Apple Scion Wood Descriptions

Akane Akane apple tree was developed at the Morioka Experimental Station, Japan, in 1937. A cross between Jonathan and Worcester Pearmain. Sometimes known as Tokyo Rose. The Akane apple tree produces an outstanding red dessert apple; also great for drying. The Akane apple is school box sized, bright red with crisp juicy sweet/sharp flesh and the sprightly flavor of Jonathan. Hangs well on the tree and is a better keeper than most early fall varieties. The Akane apple tree is winter hardy, precocious (early bearing) tree that should be thinned well to reach a good size. The Akane does best with consistent thinning for good size.
Alkmene Alkmene was raised in Germany in the 1930s. It is sometimes also known as Early Windsor. The flavor is quite strong and has the Cox tanginess but is noticeably juicier. Some tasters have compared the flavor to a Granny Smith. The flesh is cream-colored and quite dense; biting into one of these gives teeth and gums a good workout. It ripens a bit earlier than Cox – around early September. It has much more strength and body than most early varieties. If you like a strong, tart apple, early in the season, then give this a try. Alkmene was developed from a cross between Cox’s Orange Pippin apples and Duchess of Oldenburg.
Ananas Reinette An heirloom variety of yellow apple originally discovered in France in the 1500s, although the first written documentation of the cultivar was recorded in 1826 by German pomologist August Friedrich Adrian Diel. Ananas Reinette means “pineapple russet”, named so for the distinctive vertical green stripes visible on the skin, and when fully ripe its taste has a slight indication of pineapple. The fruit is small and ovoid. The grass-green base color goes gradually into olive green to dull yellow with greenish tinge. Quite mature and well developed fruits are golden yellow to orange yellow on the sunny side. The flesh is first white with greenish tint and green veins, the later white yellow. It is crisp, medium juicy, with a sweet taste and a strong, pleasant and distinctive aroma. The smell is strong and spicy.  
Arkansas Black The apple is thought to have originated in the mid to late 1800’s in Bentonville, Arkansas, possibly discovered and raised by a settler named John Crawford. Believed to be a seedling of Winesap, the apple has many qualities similar to its better-known parent, namely a tart, tangy flavor and the ability to stay firm, crisp and flavorful after many months in storage. In fact, the apple reaches its peak in flavor and texture after a long period in cold storage. The name is quite apt as the apple is very dark red in color with some specimens appearing almost black or purplish, especially when grown in full sun. Arkansas Black is a wonderful cooking and processing apple. It holds its shape well when cooked so is popular for baking whole and pie making.  
Ashmead’s Kernel An old nondescript green russeted apple, originating in the 1700s. The appearance is, let’s be honest, not especially attractive. Ashmead’s Kernel is lumpy, misshapen, and rather small. The underlying bright green skin is entirely covered in russet. Russet can be very appealing- think of the dull golden glow of Egremont Russet for example – but somehow on Ashmead’s Kernel it just looks plain dull. Yet appearances can be deceiving. Ashmead’s Kernel has remained popular for well over 2 centuries, and with good reason: it has a distinctive flavor which is quite different from most other varieties. Tasters rarely agree on exactly what the elusive flavor reminds them of, but pear drops is probably close. It is perhaps no surprise that Ashmead’s Kernel does not seem to be related to any of the mainstream apple varieties, although one of its probable cousins – Duke of Devonshire – is also quite well known.  The name “kernel” suggests that this variety was discovered as a chance seedling. Ashmead’s Kernel is a versatile apple, not just for eating fresh, it can also be used for salads and cooking, and it is a highly valued apple for juicing and hard cider.
Belle de Boskoop Belle de Boskoop was introduced in 1856 in the Netherlands and is still popular on the Continent. It is a large, lumpy, dull red apple, often with extensive russeting. There is also a modern “sport” with a darker red coloring but otherwise quite similar. Belle de Boskoop is essentially a dual-purpose apple, suitable for both dessert and culinary uses. It works equally well in a savory salad or can be used sliced in continental-style apple pies and flans. Unlike the English Bramley cooking apple, Belle de Boskoop keeps its shape when cooked. Eaten fresh, Belle de Boskoop is quite a sharp apple. This and its large size make it unsuitable as a snack apple, but it can be nice cut into slices to share after a meal. The white-green flesh is dense with a very firm texture. It is one of those curiosities of the apple world, a triploid, meaning it has three chromosomes instead of the normal two. It’s an interesting phenomenon that happens in all manner of plants, not just apples. Triploid apples tend to be largely infertile and thus require having another variety nearby, a diploid.
