PURPLE SIBERIAN CRAB A very old crab from Siberia, long grown in the West, particularly for cider and as a breeding parent for other cider varieties. Striking apples, in full clusters with flesh that is deeply stained with carmine and very sharp. Ripe in August or early September.

Pollination Group 4

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

QUATFORD AROMATIC An old Shropshire apple, associated with the village of Quatford, It was first recorded in 1851 but is probably much older. In 1872 Scott described it as: “Small, top quality, December. Very good with a rich aromatic flavour; a very nice little dessert fruit, and keeps sound for a long time”. At the 1885 National Apple Congress, Barron described it as ‘dessert, medium sized, conical angular, flushed yellow russet, brisk, sweet, mid-season’. It has not been known since. We noted that Aromatic Quatford had recently been added to the Grove Heritage Collection in Tasmania and they sent scions in 2013. Our parent tree has not yet fruited but photos and a description from Grove give us confidence that it is the real thing.

 

 

QUEEN A highly regarded cooking apple, raised by Mr Bull, an Essex farmer, in 1858, from a pip of an apple bought at a local market. It is still widely grown in Essex. It was first exhibited as The Claimant, later being renamed Queen. The juicy fruit is large with a yellow skin, beautifully streaked with scarlet, and cooks to a translucent gold, keeping its shape well, but softening enough to purée if wanted. The flavour is full. An excellent pie apple. Crops are good and regular. A middle season apple of striking appearance. Part tip bearing but forming plenty of spurs. Showy pale blossom.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

QUEEN CAROLINE Raised around 1820 by Mr T. Brown, who had a nursery at Measham, near Ashby-de-la-Zouch, in Leicestershire, and named after the wife of King George IV. It was described by Hogg as 'A cooking apple of no great merit', but it is better than that. Medium to large sized fruit, round oblong, with smooth, green-yellow skin, russet flecks and rays of russet around the stalk cavity. The flesh is tender, and mildly acid. It is in season during October and November. At the National Apple Congress in 1883 Mr Pownall, of Linton Hall gardens, Nottinghamshire, said it was known around Birmingham as Brown’s Queen Caroline as ‘it came into bearing when Queen Caroline’s cause was in the law courts’. It cooks to a creamy purée. Attractive pink blossom.

Pollination Group 4

 

QUEEN COX A sport of Cox’s Orange Pippin, with red flushed skin and the same firm, richly flavoured flesh. Discovered at Kingston Bagpuize, Oxfordshire, in 1953. Like Cox’s Orange Pippin, it needs care to crop well, disliking wet sites.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

 

 
             

 

RADFORD BEAUTY Sent to Dr Hogg in 1884 by Pearson and Sons, of Chilwell, Notts. A stunning medium sized dessert apple with gold skin, blushed and streaked with red. It has crisp, juicy flesh, with a rich, tangy flavour Popular in its native Nottinghamshire but also very popular in Cambridgeshire in the first half of the 20th century. A good middle/late apple, that stores to December. Dark buds and attractive blossom.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAMBOUR FRANC The first record of this old apple is in 1535 and it has acquired over 130 synonyms during its life. It is said to have come from Rambure, near Abbeville, France, though Hogg says Rembures, Picardy. It was widely grown throughout Europe and has long been grown in Britain – Ray mentions it in 1665 – but it appears to have vanished from cultivation here. It was popular in Kent and the West Country. Taylor says in 1946 that it was still grown in Herefordshire. It has been said to be a large, flattish, ribbed and irregular fruit with pale yellow skin and a few red stripes and flushes on the sunny side, with some russet round the stalk, but this does not do the fruit justice. Here it is a richly red attractive fruit and fairly uniformly round. The flesh is firm with slightly acid juice but sweet with a good flavour when eaten fresh. It actually keeps well into the New Year, with a rich, complex flavour and perfumed taste. The flesh is a bit chewy but it stays moist. It doesn't respond fully to cooking in a pan, not breaking down and losing some flavour. The strong trees bear good crops. Scions were sent to us from the U.S. Plant Genetic Resources Unit at Geneva, New York, and new trees were grafted in 2005. **

Pollination Group 5

 

 

RANK THORN 1 An old Cumbrian variety, a tree of which was found by Hilary Wilson, of Appleby in Westmorland, who sent us scions. This was the last known old tree in its native Westmorland (Cumbria) and was owned by Mr Desmond Holmes of the Lyth Valley. The old tree has since died. The Holmes family settled at Whitebeck in 1747 and sold fruit to market until the 1960s. Rank Thorn was received by the National Fruit Trials in 1951 but is 19th century or much earlier in origin. It was named after the old wood in which it was originally found, growing wild. Rank Thorn 1 is a little different from the one still in the National Collection. There was a Rank Thorne, exhibited from Cumberland in 1934 that appears to be a different, late apple, but might simply reflect modern observations that in some years it is ripe late and will store for some time, especially in the north. Rank Thorn is a large, conical, ribbed apple with pale yellow skin, flushed (often heavily) dull red and pink and with bright red streaks. Though always considered a mid-season dessert apple, it is actually a first class cooking apple. When first ripe in September, it has firm juicy flesh, soon softening, with a pleasant sweet flavour but when cooked it keeps its shape and has the richest, sweetest and most fragrant flavour. It can be used for cooking up to the end of the year, in the south. It fruits when young - regularly and abundantly. *

Pollination Group 5

 
             

 

RANK THORN 2 The ‘Rank Thorn’ that was sent to the National Collection in 1951 is different, but not sufficiently different to suspect anything other than mutation either before or after it entered the National Collection. It is like the above version from Westmorland in all respects other than colour and flavour. We have grown both, side by side, on the same rootstock for several years. Rank Thorn 2 is more brightly coloured and more boldly striped, making it a very showy apple. Possibly the flesh is a shade paler. Equally good as a dessert apple but, when cooked, this version is a little flatter in flavour and slightly watery. An interesting example of how the same apple can ‘drift’ in its nature, over time.

Pollination Group 5

 

 

 

RATHER RIPE An apple that should, correctly, be called Rather Ripe, and not Rathe Ripe, since this is the earliest name and one which recurs throughout the literature. It first appeared in the London Horticultural Society catalogue of 1826 and then in the 1831 and 1842 editions. Scott noted it in his supplemental list in ‘The Orchardist’ in 1872, and it was exhibited from Surrey at the 1934 Apple and Pear conference suggesting, along with its LHS provenance, that it is a Home Counties apple. A small dessert apple, oblate to conic and early season, ripe in August/September. The body is ribbed up to the eye, pale green to lemon yellow, with an occasional orange flush and netted russet. In August the flesh is juicy, rich and lemony and firm rather than crisp. It retains its moisture and flavour for a month. Very good for an early apple. Attractive dark buds.

Pollination Group 5

 

RED ARMY Another of the many apples bred by F.W. Wastie of Eynsham, Oxfordshire, raised in 1924, and first recorded when his son, J.F. Wastie, (who also named the apple) sent it to Wisley in 1943. It was bred from a cross of Chatley’s Kernel and Worcester Pearmain. Names like Comrade Wastie and Red Army might suggest political leanings to the left, but correspondence shown to us by Jack Wastie suggests the opposite, and perhaps the namings were in appreciation of a wartime ally. Medium sized with skin of pale yellow, flushed and striped with red. The flesh is crisp, sweet and subacid. Ripe in September, the apples will keep for a month or two. Showy pink flowers.

Pollination Group 3