REVEREND W. WILKS A valued apple, from Veitch's Nursery of King's Road, Chelsea, in 1904, and named after the vicar of Shirley, Surrey, and secretary of the R.H.S. from 1888-1919. Incidentally, he was also the raiser of Shirley Poppies. The apple was actually raised at Veitch’s nursery in Middle Green, Buckinghamshire, later to become Allgrove’s nursery. It is thought to be a cross between Peasgood’s Nonsuch and Ribston Pippin. A large, sweet, early to middle season culinary apple, good for baking and for purée, when it needs very little sugar. It was once said by professional cooks to be the best cooking apple of all. Fruits can often weigh over 2 pounds each. Attractive blossom, moderate vigour and good crops. Pollination Group 2




RHEAD’S REINETTE Raised by William Rhead at Elton or Flaxley, Gloucestershire, in the late 19th or early 20th century. A late season dessert apple, medium sized, flat conical, green ripening to yellow with red streaks and patches, and broken russet. The flesh is juicy and rich. Ripe in Late September or October. Pollination Group 6




RIBSTON PIPPIN The famous Ribston Pippin was raised at Ribston Hall, near Knaresborough in Yorkshire, from a seed (the only one of three pips to germinate) brought from Rouen in France and planted by Sir Henry Goodricke, around 1707. Rogers, in 1837, reported that the son of the gardener at Ribston Hall, called Lowe, said that it was raised from the seed of the Spice Apple. If the Aldby Park archive, sent to us by Louise Wickham is of the age that it appears, then the original name should be ‘Ribston Park Apple’. Ribston Pippin was listed in 1769 by William Perfect, of Pontefract, and was universally acclaimed by the early 1800s. The fruit is round to slightly conical, golden and slightly flushed red, with darker red streaks and fine russeting. The flesh is deep cream, firm and juicy, with an intensely rich and aromatic flavour. It was much valued by the Victorians and widely grown in England throughout the 19th century. It was also very popular in Sweden and North America. An upright tree, with good blossom. It is ready to pick in late September, and will store until January. It is said to have six times more vitamin C than a Golden Delicious and was reckoned to be the highest of any apple, a few years ago, though others have now overtaken it. Free spur bearing. T. Pollination Group 3


RIVERS’ EARLY PEACH An early dessert apple, raised and introduced by Thomas Rivers in 1893. Flattened conical apples with creamy yellow skin and a faint red flush; the crisp to firm flesh is white, sweet, juicy and aromatic. Vigorous upright trees. Ready in August and not keeping long. Pollination Group 2