Ben Davis The Ben Davis originated as a chance seedling that was found growing along the roads of the southeastern United States by Bill Davis in 1799 in Virginia or North Carolina. A once widely grown heirloom apple that is a parent of Cortland. This tree is precocious and productive. It is upright, and spreading, resistant to wooly apple aphid, cedar-apple rust, and mildew, but susceptible to scab and canker. The apple is medium sized, with a smooth skin washed red over yellow-green. The flesh is coarse, somewhat soft, aromatic, juicy, and subacid. It hangs well on the tree, stores very well, and resists bruising. Ben Davis is most famous as a parent of Cortland apple (Ben Davis x McIntosh). It got its other common name “Mortgage Lifter” from its productivity and ability to travel without bruising, making it a highly profitable commercial apple in its day. 
Beni Shogun An early-ripening Fuji sport. Also known as Heisei Fuji. This tree is upright with narrow crotch angles. Detailed tree data is not yet available, but Beni Shogun should be expected to perform in a similar manner to Fuji. Growers should avoid using (standard) Fuji as a pollenizer as the genetic composition of these two varieties may be too similar. Many fruit lovers love the crisp juicy and very sweet taste of the Japanese apple Fuji. However, Fuji has too long of a ripening season to grow in areas with relatively cool summers. The Beni Shogun sport of Fuji has a beautiful pinkish-red color, outstanding flavor, and ripens almost a month before Fuji.
Blue Pearmain Blue Pearmain is an heirloom American apple first discovered as a chance seedling sometime before 1833. It was a favorite of Henry David Thoreau, who wrote about it in his essay Wild Apples: “for I do not refuse the Blue-Pearmain, I fill my pockets on each side; and as I retrace my steps in the frosty eve, being perhaps four or five miles from home, I eat one first from this side, and then from that, to keep my balance.” In Rowan Jacobsen’s Apples of Uncommon Character describes this apple’s appearance as “mottled with pink, green, yellow, orange, taupe, auburn, carmine and black, all airbrushed with loveliest powdery blue bloom.” A good all-around apple, makes great pie and has an superb fresh off the tree taste.  
Braeburn Braeburn is one of the most important commercial apple varieties.  It originated in New Zealand in the 1950s, and by the last decades of the 20th century had been planted in all the major warm apple-growing regions of the world.  Braeburn accounts for 40% of the entire apple production of New Zealand.  Even in conservative Washington state, the most important apple-producing area of the USA, where Red Delicious and Golden Delicious have always held sway, Braeburn is now in the top 5 varieties produced. The reasons for this success are not difficult to pinpoint. Braeburn has all the necessary criteria for large-scale production: it is fairly easy to grow, produces heavily and early in the life of the tree, it stores well, and withstands the handling demands of inter-national supply chains.  What marks it out from the competition is flavor. Braeburn was the first modern apple variety in large-scale production where the flavor was genuinely on a par with the older classic apple varieties.  Braeburn’s depth of flavor makes s main competition – Red Delicious and Golden Delicious – seem one-dimensional in comparison.  At a time when consumers were starting to look for something less bland in their weekly shopping, Braeburn was the right apple at the right time.
Daliest Daliest in a sport of Elstar which develops it red coloring earlier but has most of the characteristics of Elstar. (see below)
Elstar Elstar is another successful offspring of Golden Delicious, developed in the Netherlands in the 1950s. It is a popular easy-eating dessert apple, widely grown in Europe but less well-known in the UK or North America.  There are a number of commercial sports, including Elista and Valstar. The skin is marbled, often with a soft sheen to it. It also lacks the perfect smoothness of many modern varieties. The underlying color is golden yellow but overlaid with deep red. There is also a “sport” known as Red Elstar, where the red color usually covers the entire surface with only the occasional peep of yellow. The flavor can be more intense than is often the case with other Golden Delicious offspring.  It retains the appealing sweetness – usually described as ‘honeyed’ in most apple text books – but with a good balance of acidity. Elstar is definitely a crunchy apple, but not as crisp or hard as some – definitely the softer side of crunchy, so a good choice if you have fragile teeth. The flesh is lemon-white. In most Golden Delicious offspring it is the other parent which provides the essential counter-balance to offset the sweet blandness of Golden Delicious. In the case of Elstar this is Ingrid Marie, a variety which originates from Denmark. Although not a widely-known apple, it lends a bit of extra flavor to the mix – inherited from its own parent, Cox’s Orange Pippin.   
