DUCK’S BILL An old Sussex apple sent to the National Fruit Trials in 1937 by Mr Fred Streeter, head gardener at Petworth House in West Sussex. It might be the ancient Sussex Duck’s Bill, though this name has long been assumed a synonym of Winter Pearmain, probably in error. Middle to late in season, it is a large, tall and often conical apple with pronounced ribs. This attractive apple is pale green/yellow, flushed with orange, with scarlet and carmine stripes and russet dots. The flesh is crisp, white and with a good blend of sweetness and sharpness and a rich flavour. Though it has been considered more of a cooking apple than a dessert apple, we find it to be a very good dessert apple and less good when cooked. It will keep to December, though the condition and flavour decline. Pollination Group 6




DUKE OF CLARENCE A top quality apple which we have assumed to be of English origin, though it has only been known in the Grove Collection in Tasmania, who kindly sent us scions in 2012. Many English apples found their way to the colonies in the company of settlers, keen to provide themselves with their favourite apples, and we found some very important ‘lost’ apples in the Grove Heritage Collection. This apple might well have been named after the same Duke of Clarence who was renowned for having drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine, though there were several other Dukes of Clarence. It is a very colourful late ripening variety that must be left on the tree into November, for its fullest flavour. The flesh is crisp, juicy and very sweet and rich. The apples keep over the winter.




DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE Also called Allspice. A late dessert apple raised by Mr Wilson, the Duke of Devonshire's head gardener, at Holker Hall, Lancashire, in 1835. The medium sized fruit has an attractive golden skin and russeting. A good, crisp eater when straight from the tree, but best left to mature until Christmas or later when the fruit has a warm, rich flavour. It reached its peak of popularity in the early 20th century. Stores until March. Pollination Group 4


DUMELOW'S SEEDLING Also once called Wellington and sometimes now called Dummellor’s Seedling. It was raised in the late 18th century by Richard Dumelow, or Dummeller, a farmer from Shakerstone, Leics, and eventually exhibited at the R.H.S. shows in 1818 as Dumelow's Seedling. It was possibly bred from Northern Greening. It was subsequently renamed Wellington, now reverting to its prior name. Rich, crisp, cream flesh, which cooks to a strongly flavoured purée, similar to a Bramley but creamier in texture. It welcomes some added sugar. It was once grown especially for the mincemeat trade, but was also excellent when baked. It was said to be Queen Victoria's favourite apple and was used as a May Day apple in the North because it stored very well. Spreading trees, with good blossom. Free spur bearing. Pollination Group 5

DUNN’S SEEDLING An Australian apple that first arrived in Britain in 1890. It was said to have been raised at Kew near Melbourne by Mr Condor and introduced by Mr Munroe. A medium sized, late dessert apple, ripe in October and storing to February. It can sometimes be large. The pale yellow apples sometimes have a pink flush. The flesh is crisp and white with a sweet subacid flavour. It is best planted in the south, as it fails to reach its full potential in colder areas. Pollination Group 4
DUQUESNE (Pronounced Do-Cane) The Caledonian Horticultural Society tour of the Low Countries and Northern France, 1817 (the report published in 1823), said “Besides the pears, Mr Van Mons sent cions (sic) of more than thirty kinds of apples, from young trees raised from the seed, most of them by himself, in the same manner as the pear-trees. All of these he considers as of good or highly promising qualities, and several of them as likely to be well adapted to the climate of Scotland.” The names were listed in the report –page 313, this one as Pepin Duquesne. The scions were well packed in moss and arrived safely and in good condition. They were sent to the nurseries of Messrs Dickson and Co. at Leith Walk and to Messrs Dicksons Brothers at Broughton. Two or three were grafted of each variety. A year later it was listed by Diel in Germany, as Peppin Duquesne (1818). Whether Van Mons bred it or just passed it on is unclear. In ‘The Orchardist’ of 1873, written by John Scott at Merriott, Somerset, he described it as small, of top quality, in use from November to April and “a new French apple”. He probably obtained it from Leroy at Angers, France, where he obtained many apples. The only full description is from Leroy in his ‘Dictionnaire de Pomologie’ of 1873. Medium sized, longish round to truncate conic. The stalk is of medium length and thickness, often arched. The eye is large or medium, open or half closed, in a basin of modest depth, plaited at the edges. The skin is smooth, bright yellow, washed with rose pink, streaked with carmine, which is deeper in the sun and with brown around the eye and a little on the body. The flesh is yellowish white, fine and quite tender, juicy, sweet, lightly acidulated and with an exquisite perfume. He considered in of top quality and ripe from January to May. This apple is probably the same as the ‘Duquesnay’, listed in the 1831 and 1842 collection catalogues of the London Horticultural Society. In 1895, a list of plantings at the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, listed a Calville Duquesne. It seems to have disappeared entirely from Europe and was unknown in North America. We discovered it listed in the former Grove Heritage Collection in Tasmania, and received scions from there in 2010. After a few years of observation, after it first fruited, it seems to be fully in accord with Leroy’s description, although the size can be large on a young tree. The apples ripen in late October or November. The flesh is fine and can be melting but is crisp, juicy and quite sweet, with a hint of orange. It is not too sharp to enjoy as a refreshing eating apple with a delicate flavour. It cooks quite slowly but softens and keeps most of its shape, becoming richer and tangy. The hint of orange has changed to lemon. Adding a little sugar improves it further in cooler years but in hot years is very sweet without sugar. It seems to vary in several ways with the year’s climate. Pollination Group 4
