excerpted from THE APPLES OF NEW YORK by S.A. Beach, Horticulturist
assisted by N.O. Booth, Assistant Horticulturist and O.M. Taylor, Foreman in Horticulture State of New York – Department of Agriculture, 1905
The mindboggling agricultural plant and animal diversity, at the beginning of the twentieth century, should have been a treasure trove which mankind worked tirelessy to maintain. Such has not been the case. Alas, much has been lost, perhaps forever. Here are images and information on a handful of apple varieties from a valuable hundred year old text in our library. We are interested in hearing from folks who might be able to identify the existence of any of these varieties which are thought to be extinct. Our wish, if we should locate any, is to document their location and perhaps connect folks who could take advantage of the opportunity to assure through cultivation that they will survive and perhaps flourish once again. SFJ
A dessert apple which is very distinct in color, form and flavor. The color is yellowish or greenish, sometimes almost completely covered with red, which in highly colored specimens becomes dull purplish and very dark, as recognized in the name “Black” Gilliflower. The color of the fruit is often much darker than it appears in the accompanying plate. The flesh at its best is but moderately juicy and soon becomes dry, but it has a peculiar aroma which is pleasing to many. It is not sour enough to be very valuable for cooking, but it is sometimes used for baking. It is fast becoming obsolete in most parts of the state, but in some sections the planting of it in commercial orchards is being extended because it is found profitable to grow it in limited quantities for southern markets. On good soil the tree is a good, vigorous grower and a reliable cropper. The apples grow fair and smooth and there is little loss from unmarketable fruit.
Historical. Black Gilliflower is supposed to be an American variety. It was brought into the central and western portions of the state more than a hundred years ago by the early settlers. It is evident that it was known in Connecticut as early as the latter part of the eighteenth century. Manning mentions it in 1841 under the name Red Gilliflower and Hovey described it in 1850 under the same name, giving Black Gilliflower as a synonym. It has generally been known under the simple name Gilliflower, which name usually appears in the market quotations of this variety.
Tree large, moderately vigorous. Form rather upright spreading with moderately open top. Twigs long, slender, pubescent; internodes short to medium. Bark dark olive-green and reddish-brown with thin gray scarf-skin. Lenticels rather numerous, small to medium, roundish or elongated, raised. Buds medium, obtuse or acute, quite pubescent, appressed. Leaves rather long, medium to above medium in size.
Fruit medium to large, seldom very large; very uniform in size and shape. Form long ovate to oblong conic, somewhat ribbed; axis sometimes a little oblique. Stem medium to long, moderately thick. Cavity usually acuminate, rather wide, moderately deep to deep, sometimes lipped but usually symmetrical with red russet or greenish outspreading rays. Calyx medium or below, closed. Basin often oblique, usually very shallow and obtuse, varying sometimes to moderately deep and abrupt, furrowed and much wrinkled.
Skin thick, tough, nearly smooth; yellow or greenish-yellow, striped or mostly covered with red, deepening to dark purplish-red or almost black, obscurely striped with darker crimson, and with streaks of bluish-gray scarf-skin, especially toward the cavity, giving almost the effect of a dull bloom. Dots numerous, gray, rather small, not conspicuous, somewhat rough. Prevailing effect in highly colored specimens dull dark purplish.
Calyx tube large, wide, cone-shape or funnel-form. Stamens median or above.
Core large, decidedly axile, closed; core lines somewhat clasping. Carpels very long ovate, tapering both ways, emarginate, much tufted. Seeds often abortive; when well developed they are above medium, acute to acuminate, somewhat tufted.
Flesh whitish or slightly tinged with yellow, firm, rather tender, rather coarse, moderately juicy eventually becoming dry, mild subacid, rich, peculiarly aromatic, good for dessert and special markets.
Season October to January or February.
Occasional trees are found in the oldest home orchards of the state. It is rarely planted now. In some localities it bears well, but more often it is not a reliable cropper. It is apt to have a pretty high percentage of unmarketable fruit. The fruit is of mild flavor and does not rank high in quality. The skin is thick. When well colored it is beautiful, though not brilliant, being overcast with a dull bluish bloom. In common storage it does not keep late, and by January it often becomes shriveled. It is not a good market fruit and is not recommended for commercial planting.
Historical. This is an old variety of uncertain origin but it is supposed to be an American variety. On account of its hardiness it has often been planted in the home orchards of the more elevated regions of New York and New England during the last 75 years. Probably it has been in cultivation for a century or more. Kenrick mentions it as common in the vicinity of Boston in the early part of the 19th century.
Tree becomes moderately large to large, moderately vigorous or on rich soil sometimes vigorous. Form spreading. In the nursery it is a slow, stiff grower. Twigs below medium, rather stout, nearly straight, rather blunt at tips, with large terminal buds; internodes medium to long. Bark very dark, being of a dull brownish-red; scarf-skin varies from thin to rather heavy; quite pubescent. Lenticels inconspicuous, scattering, below medium, roundish raised. Buds above medium, moderately projecting, roundish, slightly pubescent, free. Leaves broad, coarsely serrated.
Fruit above medium to very large; pretty uniform in size and shape. Form roundish or inclined to oblate, sometimes a little inclined to conic, irregular, often obscurely ribbed, sometimes distinctly furrowed from the cavity nearly to the basin. Stem medium length to rather short, rather thick. Cavity moderately deep, obscurely furrowed, usually covered with orange-russet or greenish-russet. Calyx partly open; lobes acute. Basin medium in depth and width, with concentric gray or russet lines, obscurely furrowed.
