ANNUAL SWEETENING An old Oxfordshire variety, unknown and unrecorded outside the area. The last remaining old tree is over 100 years old, in the ownership of, and introduced to us by Mrs Olive Harris. Her family have lived at Lovegrove’s Farm, Fordwells, since 1836 and the minimum age of the tree was established by her grandfather, who died in 1915. It is a very small dessert apple, pale golden yellow when ripe with many pale dots, evenly formed, rounded and slightly oblong. Ripe in mid to late September, it is sweet, firm and well flavoured. It can be stored to the end of November, remaining firm if kept cool, but becoming a little sour as well as sweet. Trees are only moderately vigorous but crop well and regularly. Our thanks go to Mr and Mrs Harris for their help and dedicated conservation. They also have the last known old tree of Bamfairs. Pollination Group 4





ANTONOVKA An old Russian apple, originating at Kursk, first recorded in 1826 and known in Britain for at least a century. It is still grown in Europe and particularly in Russia. A mid-season culinary apple, large and ribbed, and ripe in September. The skin is a striking pale whitish-yellow with dots under the skin. The white flesh is crisp, juicy and perfumed when first ripe, but becomes dry and soft when stored, lasting to November. Cooked, it develops a rich flavour, is sweet enough without added sugar and keeps its shape, though it is tender and would mash. Bunyard said it was of culinary use only and ‘hardly worthy of retention’, but it can also be eaten for dessert at the right time and deserves a better reputation. A vigorous grower. Pollination Group 3




API ÉTOILÉ Known in France in the early 1600s and in Britain by 1772 when Richard Weston of London said, in “The Universal Botanist and Nurseryman” under the names of Long-Stalked Star-Apple and Pomme D’Etoile à longue queue, that it was “Shaped like the Api, but with very little red.” It was in the first collection catalogue of the London Horticultural Society in 1826, which called it just Etoilée. Hogg described it as a variety of Api, but with a very distinctive shape; the apples are unusually flat and with five prominent ribs, giving it a star (Etoilé in French) shape in cross section. Deep yellow skin in the shade, but orange-red near the sun. He said it had a good flavour for dessert, but not first rate. Ripe from the end of September. This is not our experience. It must be left alone on the tree into the early winter, when the full flavour emerges. It remains hard until stored, when it is very rich, though a shade dry in February. Markedly ribbed, flattened, and usually small in size. Both Scott, in 1872, and Barron in 1883 (when it was exhibited from Barham Court, Maidstone, Kent) described it as a small and pretty apple. It has not been noted in Britain since the 19th century, but has continued to be grown in Europe. We received it from the French National Collection. It is a regular bearer here. A very pretty and tasty apple which has starry, pale blossom. Pollination Group 3



