REVEREND W. WILKS A valued apple, raised in 1904 by Veitch's nursery, King's Road, Chelsea, 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 culinary apple, good for baking and for purées, when it needs very little sugar. Sometimes 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, in Gloucestershire, in 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.

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. If the Aldby Park archive, sent to us by Louise Wickham (for which our thanks) is of the age that it appears, then the original and correct 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 conical, golden and slightly flushed red, with 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 reckoned to be the highest of any apple, a few years ago. 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 firm flesh is white, sweet and aromatic. Vigorous, upright trees. Ready in August and not keeping long. An attractive and tasty apple.

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. Middle season.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

 
             

 

RONALDS' GOOSEBERRY PIPPIN First recorded in 1836, and called Gooseberry by the famous 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 to avoid confusion, but there is now some doubt if the apple with this name is the same as his. Small to medium apples, yellow with scarlet stripes, and with sweet-sharp, juicy, perfumed flesh.

Pollination Group 6

 

ROSEMARY RUSSET First mentioned in 1831. 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. Stores until March.

Pollination Group 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROUNDWAY MAGNUM BONUM A good dessert apple from Roundway, in Wiltshire, and first recorded in 1864. Raised by Mr Joy, a gardener at Roundway Park, near Devizes. Large, ribbed fruit, with a golden green skin, dotted with crimson. Crisp, juicy flesh, with a sweet pear flavour. Ready late October, and stores until March. 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. An excellent dessert apple that will last into December. 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 'lost' 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. We find it to be more middle to late season (it will last to the year end) and the bitterness is often mild enough to render it an eating apple, albeit small. Spur Bearing. **

Pollination Group 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROYAL WILDING An old Devonshire, Herefordshire and Somerset cider variety that has been lost here, but 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. He acquired several varieties from an Englishman in New Zealand, who had taken several cider varieties out in the 1960s. From his list 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. It originated in the 17th century and, according to Hugh Stafford, as reported by Langley in 1727, it came to prominence in Devon at the beginning of the 18th century, as 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. The Reverend Robert Woolcombe, rector of the adjoining parish of Whitestone championed it and it became the ‘Redstreak Of Devon’. Though trees were planted widely in the area, and a few may 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. The fruit from our young trees has confirmed its authenticity. Very showy dark pink, striped flowers. **

Pollination Group 5