BRADLEY’S BEAUTY A Westmorland apple, (now Cumbria) sent to us by Hilary Wilson of Appleby-in-Westmorland. The original tree is growing on the land of Mr Robert Bradley, a retired vet from Thornbarrow Hill, Witherslack, at Nichols Moss, one of three Mosses at Witherslack. It grows in almost pure peat, and in such an inappropriate place that it is surely a wilding from a chance seed dropped there. Mr Bradley moved there in 1975 and found a tree that seemed to have been coppiced with 7 substantial trunks and he estimates that the tree was 40 years old at that time. Though Mr Bradley found the fruit growing in the harsh soil to be unremarkable, he planted several new trees and discovered that it was far better when grown in normal, fertile soils. The original tree produces suckers which can be rooted and it appears to be self-fertile. It is a strong growing, dual purpose apple, medium to large, oval to oblong and with a distinctive open eye. When ripe the skin becomes lemon yellow, half covered with red streaks and flecks, with rayed russet in the stem cavity. In the warmer parts of the country it can be ripe in September, but otherwise in October and keeping to December. A dual purpose apple with a pleasant, flavour. Pollination Group 4




BRAMLEY'S SEEDLING Bramley’s Seedling was introduced by H. Merryweather in 1876, though it had been raised c.1810 by a Miss Mary Ann Brailsford in Southwell, Nottinghamshire. Merryweather discovered it in 1857, when the garden belonged to Mr Bramley, the local butcher. Bramley eventually became the most popular cooking apple, with an acid yet good sweet flavour, partly keeping its shape, though other cooking apples were more highly regarded by the Victorians. Ripe in November, the fruit will store well, until March. It is a very vigorous tree with a heavy crop, but which can be biennial. The trees are also late to come into bearing. Not ideal for cordons or espaliers, because of its vigour and being part tip bearing. T. Pollination Group 4




BREEDON PIPPIN A highly respected dessert and cider ‘sweet’ apple, raised around 1801 by the Reverend Dr. Symonds Breedon, at Bere Court, Pangbourne, Berkshire. He took the seed from some cider pomace and named a promising new tree Breedon Pippin. It was in the collection of the London Horticultural Society in 1826. The apples are small, flat and irregular at the crown, looking slightly square. In October, when ripe, the skin is dull yellow, tinted reddish-orange and redder towards the sun, with traces of russet. The flesh is firm rather than crisp, tender and yellowish, very sweet, rich and vinous, but without much acid to balance it. The trees are not large, and are well-suited to dwarf training. The fruit stores until November. Scott considered it a great bearer and one of the best dessert apples. Pollination Group 2