Davis Red (Jonagold) The Davis Red apple was found as a red apple growing on a Karmijn de Sonneville tree by Bill Davis some 15 years ago. Thinking it may be a red sport of Karmijn, it was grafted onto a McIntosh tree and produced very large, deeply red, all red fruit. Intrigued, it was sent to Washington State University for DNA typing and found to be a Jonagold. As the Davis Red is solid red, and larger than our other Jonagolds, we have labeled this variety as a Davis Red Jonagold.
Enterprise Enterprise is a good example of a modern apple developed specifically for disease resistance.  Its parentage is complex and involved cross-breeding a large number of varieties including McIntosh, Golden Delicious, and Rome Beauty – as well as the ubiquitous crab apple Malus floribunda, a well-known source of a gene for scab-resistance.  It is probably closest to McIntosh in overall appearance, although this is not a “Mac” style apple and it does not have the vinous flavor associated with Macs. The apples are a glossy red color, ripening in late October.  They can be stored for 3-6 months in a domestic fridge.  The skin is quite thick and tough – which helps resist insects and infections.  Whilst Enterprise is good for eating fresh, it is perhaps even better as a cooking apple where its tart flavor can be used to advantage. It is the parent of Cosmic Crisp.
Esopus Spitzenburg The Spitzenburg apple tree was discovered in the late 1700s by an early Dutch settler of that name. It was found at the settlement of Esopus, on the Hudson River, in Ulster County, New York. Much attention was bestowed upon Spitzenburg apples when Thomas Jefferson ordered thirty two trees for his orchard in Monticello, and rumored to be his favorite apple. The Spitzenburg apple is unexcelled in flavor and quality, the fruit is great off the tree, but flavor improves immensely in storage. The Spitzenburg apple is often medium sized with crisp, yellow skin covered with inconspicuous red stripes and russet freckles. Today, apple connoisseurs still consider this variety among the finest ever known.
Fall Pippin A medium-large roundish high-quality all-purpose yellow fruit, sprinkled with a scattering of russet dots, a pronounced russet splash around the stem, and sometimes with a pinkish-red blush. Very good dessert quality. Makes a nice sauce. One of the oldest American varieties, dating from back when apples were passed around freely and no one cared much about what it was called or where it was from. Its origins are unclear, although it was known to have been grown in New England in the 1700s. Fall Pippin was especially valued for cooking. It is aromatic, with crisp, juicy, cream-colored flesh and outstanding sweet-tart flavor, and it stores well. Fall Pippin is one of America’s oldest apples.
Fameuse (Snow) The Snow/Fameuse apple tree produces one of the oldest and most desired dessert apples, and is a parent of the aromatic McIntosh. This variety was noted in Canada in 1739 and was first introduced to the United States that same year.  Snow Apples were found in almost every French settlement in the late 1700s and were the most commonly cultivated apple in Quebec for over 100 years. The historical origins of Snow apples are debated, with some experts tracing the variety back to the 1600s in France, while other pomologists believe they were originally developed from French seedlings in Canada.  Flesh is tender, spicy, distinctive in flavor, and snow white in color with occasional crimson stains near the skin. Snow apple is very hardy, heavy bearing tree that is excellent for home orchards.
Golden Russet This apple is one of the most prized among apple connoisseurs, ranking with Cox’s Orange Pippin in terms of flavor quality. It is a medium-sized apple that is russeted bronze over greenish gold and speckled with white lenticels. The flesh is creamy and dense, yielding a rich, aromatic juice that is high in sugar and acid and low in tannin. Golden Russet is highly esteemed among cider makers for its ability to reliably produce excellent juice, and it is often used for single-variety ciders. The fruit stores exceptionally well, remaining crunchy and flavorful throughout winter. Tasters often describe the flavor of Golden Russet as “nutty,” but this doesn’t even begin to capture the delightful intensity of its honeyed sweetness.The history of Golden Russet apples is complex and challenging to categorize. Historically, the term Golden Russet was used throughout the Eastern United States and England as a general descriptor for apple cultivars that exhibited russeted skin and a golden hue. Many apples were recorded as Golden Russet, and even after years of research, genetic testing, and studies conducted among historians and pomologists, the true Golden Russet apples are heavily debated. Some historians assert the apple originated in Burlington County, New Jersey in the late 1700s; others state that it was known to have been grown in North Carolina in 1714. It is likely that it originated as a seedling of one of the many English Russets that were well known in North America from its founding.  
