WESTBURY HOUSE A very old apple found by us at Westbury House, West Meon in Hampshire and possibly the ancient Westbury Apple, described and acclaimed in the 17th century, but not known of since. The owner, Irvine Iqbal, kindly gave us permission to investigate several old trees there. While we cannot presume it is the same apple, we have named it as closely as we can. A late season, large cooking apple, ripe in October but staying very sharp and solid into November, when it sweetens and becomes more yielding. Cooked, it softens quickly but keeps its shape and is very rich indeed. A little sugar might be added. It stays in very good condition over the winter.

Pollination Group 4

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

WHEATEN LOAVES An old apple variety recently rediscovered by Hilary Wilson, who kindly sent us scion wood. The tree is on the property of Mr Desmond Holmes, of the Lyth Valley, near Grange over Sands, Cumbria. The Holmes family settled at Whitebeck, the main fruit growing area of Cumberland, in 1747 and grew fruit for market until the 1960s. They always knew the apple by this name, curious as it is. The apple is dual purpose but best used for cooking. It can be quite sharp in the north, but sweeter in the south. It will last into November in the south, though softening. *

Pollination Group 5

 

WHEELER’S RUSSET Long thought to have been raised by James Wheeler, but Hogg stated that he had found it in a catalogue of the Brompton Park Nursey in 1717, when Wheeler would have been only a child. Medium sized fruit, with yellow-grey russeting and greenish-white flesh which is crisp, juicy, aromatic and richly flavoured. Pretty blossom, and good crops. Pick late October and store until March. T*?

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

WHITE JOANETING It has synonyms of Joaneting and Geneting, though incorrectly. There were several different coloured versions of Joaneting, or Juneating, recorded in the 19th century, though the name is much older. Only two, Joaneting and White Joaneting are currently known, though the others probably still exist, incognito. A dessert apple mentioned about 1600 by Bacon, and long appreciated because it was one of the first apples to ripen, though it must be eaten soon after picking, not keeping long. Small, sweet apples, crisp and with a fresh flavour. Good crops.

Pollination Group 2

 

 

WHITE MELROSE An old Scottish apple, first recorded in 1826, but probably older, and appearing to originate with the monks of Melrose Abbey. Grown almost exclusively in the border counties, and very hardy. Large, tall, conical apples, with smooth pale skin and red markings. A cooker that keeps some shape when cooked and has a good sweet/sharp flavour. It is also a refreshing and mild, sweet eater. Vigorous trees with heavy crops. Stores until November.

Pollination Group 3

 

 
             

 

WHITE SPANISH REINETTE A truly historic apple (also known as Reinette Blanche D’Espagne) which seems to have disappeared in Britain, as far as named examples are concerned, by the end of the 19th century. Dating back to the early 1600s, in Europe, it was first noted in Britain in the first catalogue of the London Horticultural Society in 1826. In Britain, though widely acclaimed throughout the 19th century, there are no 20th century sightings of it and though it will doubtless still be growing somewhere, its name forgotten, it could not be found by us. It did not appear to be held in foreign collections. Our last resort was to seek it under its ancient Spanish name of Camuesar. Success eluded us until Christine Nichols, ecologist and local historian of Wolverton, Milton Keynes, put us in touch with a fruit tree grower in New Zealand, whom she knew to have some old European apples. Having contacted him we found that he had Camuesas di Llobregat in his collection. Dieter Proebst had shifted his work to orcharding and fruit processing but still had a tree and sent scionwood in 2008. He reports that his tree came from Bob Crowder’s collection at Lincoln College, Christchurch. Our trees have now fruited and we are certain it is White Spanish Reinette. We are very excited to be able to supply trees of this excellent and long-lost apple again, in Britain, and are very grateful for the help of Christine and Dieter. The core is very open to the point of having ‘open plan’ cells. The flesh is pale cream, crisp, fine and very juicy with an excellent sweet and lemony flavour. It is a very refreshing dessert apple. It can also be eaten when under-ripe by those less concerned with full sweetness and liking a bit of sharpness. We find it is at its full ripeness in October. Historic descriptions of it have also accounted it a very good cooking apple. When cooked, we found that it kept its shape completely, to the point of putting up some resistance, though the flavour was rich and well rounded. It might be an excellent apple for baked tarts. **

