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Rare Varieties
Many of the apples we grow in our orchard are not described in "Apple Descriptions".  Some of these include “family apples” that are handed down from one generation to the next.  Some are regional sorts, known only to the folks who propagate them as a kind of tradition in their community.  And still others varieties are fairly well-known, but have never gained a wide following.  For the past several years we have been grafting many of these trees in small quantities.   Those that we do not have growing in the field can be grafted at your request (in March) and shipped to you in the fall.  Price for all rare varieties 1 or 2-yr. size:  $30.00

Annie Elizabeth -- Writes one English nursreyman, "A first-class cooking apple for the North of England being extremely hardy. Sweet fruit - does not require sugar.  Season of use October - April. First introduced in 1857, Leicestershire, UK. Self Fertile, but pollination by another apple will maximise yield."

Bietigheimer – German apple dating to 1598.  Large fruit, pale yellow skin covered with red stripes.  Flesh coarse, juicy, briskly subacid.  A top cooking apple.   Apple historian, Lee Calhoun, tells how he was introduced to an old southern cultirar called the Beatin’ Hammer.  It turned out the name was a corruption of the German Beitigheimer.    One caveat:  writes Hedrick, "The fruits are of largest size, for which and for their beauty of form and color, the variety is remarkable...The trees are hardy and healthy, and come into bearing early, but are among the unmanagables of orchard and nursery, and are seldom fruitful."

Blue Ridge Dillon --  This apple comes to us from Toby Bolen of Bristol, VA.  Thought to be the offspring of Red Delicious from seeds discarded after a cider run.  This apple has a conical form and coloring similar to Red Delicious, but the skin is quite rough, and the apple appears to have superiour disease resistance.  It fruits abundantly, with no spray..

Early Red Bird -- Trademarked and sold by Stark Bro’s Nursery from 1915 to the 1930’s, Early Red Bird is one of the earliest of all apples, but now extremely rare. Fruit medium, oblate, striped red.  Flesh white, juicy, rather soft, subacid to acid.  Notes one of our pomologist friends, “Early Red Bird is…a good apple to fry with bacon or sausage for breakfast.”  Susceptible to firebligh, and a slow starter in the nursery bed.

Fox --
Medium to large greenish-yellow apple, ripens August, very tart, unusual flavor.  Does not keep well, as is typical of many early apples.  Disease resistant.  Recommend by NC apple propagator, Ron Joyner, as follows:  "The tartness of the Fox may be too intense for many palates but it...[is] an outstanding cooking apple. Makes wonderful apple butter and is excellent for cider."  From the collection of the late Henry Morton. 

Hall – Widely disseminated in the South before 1900.  And once thought to be extinct.  Highly praised for its “rich, excellent, luscious, vinous” flavor."  A small apple, but a superior keeper.

Hardy Cumberland - A cross of Detroit Red and Lyons made at VPI in 1961.  A good apple for the southern Appalachian highlands, showing resistance to native diseases.  Medium-sized fruit is lightly ribbed, round oblate.  Washed and striped carmine over a pale, greenish-yellow base, with lentical dots and striking stem-end russet patterns.  Excellent eating quality:  sweet juicy, and crisp.  Ripens mid-season.  Hardy to -25F.

Milam - A good general purpose apple.  Small to medium fruit, greenish yellow to crimson.  Ripens Sept. to October.  Flesh tender, juicy, subacid.  Tastes best around Christmastime; keeps until April.  Bears heavy crops anually.  Tolerates late frots.  First described in an 1846 issue of the Magazone of Horticulture: "Probably a native of Virginia or Kentucky where it is extensively cultivated and prized."

Number One -- A favorite of ours for fresh eating.  Came to us years ago from a customer who sent us scions.  Alas, the name is lost.

Old Virginia Winesap -- Likely a seedling of old Winesap.  This tree has just begun fruiting for us.  Is vigorous, and like most Winesap seedlings is a great tasting apple. 

Orleans Rainette -- Stephen Hayes comments via YouTube on this, his favorite apple.  Click here for old book plate image.

Pound Pippin -- We have two strains of the Pound Pippin this year, one a summer ripener, one a fall ripener.  Much confusion surrounds this cultivar name.  If you are looking for a late, golden keeper, try our fall-ripening Pound Pippin. 

Ribston Pippin -- A highly regarded russet apple.  Check out Stephen Hayes' YouTube video for a great intro to this old English sort.  Bunyard, 1920:  "One of the richest flavored apples when well-ripened."

Shannon Pippin -- Thought to be extinct until several years ago, but rediscovered in Saltville, Virginia by Mr. Tom Brown of Clemmons, North Carolina.  Large fruit, yellow skin, subacid.  Highly regarded for eating out of hand.  Usually a biennial bearer and often a shy bearer.  The plate to the left is a Shannon. 
Stump the World --  From Carter Co., Tennesssee.  Another Tom Brown find.  Gathring info.

Western Beauty - Also called Beauty of the West, Big Rambo, Musgrove's Cooper, Ohio Beauty, Grosh, Wells Mammoth Rambo, Large Summer Rambo, Summer Rambo.  Writes Lee Calhoun, "Western Beauty was first described in 1829 in Ohio, but probably originated with John Grosh in Marietta, Pennsylvania, about 1815...A 1904 Maryland nursery catalog says:  'Never water cores and not disposed to rot; one of the best fall apples.'  This apple was recently rediscovered by the Virginia orchardist and nurseryman Tom Burford...Fruit large, roundish oblat, conical; sking thin, greenish yellow to pale yellow nearly covered with pale dull red and striped with darker red; dots large, gray or yellow...flesh greenish white, juicy tender, mild subacid.  Ripe November-February in the North but July-August in North Carolina.  The plate right is Western Beauty. 


Other Rare Varietes

Allegheny Seedling
Aunt Rachel
Bailey Sweet
Barker's Liner
Barnack Beauty
Banana Pippin
Banana Yellow
Banner Yellow
Bevan's Favorite
Black Annie
Black Jon
Blenheim Orange
Carolina Beauty
Chivers Delight
Coffelt Beauty
Cornish Gilly Flower
Cox's Pomona
Cotton Sweet
Davis Pound
Detroit Red
Dixie Red Delight
Dr. Matthews
Edward VII
Edward Winter
Egremont Russet
Genet Moyle
Geo. Cave
Geo. Noble

Giant Winesap
Golden Pippin
Greasy Coat
Great Unknown
Hog Snout
Honeycomb Sweet
Hubbardston's Nonesuch
Irish Peach
Iron Black
June Pink
Lewis Green
Missouri Pippin
Monks Codlin
Mountain Boomer
New Gold
Old Fash. Limbertwig
Pink Pearl
Pitmaston Pineapple
Queen Beauty
Raban Bald
Rabbit Sweet
Rabun Bald

Red Astrachan
Red Bob
Red Jonathan
Red Winter Pearmain
Rev. Wilkes
Royal Limbertwig Ruben
Smokey Mt. Limbertwig
Spice of Virginia
Summer Pippin
Tate's Blushing Maiden
Ten Ounce
Tennessee Beauty
Titus Pippin
Top Red Delicious
Tom Putt
Venus Pippin
Virginia Gold
Washington Strawberry
Whitney Crab
Winter Peach
Wismer's Dessert
Yankee Sweet
Yellow Harvest


Copyright 2012 Tim Hensley