Gravenstein Gravenstein is an attractive high-quality dessert and culinary apple, first described in 1797. It is well-known in the USA and northern Europe and is still grown commercially on a small-scale. Gravenstein is a triploid variety and as is often the case with such varieties, produces a large vigorous tree with dark thick leaves.  Possibly because of its triploid nature Gravenstein seems to have a greater degree of variability than most varieties.  There is also a red “sport” known as Red Gravenstein, where the red coloration is more prominent. Gravenstein is a relatively hardy variety and can withstand difficult conditions – by European standards.  In North America where summers are often hotter and winters much colder, it has a reputation for being fussy, and undoubtedly does best in areas where the climate is closer to the milder winters and cooler summers of northern Europe. The real problem with Gravenstein is that it is prone to many diseases and therefore has never achieved the popularity it deserves.  As so often in the world of apples, it seems that the apples with the best flavor are often the most difficult to grow. Not surprisingly for such an old variety, the origins are uncertain.  It is most closely associated with Denmark, and although widely known as “Gravenstein” in English-speaking countries, an alternative name is “Graasten” since it is thought the mother tree was raised at Graasten Castle in southern Jutland, Denmark.
Hewes Virginia Crab An American heirloom and one of the best cider crabapples. Virginia Crab, aka Hewe’s, is a vigorous, productive, healthy tree. Extremely cold hardy, it was once commonly used as a rootstock as far north as Maine. While this tree is more often grown for cider than as an ornamental, the midseason bloom is long lasting and makes this tree an excellent pollinizer. It is susceptible to fireblight and it will need to be thinned to maintain annual bearing. Virginia Crab is one of the oldest and best American cider crabapples. The fruit is small, light green blushed with a pinkish red and it hangs on a long, slender stem. It yields a juice that is remarkably clear, fermenting to a full-bodied, biscuity cider that carries notes of cinnamon. The apple has won high praise from cider makers since 1817, when William Coxe first described the “sweet and highly flavored” juice. Today, Albemarle Cider Works writes: “Our first reserve cider, Virginia Hewes Crab has a complexity rarely found in single varietals. Very balanced, with a bold body, this cider is floral and intense. It pairs well with sausage as well as nutty and mushroom flavors.
Honeycrisp Honeycrisp, or Honey Crisp, is a modern apple variety, developed in the 1960s and introduced to the market in the 1990s – sometimes trademarked as Honeycrunch. It is increasingly available in supermarkets. Honeycrisp comes from a long line of apples developed by the University of Minnesota from the 1930s onwards. One of the objectives of this breeding program has been to develop varieties which can tolerate the bitter cold of winters in some parts of the USA, and most plantings have been in the northern USA, including New England, Minnesota and Washington State. The parentage of modern apple varieties is often obscure because they are the result of lengthy breeding programs with cross after cross.  The University of Minnesota initially stated that the original parentage was Honeygold (raised in the 1930s from a cross between Golden Delicious and another University of Minnesota development, Haralson) and Macoun, a well-known American variety, developed in the 1920s.  This seemed plausible, but subsequently the University carried out a DNA test which indicated that the records were incorrect, and suggested Keepsake – another University of Minnesota variety might have been one of the parents.  Honeycrisp does have a close resemblance in flavor and appearance to Keepsake. In 2017 the results of further analyses were published which proved that Keepsake was a parent, along with another selection called MN1627 which has now been lost, and that Golden Delicious and Duchess of Oldenburg were grandparents of MN1627.    
Jonagold Jonagold is high quality American apple, developed in the 1940s. As its name suggests, this is a cross between a Jonathan and a Golden Delicious. It is quite widely grown, and unusually for a Golden Delicious cross, is not limited to the warm apple regions, although it is not often found in the UK. Jonagold is a large apple, and makes a substantial snack. The large size is a good clue that this is a triploid apple variety, with 3 sets of genes.  As a result, it is a poor pollinator of other apple varieties, and needs two different nearby compatible pollinating apple varieties.  Golden Delicious is well-known as a good pollinator of other apple varieties but cannot pollinate Jonagold. The coloring is yellow of Golden Delicious, with large flushes of red. This is a crisp apple to bite into, with gleaming white flesh. The flavor is sweet but with a lot of balancing acidity – a very pleasant apple.
Karmijn de Sonnaville Karmijn de Sonnaville was raised by Piet de Sonnaville, an apple enthusiast who had previously worked at the well-respected horticultural research school of the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands.  Starting in 1949 he created numerous crosses, primarily using Cox and Jonathan, along with many others. Karmijn de Sonnaville is his most well-known creation, a Cox-style variety, but with a distinctly more pronounced aromatic flavor.  Cox’s Orange Pippin is the female parent, and the pollen parent is Jonathan. It is a triploid variety, and not able to pollinate other apple varieties. Despite the English Cox ancestry, Karmijn de Sonnaville grows best in warmer drier climates – like Jonathan. It does very well in the northern and central states of the USA. it is the favorite of many; however, it is so highly flavored and aromatic, that it overwhelms some tastes when just off the tree. Put this excellent winter keeper in a box when it ripens in mid-October and wait about a month for the complex, mellow flavors to start shining through.
