PIG'S NOSE PIPPIN So called because the crown of the conical fruit is flattened, like a pig’s nose. A small to medium sized, sweet, crisp, juicy and rich late season dessert apple, with a refreshing acidity. It was mentioned by Hogg in 1884, but was probably old then. It probably came originally from Herefordshire. Fully ripe in early November, the apples will keep until January. Pollination Group 4




PINE GOLDEN PIPPIN A nineteenth century dessert apple, first recorded in 1861, when it was sent by Messrs Dickson and Son of Hassendean Burn, near Hawick, Roxburghshire to the RHS gardens at Chiswick, Middlesex. It is probably much older than 1861. It has been well known in the south, in the north-west and in Scotland and the borders. The small ribbed fruit is golden yellow and covered with russet. Apples are crisp and juicy, fragrant and richly flavoured. Hogg 1884 says the apple has “a fine, sprightly, and distinct pineapple flavour.” We do not detect this pineapple flavour, though we agree with Hogg that it is one of the best dessert apples. Ripe in October, storing until December. Pollination Group 6




PITMASTON PINE APPLE A late dessert russet apple raised around 1785 by Mr White, who was steward to Lord Foley of Stoke Edith, Herefordshire. It is thought to have come from a seed of Golden Pippin. Another story is that it was raised by John Williams of Pitmaston in 1825. Small golden apples, produced prolifically and packed with flavours of pineapple and honey, in crisp, juicy and sweet flesh. The tree is moderately vigorous, with a good bushy habit and pretty blossom. A good and regular cropper. Pollination Group 4


PITMASTON RUSSET NONPAREIL A small late russet dessert apple, known since 1818 when the tree first fruited, raised by John Williams at Pitmaston, near Worcester, around 1815. Lindley (1831) called it “a dessert apple of great merit in November and December”. He added that the skin is of a dull green, nearly covered with russet, a little mixed with yellow, and faint red on the sunny side. The juice is rich, with a high aromatic flavour, and the peculiar perfume of the Nonpareil. The apples keep until January. Pollination Group 4

