. The flesh is firm rather than crisp. It is said to "grow where Cox fails to thrive". Trees are vigorous and crop well when young. Spur bearing, but the spacing of spurs makes it less than ideal for espaliers and cordons.

Pollination Group 4

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

LEATHERCOAT RUSSET A very old apple, mentioned by Shakespeare in Henry IV, and so named because of its heavily russeted skin. Once widely grown in Britain, but now rare. Small to medium conical fruit, with crisp, juicy, greenish flesh. The very intense flavour develops further with storage. Vigorous trees. Ripe from mid-October to November, apples will store until March. T*.

Pollination Group 3

 

LEMON PIPPIN A very old apple, thought to be English or Norman, in existence in England before 1685. Oval fruit, with lemon yellow skin and flesh often covering the stalk, giving it the same shape as a lemon. It has crisp, sweet flesh with a slight tang. Regarded as dual purpose in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when it was dried and used for tarts as well as being eaten for dessert. It softens when cooked, but keeps its shape and has a wonderfully sweet and rich flavour. In the eighteenth century it was said to be so popular that many planted it in preference to all other varieties. The fruit stores well and may be kept until April. A reliable cropper.

Pollination Group 5

 

LEMON ROY A Gloucestershire culinary apple, found at Minsterworth. Often large, conical, pale green and sometimes with a red flush. When fully ripe it is a very pleasant eating apple. Late into leaf.

Pollination Group 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEMON SQUARES Dating from before 1798 when it was listed in a nursery catalogue at Keswick and later at Alexander Forbes nursery in Kendal, as Lemon Square. We accept the earlier name. It was described as above medium size, pale yellow and red, and in season from November to December. This disagrees with Barron’s description at the 1883 National Apple congress, when it was exhibited from Arnside, Westmorland. He called it small, early season, oblong, angular, yellow and ‘worthless’. It is a pleasant enough dessert apple. The fruit is medium sized, with ribs, ending in knobs at the eye. The skin is green turning yellow, often with a warm blush. It is a middle to late season apple. Free spurring.

Pollination Group 3

 
             

 

LEMON SUMMERING Another rare escapee from the literature of the ages, probably never known outside of Lincolnshire. It was brought to our attention several years ago by Gill Thornton, of Brant Broughton, Lincolnshire. The historic property owned by her husband Charles Thornton was held by his family for many years and his grandmother recorded that this particular ancient apple tree was called Lemon Summering and was very rare. In 2013 Charles Thornton kindly sent us scions and fruit. The name suggests a summer apple, but it appears to be at the peak of ripeness in Lincolnshire in mid September. The rounded and flattened pale green apples turn pale yellow when ripe and sometimes have a warm blush from the side in the sun. The primary use is for cooking, when they pulp down quickly for purées if stored for a while, but will keep their shape entirely when used first ripe. Without sugar the taste is a little sour, rather than sharp, but with a little sugar the flavour is rich and fully rounded, and good for an early/middle season apple. When ripe, they are sweet enough to enjoy as eating apples, but without any great character. The apples we were sent actually stored into January, retaining a good lemony flavour, but becoming a little dry and soft. The first generation of trees here have surprised us by setting fruiting spurs in their first year.

 

LEWIS’S INCOMPARABLE History does not record who Lewis was, but the apple existed in the 18th century. It was in the London Horticultural Society collection in 1826. In the Gardener’s Chronicle of 1898 it was said that Mr Clayton of Grimston Park, Tadcaster, Yorkshire, had reported picking 30 stones of fruit from a 100 year old tree. Obviously, it is a large apple, dual purpose, the trees being vigorous and producing abundant crops. Hogg considered it second rate, but Scott rated it top quality. The fruit is conical and irregular with one side higher. The skin is dark red and streaked in the sun, and yellow with a few streaks in the shade, speckled with russet dots. The flesh is crisp, juicy, tangy and aromatic. In use from December to February. It keeps its shape when cooked.

Pollination Group 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LITTLE EMILY An old tree and an interesting variety, which was brought to our notice by Mike Davidson, landscape gardener, in 2011. The tree grows in an old hedge between arable fields and ancient woodland, north of Wendover, Buckinghamshire, and just down from the historic Ridgeway. It is difficult to see how it came to be there, with no other fruit trees in the locality, and there is little knowledge of previous land use available. It is now owned by the Forestry Commission, having formerly been part of the Rothschild estate. It is most unusual in that the fruit is often entirely without pips, though some have one or two. There have been old varieties noted in the past that are seedless or without flowers, but not in Britain in modern times. The apples are small to medium sized, with a distinct oblong shape. The skin is pale green, becoming yellow, with half or more covered in warm russet. The firm flesh is very sweet, with a slightly caramel flavour, but there is barely any acid, which will appeal to some and disappoint others. A very unusual apple, named by Mike Davidson after his grand-daughter Emily. Mid to late season. *

Pollination Group 3

 

 

 
             

 

LODGEMORE NONPAREIL Raised by Mr Cook of Lodgemore, in 1808. A cider and dessert apple, with flesh which is crisp, juicy and sweet. Richly flavoured when fully mature. Late season, storing to December.

Pollination Group 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONDON PIPPIN Also known as the Five-Crowned Pippin because of its distinctive shape, with five prominent ribs which meet around the eye. Mentioned by Lindley in the early nineteenth century, though it is probably much older - there are references to the ‘Loundon Pepping’ coming from Essex in the late sixteenth century. A dual purpose late apple with crisp, juicy flesh which keeps its shape when cooked, but which can also be used as a dessert apple. It was once grown in Australia for export to Britain. It stores well, not shrivelling, keeping until April. Part tip-bearing, but also spurring well. Good Crops.

Pollination Group 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONG REINETTE An old apple variety, local to The Lee in Buckinghamshire, now rescued from extinction. In 2001, Mr and Mrs Senior, from The Lee, brought us some scionwood and new trees were grafted. Their very old horizontal tree had just been identified by Percy Langston, 90 years old that year, as a Long Runnit. A local man, he had a wide experience of the fruit traditionally grown at The Lee, and remembered the Long Runnit as a good dessert apple which was stored in barns, in straw, and brought out for the Christmas table. In his youth it was widely grown around The Lee, but the old tree owned by the Seniors appears to be the very last one. A customer recently shared her childhood memory, that Long Reinettes were not allowed before Christmas and were then put in the Xmas stocking! There are no records of a Long Runnit in the historical literature, but Long Reinettes were exhibited from Lee Manor, along with the Bazeley, at the National Apple Congress in 1883. This is the only record of the Long Reinette. The dessert apple is medium sized, firm, and fairly juicy with a good balance of sweetness and acidity. The skin is green with red streaks, which are predominant in some years and almost absent in others. As the name suggests, the shape is very elongated. The fruit tends to become softer in late autumn, but with care it will keep very well until Christmas. *

Pollination Group 4