Melrose The Melrose apple has large fruit, with a yellowish green skin flushed and streaked dark red with russet spots. It has firm, coarse, juicy, creamy, white flesh with a slightly acid flavor. Very good cooking and dessert qualities. Best after Christmas when it develops its fruity aroma. Developed by Freeman Howlett at the Ohio AES in 1944, the Melrose apple is the official state apple of Ohio. Its late harvest time makes this a good storing apple and is meant as a modern (at the time) dessert apple. It is a cross between the Red (Stark) Delicious and Jonathan apples.  The tree yields apples of dull copper red skin, which are firm, very juicy, and slightly tart. Its slightly pentagonal shape is evident when looking at the apple from above. The flesh is firm and crisp with an excellent flavor and high-quality fruit for dessert and cooking. One of the best keepers of all time, whose flavor improves in storage, Melrose reaches peak quality after 2-3 months.
Mother Mother apples were developed by apple enthusiast Steven Partridge Gardner in 1844 in Bolton, Massachusetts. Mother apples were the only American apple variety that made the list of Mr. J.M.S. Potter’s five favorite apples. Mr. Potter was a former director of the National Fruit Collection in England, one of the world’s largest collections of apple varieties. The Mother apple is a beautiful piece of fruit, good size with thin golden yellow skin covered with deep red marbled and striped with carmine. Fine tender, rich, aromatic flesh. Bunyard, the English pomologist, referred to Mother apple as the “flavor of pear drops.” Great fresh off the tree! The parentage of Mother apples is unknown, but after their discovery in the early 19th century, the variety was introduced to England by famous nurseryman Thomas Rivers under the name American Mother. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Mother apples were a favored apple variety for private orchards in England, selected for their distinct, sometimes fickle flavor.  
Newton Pippin The Newtown Pippin apple tree sprang from a seed in Newtown, Long Island around 1750. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were two noted admirers of this fine fruit. Jefferson wrote from Paris, “They have no apples here to compare with our Newtown Pippin.” Its skin is green to yellow, often russeted, with white dots. Newtown Pippin apple’s flesh is yellowish or tinged with green, firm, crisp, moderately fine grained, and sprightly aromatic with refreshing piney tartness. Some find a light tangerine scent. The fruit develops full sugar and rich flavor after a few months of cold storage. It is also often called Albemarle Pippin, and by this name was featured on a U S Postal stamp. By the 19th century Newtown Pippins were an important commercial variety in the USA, both for domestic use and exported in large quantities to London markets, where the Victorian author Hogg commented on their arrival in January each year.  The appreciation of the flavors of apples reached a peak in Victorian England, and the popularity of Newtown Pippins in Victorian England is a sure sign that this is very high quality apple with the rich aromatic flavor most sought after at that time.  Hogg also commented that the Newtown Pippin could not be grown successfully in England–it needs a hot summer and autumn and will not ripen properly most years in the cool temperate climate of England. During the 19th century, the Newtown Pippin experienced significant commercial success. It was part of the Select List of Apples kept by the Horticultural Society of London in 1807 and commanded the highest prices at Covent Garden. Queen Victoria so favored them so much that the British Parliament lifted the import duty on Newtown Pippins until World War I. In more recent history, the pomologist Tom Burford has included Newtown Pippin in his list of Top 20 Dessert Apples.  
Niedzwetskyana The Niedzwetzkyana apple is a large bright red fruit with brilliant red flesh. Only a handful continue to survive in their native highlands of Kyrgyzstan. Flavor is a bit sweet and tart. The Niedzwetkyana apple tree is not very vigorous; apples ripen at end of summer beginning fall. It makes great apple pies that resemble pies made from cherries and pressed fruit provides scarlet cider. It is an apple native to certain parts of China , Kazzakhatan, Kyrgystan and Uzebekistan, noted for its red-fleshed, red-skinned fruit and red flowers. The Niedzwetzky’s apple is rare; only 111 specimens of the tree are known to survive in Kyrgyzstan. There is some debate over whether Niedzwetkyana is its own species of Malus, or a unique variety of Malus pumila. However, the variety widely grown through the western world stems primarily from seeds which were sent from Turkestan in the late 1800s by amateur botanist Vladislav Niedziecki. These were raised by Georg Dieck who introduced them in 1890 at the Zöschen Arboretum near Merseburg, in Germany.  