Pollination Group 4

 

WHITE TRANSPARENT First recorded in Britain in 1810, if it is the same as Forsyth’s Transparent Apple, or 1826 if not. It came from Russia or the Baltic States and has been confused with White Astrachan and other Transparent apples but this one is probably distinct. Wisley now makes White Astrachan a synonym of this, but Scott has both described, and differently. Forsyth said ‘The Transparent Apple, was introduced from St. Petersburg; but is more curious than useful: a tree or two, therefore, will be sufficient for a garden. It ripens in September and October’. Scott described it as a small, top quality August apple, conical, tapering rapidly to the point at which it is much plaited. The skin is pale golden yellow covered with silvery grey dots. When thoroughly ripe the transparent flesh is melting, the juice plentiful with somewhat of an astringent flavour. The tree is an early and great bearer. Bunyard also describes it as a July/August apple, so Forsyth’s Transparent Apple, ripe in September/October, might be another variety.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHITE WINTER PEARMAIN An American dessert apple first listed by the American Pomological Society in 1858, but in cultivation much earlier. It is not to be confused with the much older ‘English’ Winter Pearmain. The White Winter Pearmain was very popular in America and in South Africa in the 19th century and was subsequently planted in Britain. It has crisp, deep cream flesh with a honey flavour and a good balance of sugar and acidity, and stores well until March. There are two different apples known by this name, and we now have a second version from USDA for comparison.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
             

 

WHITEBECK PEARMAIN A very old tree found at Whitebeck Orchard, Lyth Valley, Westmorland by Hilary Wilson of Appleby-in-Westmorland. The orchard, owned by Desmond Holmes, was once commercially productive. The Holmes family settled at Whitebeck in 1747 and sold fruit to market until the 1960s. This anonymous tree, with unusual frilly leaves, produces quite large, oval eating apples, boldly streaked. Ripe towards the end of October in the south, and presumably later in Cumbria, the flesh is yellowish, crisp, tender and juicy with a sweet and rich flavour, low in acid. The fruit will last to the year end. Named in conjunction with Hilary Wilson.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WILLIAM CRUMP Bred in 1908, from a cross between Cox’s Orange Pippin and Worcester Pearmain. One history says it was raised by Mr Carless, the foreman at Rowe’s Nurseries, Worcester, where it was introduced, but Taylor and Bunyard say it was raised by William Crump, head gardener at Madresfield Court and introduced by Rowe’s. It has since become very popular in private gardens. A medium to large dessert apple, flattened conical in shape. The green-yellow skin is almost wholly covered in dark red in the sun, with pale russet on the shaded side. In some years the fruit can be very large and almost covered with red. The flesh is cream with traces of green, crisp, sweet and juicy. Ripe in November, but best in December and keeping into the New Year. The trees have an upright growth.

Pollination Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WILLIAM RANDALL A first class dual purpose apple in the orchard of the late Maurice Randall, local cherry expert at Prestwood, Buckinghamshire, and the donor to us of the cherries, Prestwood Black and Black Eagle. We were led to Maurice by George Lewis of Prestwood Nature. This particular tree was planted by Maurice’s grandfather, William Randall, around 1900, though it is unknown whether it was a named variety or grown from a pip. It is not any variety ever seen by us and having seen several thousand we assume he raised it himself. The medium to large, flat apples are pale green with a warm cerise blush and a few pale red streaks. They can sometimes have a striking maroon flush. Although the irregularly shaped apples can be quite large for eating, they are crisp, juicy, very sweet and fragrant, with a pleasing savoury aftertaste. When cooked, the flesh softens quickly but keeps its shape completely, the pale colour turning to a warm deep cream. The texture is slightly granular, like a cooked pear, and would make an excellent apple for tarts or for baking. The flavour is full and sweet, not particularly acid, but with enough tang to complete the flavour. An excellent dessert and cooking apple. When cut the flesh does not discolour for several hours, at least. The apple also has large showy flowers. *

Pollination Group 4