DUTCH MIGNONNE Introduced to England by Thomas Harvey of Catton, near Norwich, around 1771. He obtained his scion wood from Holland, and as the name of the apple was not known he called it ‘Dutch Mignonne’. It is sometimes said to have been of German origin, and Lindley said it was popular all over Europe. A late-season, dual-purpose apple, with medium-sized fruit, roundish in shape but lightly ribbed around the eye. The skin is greenish-yellow, streaked and blushed light red and speckled with russet dots, especially around the eye. The flesh is crisp, very juicy, sweet and aromatic, with a rich flavour. The tree is free-spurring, so is good for training as an espalier or cordon. Heavy crops, which keep to March. Pollination Group 3
DYMOCK RED According to Hogg and Bull (1886) in ‘The Apple and Pear as Vintage Fruits’, this cider apple dates from the time of John Evelyn (1670s), bearing a high reputation then and still respected. They say it was much grown, then, around Ledbury in Herefordshire and made a rich and excellent cider, whether alone or mixed with other fruit. They add that the flesh is yellowish, tender and soft, occasionally tinged with red, slightly sweet and with a pleasant acidity. Dymock is in Gloucestershire, on the border with Herefordshire. Others have suggested that this apple is a bittersharp, rather than the bittersweet described by Hogg and Bull and of the bittersweet nature found by us. In 1810, Forsyth in ‘A Treatise on the Culture and Management of Fruit Trees’ said “Dimock’s Red is under the middle size, of a fine red colour, intermixed with a little yellow on the side from the sun. It is ripe in January, and keeps till March.” In our modern climate, we find it is best used between October and November in the southern half of England. We also find the flesh to be white, rather than yellowish. The small to medium sized apples are very pretty, with a crimson blush and streaks over most of the apple, the shaded part being cream. Scott (1872) in ‘The Orchardist’ also considered it a pretty apple and noted that it was an abundant bearer. The bitterness is actually quite mild and this fades further as the apple is kept. From October the sweet apples are pleasant to eat. Dymock Red is still known and grown. Pollination Group 3
EAST AYTON EARLY In the days before container ships, cold stores and supermarkets, storing apples from local orchards was vital. Very few apple varieties would last into May and those that did would be shrunken and tasteless. It was a serious matter when the earliest new season apples were some way off. Even more serious was the time when last year’s cider ran dry. Both cottager and estate needed trees that would produce apples as early in the year as possible. By common consent, in all the old literature, these would have been the Joanetings, though the spelling has changed markedly over the centuries and though they are now called Joanetings, this is surely a corrupted spelling. Bacon, in the early 17th century first noted them, but we have no record of the spelling. Gervaise Markham, in 1613, called them ‘Ieniting’. Parkinson in 1629 had Geneting. Hanmer in 1659 had Janetting. Rea (1665) and Evelyn (1669) had Juniting. The apple(s) have also been called Jenneting, Juneting and Juneating. The name Juneating is noteworthy because some authors have said that they are ripe in June! Rea (1665) says that on a wall they are ripe in the end of June. Batty Langley, in his Pomona 1727 shows a plate of an apple labelled ‘Genetting’ and a date alongside of June 1st 1727. Forsyth and others at the start of the 19th century also confirm the early ripeness, though later writers suggested this was impossible and that the Joanetings then known only ripened at the end of July. Explanation? In 1752 Britain (well behind other European countries) changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. Errors had built up over time, under the Julian calendar, and corrections had to be made. 11 days were removed from the calendar to put things back on course. Thus, people went to bed on the 2nd September and woke to find it was then the 14th September. Nobody told the apple trees, which kept their own timing to ripeness. An apple that might have been ripe in late June would now be ripe in July. Cue Judy Trafford who, in 2018, told us about her mature apple tree with the fruit ripe in July. That would be very early for any apple in the Midlands or South of England, but Judy and husband Phil live at East Ayton, near Scarborough, in North Yorkshire, right against the cold North York Moors. We wondered whether it could be one of the Joanetings and also wondered when it would ripen in warmer parts of the country (as yet untested). Judy sent us the last surviving apples at the start of September 2019 (early apples do not keep for long) and they were not in their full prime but were still in reasonable condition. Judy