NUTMEG PIPPIN Small, golden fruit, with a russeted skin and a rich spicy flavour. Mentioned by Bunyard in 1920, but certainly much older. It is very likely that the Nutmeg Cockle Pippin mentioned in the Transactions of the London Horticultural Society, in 1818, is the same. Nutmeg Pippin is not the same as Cockle Pippin, with which it has been confused in the past. Upright trees, with good crops, and storing well.

Pollination Group 3

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

OAKEN PIN The apple of this name currently known is almost certainly not that of Evelyn in the 17th century or Forsyth in 1810, the latter describing it thus- “The Oak Peg, or Oaken Pin, is an oval-shaped middle-sized fruit, of a green colour striped with white. It is very full towards the footstalk, which is small; and keeps till June.” Hogg agrees that the original is different but gives a 19th century provenance to the version currently known. The latter was once widely grown on Exmoor, Devon, and used for cooking though it is also a good dessert apple, with a shape like the oaken pin used to fasten old doors. Crisp flesh, with a rich, sweet flavour. The fruit is ripe in late September and stores for a month or two. Good crops. Pollination Group 4

 

OLD FRED Raised by F.W. Wastie of Eynsham, Oxfordshire, in 1922, it was a cross between Allington Pippin and Court Pendu Plat. It was named and exhibited (1944) by his son, J.F. Wastie, also a breeder of fruit. The name ‘Old Fred’ refers to ‘Fred’ W. Wastie. He was known locally as Old Fred, to distinguish him from his fruit breeding son J. ‘Fred’ Wastie. The medium sized, flattened truncate conic apples are slightly ribbed with skin of pale yellow, often dotted and with a red/orange flush. A dessert apple with an attractive appearance, but also used for cooking, when it keeps its shape and needs no sugar added. Ripe in October, but best stored for a while. Pretty, dark blossom buds.

Pollination Group 5

 

 

 

 

 

OLD LOXTON An old, previously unknown, Buckinghamshire apple, brought to us by Richard Swann of Chalfont St. Giles in early 2012. His house was built in an old orchard many years ago and this old tree was left in his garden. There is another ‘Old Loxton’ in a neighbouring garden. The name was reported by a different neighbour who also said it was a very local apple. The medium to large apples are somewhat long and conical, with skin of pale yellow, partly covered with thin, warm orange russet, and with a blush and faint amber streaks. The eye is quite deeply set in a slightly snouty basin. It needs until November to be a rich, crisp and sweet eating apple, but can be used for cooking from October when it keeps its shape (though it would mash) and is rich and sweet. It goes a little dry with light cooking, so water or butter could be added.*

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

OLD MAN In 1883 at the National Apple Congress, held at Chiswick, an apple called Old Man was exhibited by Messrs Rowson Brothers of West Torrington, Wragby, Lincolnshire. It was recorded as a dessert apple – small, round, green, russeted, firm and late season. This was the only old record to be found. When we found an apple of the same name listed in America, it being so implausible that different apples could be given the same quirky name, we sought scions. It fruited for the first time in 2015. Ripe at the end of October, the flesh was rather open textured and not particularly juicy but the flavour was rich, very sweet and complex, with only mild acid. A dessert apple to eat with pleasure. It was also a very good cooking apple, softening quickly and becoming very soft and friable. Very sweet and rich with just a little lemon flavour. Fruity, but not so tangy as other cooking apples. A valuable apple. We have not been able to judge its keeping qualities yet.

