Sussex apple varieties available from us in 2012
Five varieties of Sussex apple trees will be available in pots on Apple day for £20 each.
(rootstock M116, F10 Biennial)
Raised in the late-eighteenth century by Mr Shepherd of Uckfield and originally named Shepherd's Pippin. It was renamed Alfriston in 1819 by Mr Booker who lived in that village. It received an RHS Award of Merit in 1920. The medium to large apple is bright green or greenish yellow with conspicuous white dots (lenticels) on the skin of the fruit. The shape of the fruit is oblong with a flat base and a short thick stalk. Alfriston is quite a sharp cooking apple that cooks to a lightly flavoured puree and is very good baked. "It was much recommended and planted in the last century, when it proved to be one of the best culinary apples of the time. Now it is superseded by varieties more regular in outline and more handsome to the eye, though none is better for cooking," wrote HV Taylor in 1948. The tree is moderately vigorous and the fruit can be picked in early October. It stores well and can keep till April.
(rootstock M111, F29)
This apple was discovered growing in a garden in Tilgate near Crawley and introduced into cultivation by the local nurserymen J. Cheal. It was awarded an RHS Award of Merit in 1912. There is some confusion about its origin and it is identical to the French variety Nouvelle France (National Apple Register 1971). It is a very useful cooking variety that can be grown in colder, frost-prone areas because it flowers late and is disease resistant. The apple cooks to a lightly flavoured puree and can be eaten fresh after storing. It is a small to medium sized apple and is round and distinctively flattened at the base and apex. The colour of the skin is greenish yellow, flushed brownish-red and with broken red stripes. Flowering at the beginning of June the variety is self-fertile. A moderately vigorous, spreading tree which crops heavily and can be picked by mid October, storing until January.
First and Last
(rootstock M111, F14)
First described 1860. Hogg (1851) wrote that it is "...much grown in the northern part of the county about Horsham and sent to Brighton market". The shape of the apple is rectangular to conic with slight ribbing, with a lemon yellow skin, flushed red and streaked and blotched darker red with some russet. The flesh is a crisp, fine, greenish white with a slightly sweet flavour. It can be picked mid October and stored until April. At West Dean Gardens it is said to store for two years.
(rootstock M116, F11)
A variety which was cultivated by James Hoad of Rye from either a Ribston Pippin or Radford Beauty seedling. First recorded as a variety in 1918, it was awarded an RHS Award of Merit 1928. A large, handsome apple with a rich, aromatic flavour. It is sharper and not as intense as Ribston Pippin but has a similar, rather open texture. Becomes sweeter, milder, and more aromatic as it ripens. A medium-sized apple with a flat, rectangular to conic shape. The shape of the apple and the texture of the skin is often uneven. Pale to golden yellow in colour with a orange red to carmine flush with some russeting on the body of the apple. A moderately vigorous, spreading tree which crops well. Pick early October and then store until Nov-Jan.
(rootstock M116, F8)
Received by the National Fruit Trials in 1942 from R. Fairman, Crawley. The tree is moderately vigorous and forms a spreading canopy of branches. The apple has a slight quincelike taste and smell when ripe. The flesh is sweet and firm. Fruit is greenish-yellow with a few russet dots and is slightly greasy. Flat to rectangular in shape and ribbed slightly on the body of the fruit. Pick early October and can be stored till November.
What is an F-number?
A vital characteristic of an apple variety is the time of its flowering – roughly indicated by its F-number. It's good to know when a particular variety flowers because most apple varieties are not self-fertile, and need another variety that flowers at the same time to act as a source of compatible pollen. Honey bees, bumblebees and a host of other beneficial insects perform the vital transfer of pollen from one tree to another. In the following, the numbers F1 to F42 indicate when a particular variety will be in blossom and ready for pollination. F1 corresponds on average to the first of May, F31 to the end of May and F42 to June 11th , but these dates are only approximate and vary from year to year. To be able to successfully pollinate one another, the numbers of two varieties should coincide or overlap by four F-numbers before or three after.
For information see: