NONPAREIL Probably originally French, and thought to have been brought to England by a Jesuit in Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth's time. The name means 'unsurpassed'. Small to medium sized, elegant apples with broken russet, often taking a rusty red tint, and with firm flesh and a very intense flavour. In the eighteenth century it was grown in pots to set about fruit gardens or parterres as the deep pink blossom was so attractive. The fruit hangs on the tree for a long time, and will store until February. Good crops.

Pollination Group 4

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

NONSUCH First mentioned by Ray in 1668 and last noted by Bunyard in 1920. No sightings of it have been made in Britain in modern times, but we found ‘Old Nonesuch’ listed in the collection of Nick Botner in Oregon. In 2010 we received scions. 17th and 18th century writers called this a winter storing apple, but Forsyth (1810), Lindley (1831) and Hogg (1884) suggested the variety then known was ripe in September/October and not lasting beyond December. It has been described as ‘good at the table and well marked for cyder’, ‘for culinary purposes’ and ‘dual purpose’. It meets all these criteria.**

Pollination Group 4

 

 

NONSUCH PARK An English dessert apple, perhaps grown at Henry VIII’s Nonsuch Palace (long gone), in Surrey, first described in 1831 but of uncertain history. The fruit is small to medium sized, golden, flecked with russet, firm and juicy with a full flavour. It stores until January.

Pollination Group 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NORADA Sent to us by Kate Collins, of Ingham, Norwich, Norfolk. In her garden orchard is a very old fallen tree, that has sent up a new vertical trunk. The variety is quite unknown and has been newly named by Kate as ‘Norada’. Her late father, Percy Collins, a boat builder, once owned the tree and ‘Norada’ was his favourite boat. The apples are pale green with prominent lenticels and often with a brown red flush, which fades when fully ripe and the whole apple turns pale yellow. Round and regular in form and slightly flattened, it is a medium sized cooking apple. It cooks to a purée with no need for water. Kate recommends just a little sugar and cinnamon for a delicious sauce. Late season and storing until the end of the year. *

Pollination Group 3

 

 

NORFOLK BEAUTY Introduced in 1902 by a Mr Allan of Gunton Park, Norwich. Large culinary apples, with pale cream flesh which breaks up completely when cooked. Vigorous, spreading trees, which are very hardy and part tip bearing. Ready in September, stores until December.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
             

 

NORFOLK BEEFING Raised in Norfolk and first recorded under its present name in 1807, though known before 1698. A culinary or dessert apple with very firm flesh. When baked slowly, the flesh becomes rich and thick and tastes almost of raisins and cinnamon. By spring the apples are sweet enough to eat uncooked. Norfolk Beefings were also used for drying and make delicious crystallised apple slices. The trees are hardy, with attractive blossom. Ripe in November, storing until April. T*.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

NORFOLK COLEMAN Much confused over the years with Norfolk Beefing and Winter Colman, though the suspicion is that all three were separate, though similar, apples. Unpicking the correct references in the histories is now difficult, but the first reference to Norfolk Coleman was in 1810, from Forsyth. It was in the London Horticultural Society collection in 1826. Forsyth said ‘The Norfolk Colman is a middle-sized Apple of a mahogany colour towards the sun, and a dark-green on the other side. It keeps till August’, meaning the following year. It is doubtful that the apple now known, in the current climate, will keep quite that long. It is a very handsome dessert apple, sweet and fragrant when fully ripe, with dense flesh and a thick skin, both good indicators of good storing. Sent to us by John and Helen Hempsall.

Pollination Group 3

 

NORFOLK ROYAL A mid-season dessert apple found as a chance seedling in 1908 at Wright's Nurseries in Norfolk. Very showy fruit, with a shiny red flush which sometimes extends all over the fruit, streaks of darker red and sweet, juicy, crisp flesh. The white flesh is sometimes streaked with pink, and is richly flavoured. Usually ripe in late September and keeping until December. The trees are moderately vigorous, with large pink flowers and heavy crops. Part tip bearing, but generous with spurs.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 
             

 

NORTHERN GREENING First mentioned in 1802, but it is believed to be much older. The smooth-skinned, bright green apples, often flushed bronze red and sometimes striped, were popular all over the north and Scotland for apple sauce throughout the 19th century, though we find it keeps its shape and gives up little juice. The flavour is rich and sweet. Ripe in October or November, the apples store well until April. In the south, the apples become much sweeter by the start of January and are still crisp and juicy - in fact a very good, rich eating apple. The flesh sometimes has a slight pink/red blush under the skin. The vigorous trees crop well.

Pollination Group 5

 

 

 

 

 

NOTTINGHAM PIPPIN Existing before 1815, it is a medium sized dessert apple that was also known in Europe and America in the early 19th century, but it is now rarely seen. It is a regular and abundant cropper with green skin, ripening to lemon yellow, with a few russet patches and no trace of red. The flesh is white, tender, sweet, juicy and vinous. In season from November to February according to Hogg, though it is usually ripe earlier. In mid November the flesh is firm and crumbly, rather than crisp, with a sweet and pleasant flavour.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

NUTMEG Nutmeg Apple was included in Richard Weston’s “The Gardener’s and Planter’s Calendar” of 1773, as being ripe in November and December. Nutmeg was listed by Forsyth in 1801 and was in the London Horticultural Society collection in 1842. There is no suggestion that any were referring to Nutmeg Pippin and some evidence to suggest they were not. There are no further accounts of this apple after this time. This apple, found in America, and now with us, is not the same as Nutmeg Pippin. As Weston suggests, it is ripe in November. A pretty little apple, with skin of gold, liberally washed with pink-red and with fine textured flesh which is very juicy, sweet, rich and unusually flavoured. The taste is spicy but ephemeral, hard to catch and soon disappearing. A good apple and possibly very old.

Pollination Group 4