API NOIR Probably of French origin, and first mentioned by Olivier de Serre in 1608, as Calveau Noir. It was known in the London Horticultural Society’s collection at the time of the 1826 catalogue. The small, sweet apples have a very deep red to maroon flush and stay crisp until spring. Their striking colour made them popular for garlands and table decorations. Trees were often a decorative feature in gardens, where they were grown in pots on dwarfing paradise stocks, as low edges to beds and as cordons. They were valued for their pretty blossom and for the brilliant display of fruit, which is generously produced and hangs on the tree well into the autumn. They keep until April. Hogg called it larger and flatter than Api with tender skin, smooth and shining, of light yellow or black, strewed with fawn dots and some russet. The eye is very small in a deep, plaited basin. The slender stalk is three quarters of an inch long in a deep, wide funnel-shaped cavity with light russet. The flesh is pure white, firm, juicy and tinged red below the skin, with a pleasant, vinous, and perfumed flavour. A good dessert apple that will last to April but can get mealy, by then. The rich flavour endures to the end of the year but fades a little in January. Pollination Group 4
APPLEFORD SERENDIPITY An important old apple tree, introduced to us by Pamela Brice and her daughter, Clare, of Appleford Farm, Rivenhall End, Essex, who are justly very proud of their tree. Aside from being a good old dual purpose apple, now without its original name, which will not be readily discoverable, it is important for the way in which the old hollow trunk is regenerating itself. It is discussed in detail on our website, in an article on old trees and the ways they survive. The tree is the last survivor of a domestic farm orchard and was old when Pamela Brice went to live there 59 years ago. The farm had been in the family for 400 years. Now hollow and a ‘squirrel run’, it still produces well and is now advanced in producing new trunks from the old one. The name was given to it by Pamela and Clare. The medium sized, sometimes large, conical dessert apples are beautifully streaked with red, ripe in October and sometimes later, in November. The flesh is pale, fine, crisp, juicy, sweet and with lively, lemony acid. When cooked, it is slow to soften and gives up no juice, and remains firm, keeping all its shape. It then develops a much sweeter, richer, fruity flavour, not too sharp and with no need for added sugar. In December the fruit goes a little cidery in flavour. We are grateful for all the help and enthusiasm of the Brice family. Pollination Group 5
ARCHIDUCHESSE SOPHIE Around 1823, an apple was raised by Joseph Schmidberger at the monastery of Saint-Florian near Linz, Austria. It was named Erzherzogin Sophie, though it was subsequently known in France and England under the name of Archiduchesse Sophie, or Archduchesse Sophia. In 1872, famed nurseryman John Scott described it thus: “Small, top quality, January to February. A fine and beautiful sort for the dessert; well worth cultivating for its fine appearance.” It was still known up to 1895, but had disappeared from all collections around the world and appeared lost. When we compiled our database of lost apples and possible sources we noted the Archiduchesse in the Grove Collection in Tasmania and they sent us scions in 2005. It first fruited in 2013 and is surely the same apple. Usually a dainty apple, it can sometimes be large. Pale yellow skin, speckled, streaked and striped with pink and carmine. Round and slightly flat, sometimes with rounded ribs. The tender flesh is richly flavoured, fragrant and sweet, with just the right amount of acid. Sometimes there is a hint of aniseed. In our warmer summers, it is ripe in early October, and will keep until the year end. Pollination Group 5
ARD CAIRN RUSSET Discovered by Baylor Hartland in a garden in 1890 and introduced by Hartlands of Ard Cairn, County Cork. A medium sized fruit with yellow skin, often with a bright orange-red flush or stripes, and mostly or totally covered with warm russet. The shape is truncate conic, ribbed around the deeply set eye and with obscure ribbing. The flesh is firm, slightly dry, and with a very rich flavour which becomes even more intense after storage. It can be very sweet indeed. Sometimes it is ripe in late September, though usually later, and it will keep until December. Bunyard says best in January to February and that it is 'perhaps one of the best russets for dessert', but warmer winters do not allow it to last into the New Year. After November it remains very sweet, but the flavour is lost and the flesh is shrinking. It has an upright growth habit. Pollination Group 4
ARLINGHAM SCHOOLBOYS – An old variety named before 1914, taking its name from Arlingham, Gloucestershire, and made known by the Gloucestershire Orchard Group. A dual purpose apple and a vigorous tree. When cooked it keeps its shape, with a mild flavour, but it is, perhaps, better as a dessert apple. The apples are medium sized, often tall and oblong with skin of green, with fine red streaks and a red blush on the sunny side. It is quite late to ripen here, at the end of October, when the sharpness fades to leave a sweet, rich, crisp and juicy apple. The fruit will store into the New Year. Large flowers with dark buds. Pollination Group 4
AROMATIC RUSSET A spicy, richly flavoured dessert apple, long known in England and once very popular. It was listed in the Aldby Park archive, discovered by Louise Wickham and sent to us, believed to have been written in the middle, possibly the first half, of the 18th century, from known plant dates and the script style. It could be the planting list of Thomas Knowlton, who worked between 1725 and 1760 on various estates in Yorkshire, including Aldby Park. It was listed in the London Horticultural Society catalogues of 1826 to 1842. Medium sized fruit, greenish-yellow in colour, covered with silvery-brown russet and tinted tawny orange on the side near the sun. Small trees, which bear good crops. The fruit is ripe in October and will store until February. Pollination Group 3
ARTHUR TURNER Introduced in 1912 by Charles Turner, of Slough, as Turner’s Prolific. An early cooking apple, ripe in September, which can be used for most culinary purposes and needs little sugar. It was once popular with commercial growers as it is an abundant cropper and is not prone to scab. Good for espaliers and cordons as it freely bears spurs. Primarily a good baking apple. Pollination Group 3
ARTHUR W. BARNES A medium to large dessert/cooking apple raised by N.F. Barnes, head gardener to the Duke of Westminster, in 1902. It was introduced by Clibran's of Cheshire in 1928. A cross between Gascoyne's Scarlet and Cox’s Orange Pippin, it has attractively red streaked apples and was once a popular exhibition fruit. It cooks to a juicy, pale yellow purée, after storing for a while, though it keeps its shape when first ripe. When fully ripe is a crisp, sweet and juicy dessert apple. Middle to late season, storing until December. Pollination Group 4