PITSTONE PIPPIN A chance seedling that grew on a 25ft long slope in an old quarry at Pitstone, on the border of Buckinghamshire with Bedfordshire. The quarry is now a nature reserve. Apples and scion-wood were brought to us by Peter Revell, apple enthusiast and naturalist. We include it for local interest, but it is also an excellent apple. It is probably around 60 years old. A middle to late season cooking and eating apple ripe in September, but later in some years. It is sharp when young. It might also have some quality as a cider apple, though untested. Medium to large sized with smooth, slightly glossy skin - green becoming pale yellow, blushed and streaked with crimson. When cooked it breaks down to release a very rich flavour but with slight tartness. It welcomes a little sugar to bring out the flavour completely. Later on it becomes a good dessert apple. The fruit stores into the New Year. Free flowering, with pretty blossom. Pollination Group 4
PLUM VITAE Sent to us by Susan Rumney of East Devon, a triple purpose early season apple, ripe in August and gone by October. Her tree is in an orchard that went with a row of cottages, and has been in her family for nearly 70 years. The tree looks significantly old but is healthy and bears well. Her parents were told by a village ‘old boy’ that it was called Plum Vitae and that it was a cider apple, though Susan and her family eat them raw and cook them to a fluff. In 1883 it was exhibited at RHS Chiswick with the name of Plum Vite, but Susan Rumney knows it as Plum Vitae, which has also been noted as an alternative name elsewhere. Pollination Group 2
POLECAT The Polecat Public House, at Prestwood, Buckinghamshire, contained several old and interesting apples in its extensive orchard garden, and we took scions of all, with the permission of the former owner, John Gamble, in 2005. Unfortunately the new owners have removed most of the trees to enlarge the car park.The fruits bore all the hallmarks of varieties planted to provide both food and cider for the old Inn’s guests. The trees were at least a century old and many very old. This tree bore small golden apples, flushed or lightly streaked with pink/red and ripe in late September. Sweet, crisp and juicy, with a rich flavour. Pollination Group 5
POLECAT PEERLESS The Polecat Public House, at Prestwood, Buckinghamshire, contained several old and interesting apples in its extensive orchard garden, and we took scions of all, with the permission of the former owner, John Gamble, in 2005. Unfortunately the new owners have removed most of the trees to enlarge the car park.The fruits bore all the hallmarks of varieties planted to provide both food and cider for the old Inn’s guests. The trees were at least a century old and many very old. We have named them after the Mustelid family of creatures. Polecat Peerless is an excellent dual purpose apple that is ripe in late October and good to eat raw. Sweet, quite lemony, crisp and juicy. When cooked it softens quickly but keeps its shape and develops a very rich flavour, with no need for added sugar. Pollination Group 4
POMEROY OF HEREFORDSHIRE Given to us by Hilary Wilson who had it from Philip Rainford of the Northern Fruit Group. Hogg recorded three different Pomeroys though it was previously known that the name was used differently in different regions. Hogg (1884) believed that the name Pomeroy (Pome-Roy, or King’s Apple) went back to Norman Britain rather than being of French origin. The Herefordshire Pomeroy is on the small side of medium size, rounded and slightly angular, especially round the eye, sometimes conical. The skin is greenish yellow, with some russet in the shade, and deep crimson colouring and cinnamon russet in the sun. The flesh is yellow, juicy and sweet with a good flavour. Ripe in September and storing for a month or so. Probably very old. Pollination Group 3
POMEROY OF SOMERSET Also known as Somerset Pomeroy, or The Old Pomeroy. It was first described in 1851, but is undoubtedly much older. Pome-De-Roy goes back to before 1570 and later variations in the naming were common in the 17th century. A very good late dessert apple, medium-sized, with greenish-yellow skin, covered with fine greyish russet, streaked red where exposed to the sun and with large russet dots all over. The flesh is yellowish, sweet, crisp, juicy and richly flavoured. Ripe in October, it stores until December. Pollination Group 4
POMME DE FER Literally, ‘apple of iron’, being a dense apple, heavy in the hand. The first record of it in Britain was in the 1826 London Horticultural Society collection catalogue, though there is some uncertainty if this is the same one. In France, where it is presumed this apple originated, there are several apples with ‘Fer’ in the name. The French national collection has six, including Pomme de Fer, De Fer and Fer. The one we have here is a most interesting apple that is not only attractive to look at, but is a very useful late dessert and cooking apple, that will keep for many months. The shape is rounded and fairly flat, medium sized but sometimes large, and with skin that carries a misty bloom, over pale yellow, with pink and raspberry streaks. The texture of the flesh is fine but initially hard, and it is very late to ripen fully, when it develops an unusual but pleasing sweet rich flavour. It is not juicy, but is not dry. Early on, it is a bit too hard to cook easily, but with maturity it softens, keeping all its shape, and having a very sweet, rich lemony flavour. Pollination Group 4
  POMME GRISE Forsyth tells us, in 1810, that “Pomme Grise, was introduced into this country by Mr. Alexander Barclay, of Brompton, well known for his ingenuity in bleaching of wax. He is a great lover of horticulture, and has raised several new sorts of Gooseberries from seed. This is a fine Apple, from Canada, of a flattish form and russet colour, streaked beautifully with red. It ripens late, and keeps till March. This is an excellent eating Apple.” Bunyard (1920) said that it came to England from Canada in 1794. Downing (1878) thought that it might originally have been French or Swiss, but there are no records in those countries to support it. Hedrich, in America in 1922 said that it had been cultivated more than a century in Canada and “finds greatest favor among the French in the valley of the St. Lawrence”. It might well be French and very old indeed, having been planted along the colonization routes of the French in Canada in the 17th or 18th century. Throughout the 19th century it was known and appreciated for the rich little apple that it is, but it has been unknown here, after Bunyard wrote of it in 1920. It has lived on in America, throughout, and is also now in the Belgian national collection, but not encountered elsewhere. Hogg in 1884 described it as a dessert apple, small, roundish/ovate, with skin covered in rough russet. Underneath the russet it is green in the shade, but orange in the sun. The flesh is tinted yellow, crisp, very juicy and sugary, with a brisk and highly aromatic flavour. The eye is small and open, set in a narrow and shallow basin. The stalk is about half an inch long, inserted in a shallow and small cavity. This is the apple that is known in America and our experience of it, having been sent scions from the collection of the late Nick Botner, in Oregon, in 2001. Apples here are ripe in early October, when they are gently crisp and crunchy, very sweet, richly flavoured with just the right amount of acid and bursting with juice. The skin is covered with broken russet, and it can be a little tough, but not enough to deter the pleasure inside. The apples will store over the winter. Pollination Group 4