BRITTLE SWEET While discussing various apples by email with Krystina Hill, who organized and co-ordinated an apple, pear and plum collection in South Island, New Zealand, we found a few gems in her collection lists. She later visited us and our discussions continued. Hans, one of her archivers, had received scions of Brittle Sweet from a friend and it entered her collection. It seemed the only place where this important old American apple could still be found. Its origin in America was unknown according to Charles Downing in his ‘The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America’ in the 1865 edition. He rated it very highly, among the best and deserving more attention. By 1872 it was in England, with John Scott in Somerset, who wrote of it in almost identical terms in his ‘The Orchardist’. Though it was listed as late as 1895, as a name, it does not seem to have been observed since the 1870s. The size is above medium, roundish, approaching conical, pale yellow splashed and marbled with light and dark crimson, and with many small grey and white dots. The stalk is rather short and slender, the cavity regular, broad and moderately deep. The eye is closed, with small segments, often recurved, in a small corrugated basin. The core is rather large and the flesh is yellowish, crisp, tender, juicy and rich, with honeyed sweetness and an aromatic flavour. That has been our experience too. We add that the flesh is fairly dense and very fine. Ripe in October and November. We now have it here and have also returned it to America. Our gratitude to Krystina for this, Reinette de Thorn (Torun), Engelsche Bellefleur and others. Pollination Group 4
BROWN KENTING An old Kentish dessert apple, also once said to be a ‘bittersharp’ cider apple, if gathered early. It does not have much acid at all when properly ripe. Then, it is more a bittersweet. It was first recorded in the London Horticultural Society’s catalogue of 1826. A medium to large apple, ripe in October and storing to Christmas, when it starts to become mealy. It has green yellow skin, marked with russet in the shade, the russet becoming brown in the sun. The flesh is crisp, with a strong, sweet caramel flavour, slightly earthy in the aftertaste, and without much acid. Pollination Group 5
BROWNLEES' RUSSET A good dessert apple introduced by Mr William Brownlees, a nurseryman of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, in 1848. A medium sized, late dessert apple, crisp and juicy and with a rich flavour. The fruit is greenish-gold, sometimes flushed orange-red, and with fine russeting. A popular tree for the private gardener throughout the nineteenth century, with attractive deep pink blossom. Ripe in October, the apples will store until March. Free spur bearing. Pollination Group 3
BROWN’S PIPPIN An English late dessert apple, first recorded in 1862 (in the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society) and last recorded at an exhibition in 1895. Apparently long out of cultivation in Britain, it was rediscovered by us in the collection at the Grove Research Station, Tasmania, and they kindly sent scions back to us in 2005. It is a medium to large apple, round with flattened ends, and with a distinctive wide eye basin. The skin is yellow, flushed brownish red and with red streaks. In some years it can be quite russeted. The fruit is crisp and juicy, with yellowish flesh, sweet, very fruity and richly aromatic. Ripe in October, it is still enjoyable at Christmas – better than Cox. Spur bearing. Pollination Group 4
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE SHEEP’S NOSE An old cider and culinary variety, from the garden of Pauline and Julian Webster, of Amersham, and brought to our notice at an Apple Day. When their house was built from 1924-5, some traditional old Buckinghamshire varieties were planted. The house was featured in the Architects Journal in 1928 and new trees are seen in the photographs. The original owner confided to the Websters that the apple trees were old Buckinghamshire varieties, one called Sheep’s Nose. It is different from other ‘Sheep’s Nose’ apples that exist around the country or have been described in old literature. They get their name from the elongated snout at the crown, usually flattened off. They are usually cider apples, perhaps with a secondary use. This one is medium sized, conical and with smooth green skin becoming straw coloured. The flavour is a little acid and it cooks well, keeping its shape, and will sweeten and can be eaten raw, late in the year. Though it is a middle season apple, it can be ripe in August in hot years. The cooked flavour is sweet and with a zesty tang, but when just a little sugar is added it is very rich, with a hint of spice and an aftertaste of clove. By November the flavour fades and the texture is soft. Pollination Group 3
BULMER’S NORMAN A famous Herefordshire cider apple, of French origin, like so many other cider apples with the ‘Norman’ suffix. Introduced in the early 20th century, at the beginning of the Bulmer’s cider enterprise, it was long valued for its vigour and cropping, and has also widely been used as an interstock to add height and vigour to grafted apple trees. A large, conical apple of green/yellow, it is used as a medium bittersweet in the blend of ‘sweets’, ‘sharps’ and ‘bitters’ that go into the blend for cider production. Ripe in mid October or earlier, it can be stored into the New Year. T. Pollination Group 3
BUNDY’S RINGWOOD RED Brought to our notice by Mark Barnett of Talbothays, Dorchester, who discovered this old tree, along with others on the edge of the New Forest, near Ringwood, Hampshire, on the property of the late Mr Bundy. The medium to large apples are dark red all over, and round with a polished skin. Inside, the flesh looks as if it has been stained by claret – sometimes all the way through, including the core. It is crisp and very juicy with a sweet/sharp flavour, but usually a little sour. It would look attractive as part of a fruit salad or garnish and makes a very colourful juice. It is close in nature to the wild species Malus Niedzwetzkyana and probably has some parentage from it, accounting for the red colouration. The foliage is dark tinted and the wood is red stained. The flowers are stunning deep pink. A mid-season apple, keeping until November. Slightly weeping habit. Pollination Group 2
BURR KNOT Also called Mr Bide's Walking Stick. So called after Mr Bide, who cut a piece for a walking stick, pushed it into the ground, and later found that it had rooted. Burr Knot has been used as a term for any apple that will root from cuttings (most won’t) and they are also called Pitchers. The word Burr refers to the knobbly ‘burrs’ that form along the wood, as vestigial roots try to emerge. A culinary apple, known since 1818, with sweet, juicy fruit, ripe in September and keeping until November. The flesh cooks to a deep cream purée. It was popular in country districts because it was so easy to propagate from cuttings and was readily passed around. Pollination Group 3