reported that they were a little too soft to be enjoyable for eating raw, and perhaps a little bitter, but that they made a delicious sauce, breaking down instantly. We did not find the flavour bitter, but the texture was very melting and soft. The flavour was fair, sweet and pleasantly acid. We expect the flavour would have been better a month earlier. Most apples were pale yellow with red streaks and one which was mostly red had red spots inside the core. They could not be either Red or White Joaneting. Though the Joanetings have been thoroughly confused in the old literature, with almost all writers having something different to say about the naming and which synonyms applied where; there was one called Early Striped Juneating. This might be it. Judy and Phil’s house was built in 1952 and Judy has lived there for 44 years. There were apple trees in neighbours’ gardens and others in her own, planted in lines not consistent with the newer houses and gardens. An earlier orchard seems to have had houses built within. Nearby are farmworkers’ cottages of a much earlier date and the orchard would likely have been the farm’s orchard, where early fruiting varieties would have been highly valued. The old orchard trees have now gone, except two - East Ayton Early (named by Judy) and one other in her garden. In the 20th century early season apples were rarely planted. They did not store well and were usually of lesser quality. The colonies and Europe were beginning to fill the gap with better apples, available sooner. Farm orchards could and did make different choices. We wait with keen interest to see the first day of ripening in the South. In East Ayton, in 2020, the first apples started to fall, without wind assistance, on the 24th July on the Trafford’s tree. The texture was soft, not very juicy and not particularly sweet, but lemony and with a fair flavour. When cooked here they kept their shape, but would mash. The flavour was lively but not sweet. The apples are strongly fragrant when gathered. We are grateful to Judy and Phil Trafford for telling us all about their tree.
EASTER ORANGE A good dessert apple, still fairly well known, which was first recorded in 1897 when it was given an RHS Award of Merit. It was introduced by Hilliers of Winchester. A sweet, aromatic dessert apple with a golden skin, heavily flushed with darkish red and streaked with lighter red. There is prominent scaly russet around the stalk and the body is liberally covered with large pale lenticels. Fruits are medium sized with juicy, crisp, cream flesh, sweet and well flavoured. It was called Easter Orange because the fruit stored well until March, though in our warmer climate it is best before the end of the year, in normal storage conditions, remaining juicy and crisp. Pollination Group 4
ECKLINVILLE SEEDLING An Irish apple raised by a gardener named Logan, before 1800, at Ecklinville, near Belfast. A popular cooking apple in Ireland and southern Scotland throughout the 19th century and also often grown in Worcestershire and other southern counties. The fruit is large with skin of bright lemon yellow, sometimes with a warm blush, and the tender flesh breaks down completely when cooked, making a fine sharp apple sauce. It has also been used as a cider ‘sharp’ or ‘bittersharp’. At the 1883 National Apple Congress it was rated as one of the twelve best cooking apples. The trees are good and regular croppers and apples are ripe and in use from September to November. Pollination Group 4
EDELBORSDORFER The early written history of this apple is of Borsdorfer, which, according to Bunyard, goes back to 1561. Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, was so partial to the Borsdorfer apple, from her native land, that she had a considerable quantity of them imported from Germany every year, in the early 19th century. The first use of the term Edelborsdorfer was by Berghuis in 1858, when he wrote the ‘de Nederlandsche Boomgard’ in Holland. Lucas and Oberdieck also used the name in 1875. It seems that the name Edelborsdorfer was first noted in Britain when Bunyard, in ‘A Handbook of Fruits’ in 1920, gave Edelborsdorfer as a synonym of Borsdorfer. The prefix ‘Edel’ in German means something greater or more noble and we suspect it was a later apple than Borsdorfer, which we also have and which appears to be slightly different. We therefore avoid the early history when talking about Edelborsdorfer. This is an excellent apple, sweet and not as crisp as some but nevertheless rich and tender, with white flesh. It is ripe here in late September and will keep its moisture and flavour with careful storage, to the end of the year if the weather is not too mild. Pollination Group 6
EDEN A dessert apple that arose with E.J.Ingleby, of Forest & Orchard Nurseries, at Falfield, Gloucestershire in 1948. It was introduced in 1957 by Matthews Fruit Trees of Thurston, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. The National Apple Register of 1971, and later writers, made this apple synonymous with Fon’s Spring, but these two apples are distinct, though both came from the same batch of seed arising from the crossing of John Standish with Cox’s Orange Pippin, in the hands of Mr Ingleby. Eden is a regular, slightly conical to round apple, with green to pale yellow skin, sometimes entirely covered with deep pink, and then overlaid with a broad flush of deep carmine and with crimson streaks. The flesh is crunchy rather than crisp, juicy, sweet and with a pleasant, unusual flavour. It is ripe in late September and October, keeping until the year end. The tree is a good bearer and the fruit is attractive. Pollination Group 4