 

 
             

 

OLD PEARMAIN The earliest recorded English apple, dating from before 1200AD, as Pearmain or Pearmaine, with many similar names since. It has become known as ‘old’ Pearmain in modern collections, starting with that of Alexander Forbes, gardener at Levens Hall Nursery, Kendal in 1820, who listed it as ‘Old Pearmain’. A dessert apple ripe in November, keeping to January, medium sized and distinctively long and conical, with green-yellow skin streaked and blushed red. Although it is often said that ‘pearmains’ are pear shaped, this is untrue. A pear is wider at the crown than at the base. Apples are the opposite (except for Pear Apple). The flesh is yellowish, tender, juicy, sweet and full flavoured.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OLD TANKARD A Gloucestershire cider variety, ripe in early November, when the flavour is fairly sweet and lemony, to eat, but the texture is rather soft. It soon becomes softer and cidery. If cooked the flavour is thin and the texture is wet. It is best used for cider. Large, irregular and ribbed apples, with green yellow skin.

Pollination Group 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OLD TIFF An old cooking apple from the village of Beckley in Oxfordshire. On driving through Beckley, to see another tree, we were struck by the fruit hanging from this impressive tree. The owners, Peter and Elizabeth Wheeler, renamed their cottage ‘Tiff’s House’ when it passed to Mr Wheeler. His grandfather was called Hector Macdonald (no connection with the apple named Hector Macdonald, bred by Charles Ross and named after a military hero) and he built the house in 1926. The site came with a grand old apple tree, substantially aged and already propped up – a survivor of a small orchard. Hector Macdonald was known as ‘Tiff’ and was a builder and stonemason, employed by the firm of Benfield and Loxley to work on the Oxford Colleges. He was also a keen amateur breeder of Irises. He died about 30 years ago. His apple is large, ribbed and often asymmetrical, green becoming paler, with some russet patches and developing long, pretty flecks of pale carmine in sunny summers. It is ripe in October and will keep until the end of the year. Cooked, it breaks down easily to a fluffy purée, with a rich tangy flavour, sweet enough without adding sugar. It does not appear to be any currently known variety and this name has been given by Mr and Mrs Wheeler, in memory of Old Tiff. Our thanks to them, for providing apples and scion wood.*

Pollination Group 4

 
             

 

ONIBURY PIPPIN An old variety from Onibury, Shropshire, of which little is known other than having been raised by Thomas Andrew Knight, who had a nursery at Onibury, in the early 19th century. It appeared at the 1934 Apple and Pear conference, but without description. It has re-appeared in modern times and we are grateful to Andrew Large for providing us with scion wood. A medium sized dessert apple, possibly once used for cider, with yellow skin, dotted with russet spots. Apples are medium sized and roundish conical, with skin of matt, pale yellow, sometimes with russet dots and patches. Ripe in September. There is often a fleshy protuberance at the stalk sending it at an oblique angle. The flesh is firm, lemony, not that juicy, but sweet and richly flavoured. By mid November the apples are shrinking and no longer crisp, but very rich, mellow and sweet.

Pollination Group 4

 

ONTARIO Raised around 1820 as a cross between Wagener and Northern Spy, it was once widely grown in North America and Western Europe, but is now rarely encountered despite being of top quality. Bunyard says it was raised by Mr Charles Arnold in Ontario. It has been known in Britain for nearly 100 years. The large, flattish, rounded and ribbed apples are pale green with thin streaks of russet and faint stripes of pale crimson. They are crisp, sweet and tangy and ripen in late October. Crops are abundant, hence its once valued commercial planting. It will store well until May and is very high in vitamin C. It is also a good cooking apple, keeping its shape. Mary Walters, of Oxford, kindly provided scions from her old tree. T*.

Pollination Group 4

 

ORANGE There are several apples of this name noted in the old literature. This one is believed by us to be ‘Orange 2’ of the National Apple Register; the French one, which has been known here since 1872, when Scott reported that he had obtained it from Monsieur Leroy of Angers. We have recently re-introduced it having been sent scions by the Conservation Botanique at Gap. Scott described it as medium sized, of top quality and in season from October to November. It is roundish, with skin of fine yellow, shaded with crimson and sprinkled with grey and light coloured dots. The flesh is white, tender, juicy, mild and pleasantly subacid. We also have another good apple called Orange 'B', which develops the flavour of oranges. Please see that entry.

Pollination Group 4