Northern Spy An 1847 letter from Oliver Chapin, writes “the first Northern Spy apple trees were raised from seeds brought from the Northwest part of Connecticut, about the year 1800, by Elijah Taylor”. The Northern Spy apples are large, and thin-skinned. The greenish-yellow skin is flushed and striped scarlet red. Northern Spy apples flesh is yellow to white, rather firm, very tender, crisp, juicy, slightly sweet and mildly acidic. Good for apple sauce, pies, cider, or simply eating out of hand. There are several legends behind the apple’s name, but in true espionage fashion, the answer is thought to have self-destructed with its creators and remains shrouded in mystery. The leading theory connects the apple’s name to a written piece that was circulated among abolitionists in the 1830s. This piece told the story of a “Northern Spy” who established safehouses to transport slaves from Virginia to New York. The spy would impersonate a slave catcher and would usher slaves to safety. It has been featured on a U. S. postage stamp.
Pristine Pristine apples were the eleventh variety to be created by the PRI Disease Resistant Apple Breeding Program, which is a joint breeding venture between the University of Illinois, Rutgers, and Purdue University. Pristine apples are round to oblate in shape, averaging 6 to 8 centimeters in diameter, and have a somewhat uniform appearance with light ribbing. The semi-thick skin is smooth, waxy, glossy, and green yellow, ripening to a bright yellow when mature, and is sometimes spotted with faint, red-orange blush. Underneath the surface, the flesh is crisp, dense, pale yellow to ivory, and fine-grained, encasing a central core filled with a few black-brown seeds. Pristine apples have a balanced, sweet-tart flavor with light astringent notes of spice, banana, and green apple.
Roxbury Russet The first Roxbury Russet apple tree sprung up around 1635 in the small town of Roxbury near Boston. The Roxbury Russet apple tree is considered one of our oldest American fruit trees still being grown today. Excellent old cider apple, a fine keeper and good for eating fresh out of hand. The Roxbury Russet apple is medium to large fruit, greenish, sometimes bronze tinged skin sometimes covered with yellowish-brown russet. The Roxbury Russet apples are remarkable for its amount of sugar. Firm, slightly coarse, fairly tender, yellowish-white flesh. Tree medium to large, a good cropper on rich soils. The tree bears an amazingly large crop every year, but don’t pick too early or the sugars will fail to develop.  Roxbury Russet is in most respects typical of that group of apples known as russets.  Although it has some tartness it is like all russets a fundamentally sweet apple.  It is also a fairly good keeper, an important attribute before the advent of modern storage methods.  
Rubinette Rubinette is a modern apple variety developed in Switzerland between 1964 and 1982, and also known and trademarked as Rafzubin.  It was raised by Walter Hauenstein, a grower from Rafz (hence ‘Rafzubin’) in the north of Switzerland. Hauenstein’s initial intention was to produce an improved Golden Delicious, retaining that variety’s excellent production and storage characteristics whilst adding more depth of flavor by cross-pollinating it with varieties such as Cox’s Orange Pippin.  However, things did not go to plan – instead of an improved Golden Delicious, Hauenstein’s new apple turned out to be something far more remarkable. Rubinette is moderately good-looking, with characteristic orange and dull red streaks over a light green/yellow background.  The apples are generally small to medium-sized.  Overall, the appearance is attractive but in a rather subdued sort of way. There is also a natural red sport known as Red Rubinette or Rubinette Rosso which was discovered by Jochen Hubschneider.  The red coloration is still quite dull compared to most red apple varieties, even so it is a more pleasing apple than the original. The parentage is Golden Delicious pollinated by (probably) –‘-Cox’s Orange Pippin– a very popular combination with other growers over the years. 
Silken Silken apples are moderately sized, round to oval fruits with a symmetrical, uniform appearance. The skin is smooth, waxy, delicate, and has a yellow-green base, sometimes splashed with light pink blush on the side most exposed to the sun. There is also some brown russeting surrounding the slender and fibrous stem. Underneath the thin skin, the flesh is crisp, white to ivory, aqueous, and aromatic, encasing a central core filled with small, black-brown seeds. Silken apples are crunchy and have a balanced, sweet-tart, honeyed flavor with moderate acidity. Silken apples are often featured at the annual Apple Festival held at the University of British Columbia’s Botanical Garden. This two-day event generally occurs in the fall and is the garden’s largest fundraising event, attracting over 15,000 visitors.  