RIVERS' NONSUCH This Nonsuch, or Nonesuch, was originally a seedling selected by Thomas Rivers as being suitable for a rootstock, as it rooted readily and was dwarf in habit. Later Hogg found it was also an excellent dessert apple, being crisp, juicy, sweet and with a rich, perfumed flavour. Ripe in September, the apples will last a few weeks. Pollination Group 3
RONALDS' GOOSEBERRY PIPPIN First recorded in 1836, and called Gooseberry by the famous nurseryman and pomologist Ronalds, because of ‘its abundant produce which almost equals its namesake the Gooseberry bush’. Ronalds also commented upon another apple called Gooseberry Pippin. To confuse matters further there is another apple still, called Gooseberry. Over the centuries there has been some degree of confusion between them. Ronalds' small apple was prefixed Ronalds' Gooseberry by Robert Hogg, to avoid confusion with the culinary apple Gooseberry Apple/Gooseberry Pippin. Small to medium apples, pale yellow with a crimson blush, and with sweet-sharp, juicy, perfumed flesh. Ripe in November, it was once valued for its long-keeping properties. Pollination Group 6
ROSEMARY RUSSET First mentioned in 1831, this is a late dessert apple, with greenish-gold skin, flushed with orange-red and with fine russeting. The firm, pale cream flesh has a rich sweet, sharp and tangy flavour. A reliable cropper, with good blossom, and highly regarded by the Victorians. Ripe in late October to November, the apples will stores until February. Pollination Group 3
  ROUNDWAY MAGNUM BONUM A good dessert apple from Roundway, in Wiltshire, and first recorded in 1864. It was raised by Mr Joy, a gardener at Roundway Park, near Devizes. Large, ribbed fruit, with a golden green skin, with broken streaks of pale crimson and light russeting. Crisp and melting, juicy flesh, with a sweet pear flavour. Very good. Ready late October, and storing until March. T*. Pollination Group 5    
ROXBURY RUSSET Also called Boston Russet. It is the earliest known American apple, said to have originated at the start of the 17th century, at Roxbury, Massachusetts, at the time of the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers. It is possibly an English ‘export’. Putnam's nursery in Ohio distributed it in the late eighteenth century. Once the most popular russet in America, it is a sweet, aromatic fruit with firm flesh. Hogg called it ‘an immense bearer’. It stores until March and is good for espaliers and cordons, being very free spurring. T. Pollination Group 4
ROYAL D’ANGLETERRE In the report of the Apple and Pear Conference of 1934, Edward Bunyard said ‘Royal D’Angleterre is another long fathered upon England, but it seems not to be known here unless, indeed, it be our ‘Royal Late’ which was found, not raised, in the Royal Gardens at Frogmore. For this there is not yet enough data for a decision’. The French considered it English, but the English did not know it or had long forgotten it. It appeared in the London Horticultural Society catalogue of 1826, but in the 1842 edition, it was assumed to be the same as Herefordshire Pearmain (which it is not). It was subsequently also made a synonym of Royal Pearmain, with Herefordshire Pearmain and Royal Pearmain also being considered the same. In fact, these are three separate apples, all ‘missing’ now in England. The Belgian national collection still lists all three separately. We have retrieved Royal D’Angleterre from the Botner collection in Oregon. It is a handsome part russeted apple, with a bold flush and splashes of rich crimson and scarlet. Conical and flattened, the apples are medium sized, ripe in October and with sweet, juicy and very rich flesh, tender and yielding. It is an excellent dessert apple that will last into December. Trees have attractive dark pink buds and large flowers. Pollination Group 5
ROYAL JERSEY It has a synonym of Streaked Jersey, which might have been different, and history does not show which is the correct name or how old they are. There is also a Royal Jersey (Martock) recorded at the Apple and Pear Conference of 1934. All were assumed to be extinct in Britain. Royal Jersey was exhibited from Long Ashton and was red, round and conical. The Martock version was streaked and conical. Otherwise, both were middle season, medium sized, bittersweet cider apples. They could well be the same apple. The U.S. Department of Agriculture received it from England in 1949 and we noticed it in their collection. Having received scions from there, new trees were grafted here in 2005. Apples are firm rather than crisp, very sweet with an interesting flavour and usually pleasant enough to eat raw, as the tannin level can be mild. In other years we find it more strongly tannic. Ripe in late September, the apples will last into December. Trees are vigorous and spur bearing. Pollination Group 5
ROYAL WILDING An old Devonshire cider variety dating back to around 1650 and with much written history surrounding it, though too long to recount here. It was lost here, with the last formal accounts of it in the 19th century, but was rediscovered by us in New Zealand and reintroduced in 2007. It is among a list of cider varieties grown by Dr Trevor Fitzjohn, a British radiologist who emigrated to New Zealand in 1986. He collected cider varieties locally and is now producing cider as a hobby, in increasing quantities. He acquired several varieties from an Englishman in New Zealand, who had taken cider varieties out in the 1960s. Trevor Fitzjohn’s list was sent to us by Linda Blenkinship, of the National Orchard Forum, and we noticed that two of the varieties were no longer known to exist in Britain - Knotted Kernel and Royal Wilding. Trevor Fitzjohn kindly sent scions to us in 2006 and several trees were grafted here. There was another Royal Wilding known in Herefordshire and incorporated in the Herefordshire Pomona and Hogg’s Fruit Manual, which took some of the history of the Devonshire Royal Wilding, but merged it with the description of a clearly different apple. They had not encountered the real and original Royal Wilding. One history said that it came to prominence in Devon at the beginning of the 18th century (though a bit earlier), a chance seedling found in a garden at St Thomas, a parish on the Exeter to Okehampton road, near the end of the 17th century (though it must have been earlier). The Reverend Robert Woolcombe, rector of the adjoining parish of Whitestone championed it and it became the ‘Redstreak Of Devon’. (the Redstreak being the pre-eminent cider variety of the time). Trees were planted widely in the area, and a few might still exist, now anonymous. St Thomas and Whitestone are now within the urban sprawl of Exeter. It has not been recorded since the 19th century. We are very grateful to Trevor Fitzjohn for sending scions. The fruit from our young trees have confirmed its authenticity. This is a hard and dense apple, with sweetish but very astringent flesh, moderately high in tannin. It does not fall until late in the year, needs a month or two to ripen and remains hard right up to April, when the flavour has mellowed somewhat. When cut, the pale flesh does not discolour, even in a week, though it shrinks a little. The complexity of the various flavours in this fruit would certainly make a very interesting cider, as much acclaimed as it was in the 17th century. Very showy dark pink, striped flowers. Pollination Group 4