Spartan Spartan is a small, sweet apple, and a great favorite with children. It is very much a “McIntosh” style apple, bright crimson skin and whiter-than-white flesh. It is best to leave the fruit on the tree as long as possible, until they are crimson all over, as this allows the flavor to develop. Straight from the tree, the flesh is very crisp and juicy, but it softens a bit within a week or so of picking – although remaining juicy.  This is also a good variety for juicing – the juice color is not especially remarkable, but the flavor is sweet and pleasant.  Spartan is an excellent garden apple, being easy to grow, resistant to scab, fairly resistant to mildew, and it crops very reliably – and by growing your own you can enjoy Spartan at its best, straight from the tree.  However, it can be prone to canker in wetter regions. Spartan is a historically interesting apple, being an early example of a variety developed in a formal scientific breeding program in Canada. It was raised at the Canadian Apple Research Station in Summerland, British Columbia, in the 1920s, and the mother variety is McIntosh (of course).  There is some uncertainty over the pollen parent, it is usually thought to be Newtown Pippin.
Tompkins King A Tompkins King apple tree was brought from New Jersey to New York in 1804 by Jacob Wycoff. Grown in Tompkins County, New York, and called the King of apples, for size and flavor. The Tompkins King was fourth most popular New York apple in early 1900’s.  Tompkins King apples are large to very large, Skin is smooth, golden washed with orange red, yellow fleshed, coarse, crisp, tender, flavor subacid. Tompkins King apples are also good for cooking when green and excellent for eating when handsomely striped. Water core (translucent flesh) sweetens some fruit. The flesh of a Tompkins King apple is yellowish, coarse, crisp, aromatic and tender. The flavor is subacid and highly appreciated. Many people bite into one and immediately say it tastes exactly as they remember a great apple tasting when they were a child. Yes, it’s that good. Tompkins King is a fairly good keeper and the tree is vigorous, productive and well-suited to our West Coast climate. In addition to its fame as a fresh-eating apple, Tompkins King is also a wonderful cooker.
Tsugaru Tsugaru apples are moderately sized, round to conical fruits with a somewhat uniform shape and light russeting within the stem’s cavity. The skin is firm, slightly sticky, and has a yellow-green base that may be covered with red mottling, blushing, and striping. Underneath the surface, the flesh is dense, white, crisp, and aqueous, encasing a small central core filled with black-brown seeds. Tsugaru apples have an intensely sweet flavor with an acidic and mildly tart undertone. Tsugaru apples are native to Japan and were developed at the Aomori Prefectural Apple Experimental Station in the 1930s. The variety is a cross between a Kodama and Golden Delicious apple, and after approximately forty years of trials, Tsugaru apples were officially released to commercial markets in 1975.
Wagener George Wheeler brought with him a bag of apple seeds when in 1791 he moved from Duchess County, NY to the area that would become known as Penn Yan, and he planted his seeds on his new land. In 1796 the tract of land on which the first Wagener tree now grew (it had since been transplanted locally) was purchased by David Wagener, whose son Abram is generally considered to be the founder of the township of Penn Yan. Wagener is a medium-sized apple, irregular and prominently ribbed. The skin is flushed red-orange over yellow with russeting around the stem, and the flesh is snow white, crisp, and fine grained. This apple receives very high ratings from tasters, who describe it as vinous, sprightly, and spicy, with flavors of anise and melon. It is also well regarded for its versatility, as Wagener will store well–without shriveling–through winter and makes excellent cider, sauce, juice, and pie. It hangs late into fall on the tree and often improves in character after an early frost.
Wealthy Wealthy apples are native to Minnesota and were developed through apple breeder and grower Peter Gideon. There are several theories about the apple’s origins, with some of the stories including more dramatic touches, but the most retold version begins with Peter Gideon moving to Minnesota with his wife in 1853. It is said Peter moved to Minnesota for health reasons and established a homestead along the shores of Lake Minnetonka. On his homestead, Peter trialed apple, crab apple, plum, cherry, quince, pear, and peach trees to develop varieties that could survive the harsh climate of the Midwest. Most of the trialed fruit trees did not survive. Around the 1860s, Peter purchased a bushel of apple seeds from a grower named Albert Emerson in Bangor, Maine. The apple seeds were planted, and years later, all the seedling trees had died except for one. The tree was initially thought to be of Siberian crab apple descent, but over time, it was determined through DNA testing that the seedlings were a cross between Jonathan apples and Duchess of Oldenburg apples. The unnamed seedling continued to produce fruits each year, and Peter Gideon shared the apple’s seeds with other growers, especially other members of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. The apple variety was eventually named Wealthy, released in 1868, and quickly became a popular apple nationally. By the early 20th century, Wealthy apples were being grown throughout the United States and England and remained a favored variety for several decades.  
White Winter Pearmain The White Winter Pearmain apple is one of oldest known English apples. It is medium in size, uniform in shape, and possesses light green skin, usually flushed red on one side. The sweet and pleasantly aromatic flesh is firm, fine-grained and crisp; an excellent dessert apple with pear undertones when left to mellow in storage. White Pearmain apple tree is a vigorous, self-fertile variety that also serves as a great pollinizer for other apple trees. White Pearmain is well adapted to coastal districts out west and the hot interiors. The White Winter Pearmain apple was first classified as such in 1858 by the American Pomological Society, but there is serious speculation however about the origin of the first White Pearmain tree. Some believe it to be of American decent coming from the tree grafts of early pomologists traveling in the eastern United States. Others suspect it to be a relative of an old English apple that dates back to 1200 A.D. Because the apple has a hint of pear, note it name—although the origin of the name  “pearmain” has several different meanings–it has a complex flavor, and this overlapping of apple and pear in the same fruit has to some calling it the best tasting apple in the world.
Williams Pride Williams’ Pride apples are a medium to large varietal, averaging 6 to 8 centimeters in diameter, and have a relatively uniform round, conical, to ovate shape with faint ribbing. The apple’s skin is semi-thick, tough, and slightly chewy with a waxy, glossy, and smooth surface. The skin also has a yellow-green base coloring, almost entirely enveloped in a burgundy, maroon to dark red blush, pocked with tiny, white lenticels. Underneath the surface, the flesh ranges in color from white to pale yellow and has a medium-grained, firm, aqueous, and crisp consistency. The flesh also encases a central core filled with small, oval to tear-drop-shaped black-brown seeds. Williams’ Pride apples have a faint aroma and a balanced, sweet-tart flavor with tangy, honeyed undertones. The taste of the flesh may vary, depending on the time in the season when the fruits are harvested, but some apple enthusiasts note that the variety sometimes emits spice-filled, fruity nuances reminiscent of pears, cherries, or melons.  
Winesap Winesap is a well-known American heirloom apple and was a major commercial variety in Virginia during the 19th century.  Its origins are unknown, but it probably dates back to the 18th century.  It has all the qualities needed for commercial production – it is a regular heavy cropping tree with very little biennial tendency, and the apples can be kept in natural cold storage for a good 3 months or more.  It can be eaten fresh but is primarily a culinary apple, also popular for juice/cider production. Commercially Winesap was eclipsed during the 20th century by varieties such as Red Delicious, and to some extent by one of its own offspring Stayman (Stayman’s Winesap) which has many of Winesap’s qualities but a sweeter flavor.  However, it remains a respected and popular garden apple tree, with the additional advantage of having blossom that is unusually red by apple standards.
Yellow Bellflower Yellow Bellflower apples were discovered on a tree growing on a farm in Crosswicks, a community in Burlington County, New Jersey. The variety was thought to have arisen in the mid-1700s, and the first written record of the apples was documented in 1817 through William Coxe in his book, “A View of the Cultivation of Fruit Trees and the Management of Orchards and Cider.” Coxe mentioned that the mother tree of Yellow Bellflower apples was still alive and growing on a farm in Crosswicks. In the 1850s, Yellow Bellflower apples were widely cultivated across New Jersey and eventually spread to New England and Oregon in 1847. The variety was also planted in Europe during the 19th century and was grown in France and the Netherlands. A favorite for baked apples, the Yellow Bellflower apple variety has fruit that’s quite variable in size, with attractive lemon yellow color and pinkish-blush in sunny exposures. Flesh whitish, firm, fine-grained, rather tender, aromatic, quite acidic early in season. Usually picked on the tart side, then mellowed in storage for several months. Yellow Bellflower apples are rumored to have been named for their bell-like shape and coloring. The origins of the variety’s name are unknown, but the heirloom apples have a bulbous, tapering shape, resembling a bell hanging on a tree. There are also species of flowers known as bellflowers, and these blooms have a bell-like shape that is similar to the apples. Some experts believe the apples were named after the popular flowers. The fruit’s pale yellow coloring also reminds apple enthusiasts of bells made from gold or copper, another hypothesis for the variety’s name.
Disclaimer: Most of the descriptions of apple characteristics shown above were taken from other descriptions given on websites on the internet, some nearly verbatim; accordingly, this information is for use during the Winter Field Day at the WWFRF and is not to be used elsewhere.