Skin a little rough; yellow, washed and mottled with red, often deepening on one side to nearly solid red, splashed and striped with deep purplish- carmine and overspread with an abundant blue bloom from which the variety takes its name. Dots numerous, small, pale, mingled with others which are conspicuous, very large, gray with russet center and often also mingled with irregular lines or flecks of dull green or russet. The large dots are characteristic of this variety as also of other varieties of the Blue Pearmain group.
Calyx tube elongated conical approaching funnel-form. Stamens basal to median.
Core rather large, nearly axile, closed or somewhat open; core lines clasping or, with modified calyx tube, nearly meeting. Carpels broad, elongated or roundish, slightly tufted. Seeds medium or rather long, acuminate, rather light brown.
Flesh yellowish, moderately firm, rather coarse, moderately juicy, mild subacid, decidedly and agreeably aromatic, good.
Season. Comes into season in October. It may keep till March but often begins to shrivel after January.
Use. Home and local market.
Fruit large or very large, globular, attractive in size and form, but as grown in Western New York it is often rather dull in color. The accompanying colored plate was made from a highly colored specimen grown in the Hudson valley. In favorable localities on Long Island it colors well and develops better quality than it commonly does north of Orange county. The flesh is coarse and at best but second rate in quality. It is well known in market, and is often handled at satisfactory prices in domestic and also in export trade.
The tree is usually a good, regular bearer, producing biennially or in some localities almost annually. Sometimes the larger branches break under their load of fruit. The fruit being large, there is apt to be a considerable loss from dropping, but considering its size it generally hangs to the tree pretty well. It is variable in season, ranking as a keeper sometimes with Hubbardston and sometimes with Rhode Island Greening. Although it has long been disseminated throughout New York, it has not generally been regarded with favor by New York orchardists, except possibly in some parts of Long Island.
Historical. Origin Bucks county, Pennsylvania. Hovey referred to it in 1856 as having been known and cultivated for many years under the name Fallawater. Warder in 1867 remarked that it was then a great favorite in Pennsylvania and “extensively cultivated through the West.”
Tree makes a moderately light root growth in the nursery. In the orchard it becomes large and vigorous. Form upright to roundish. Twigs medium in length to short, moderately stout, thick at the tips, erect; internodes medium. Bark smooth, bright brownish-red mingled with olive-green, finely mottled with scarf-skin; slightly pubescent. Lenticels moderately conspicuous, rather abundant, medium in size, usually roundish. Buds medium or above, roundish, obtuse, sparingly pubescent, free.
Fruit large to very large. Form globular, sometimes a little oblate, usually symmetrical, sometimes slightly irregular, and faintly ribbed, but it is pretty uniform in size and shape. Stem very short. Cavity distinctly acuminate, deep, rather narrow to broad, usually somewhat furrowed. Calyx medium to large, closed or partly open; lobes variable. Basin shallow to moderately deep, moderately abrupt to abrupt, often nearly symmetrical, sometimes distinctly furrowed, wrinkled.
Skin tough, smooth, a little waxy, often dull grass-green with dull blush, but highly colored specimens eventually become distinctly yellow and largely blushed with bright deep pinkish-red, often considerably streaked with thin grayish scarf-skin. Dots conspicuous, whitish, often large areolar with russet point.
Calyx tube wide, rather short, cone-shape or approaching funnel-form. Stamens basal to median.
Core decidedly abaxile to nearly axile, medium to large, cells unsymmetrical, open or closed; core lines meeting or somewhat clasping. Carpels distinctly tufted, long, narrowly ovate, mucronate, but slightly emarginated if at all. Seeds often are very few, long, narrow, acute to acuminate, tufted.
Flesh tinged with yellow or green, firm, coarse, crisp, moderately tender, juicy, subacid to mildly sweet, without distinct or high flavor, quality good or nearly so.
Season. November to March or April, being quite variable in different localities and in different seasons. On Long Island it is commonly in season in October and out of season in January.
Use. Desirable only for cooking and market.
Hubbardston is an excellent variety for commercial planting and deserves to be better known among New York fruit growers. It varies remarkably under different conditions of soil and climate not only in vigor of tree but in certain fruit characters also, such as size, color, degree of smoothness or russeting of the skin and in the quality and flavor of the flesh. The fact that it has come to have various local names in different parts of the state is doubtless partly due to this variability. It is now generally conceded that American Blush, Van Vleet and Orleans are identical with Hubbardston, or at the most are but selected strains of that variety. In many parts of the state Hubbardston is one of the most profitable varieties of its season, ripening as it does between the perishable early autumn varieties and the late ripening winter apples. It has generally sustained the reputation of coming into bearing at an early age and yielding heavy crops as often as every other year and in many places it is almost an annual bearer. It is apt to be productive to a fault, and for this reason should receive extra attention to keep the soil fertile and the foliage well protected from insects and diseases. When grown upon its own trunk the body is sometimes injured by severe winters. The tree also is somewhat susceptible to attacks of the apple canker. For these reasons it is doubtless best for one who wishes to grow Hubbardston to plant some hardier and more vigorous variety such as the Northern Spy, and the following year top-work the trees to Hubbardston. Under favorable conditions the tree is a vigorous grower and the fruit is fair, smooth, uniform, of good size and pretty good color. The quality is excellent for dessert but less satisfactory for culinary use except very early in the season before the fruit loses acidity.
Its commercial limit in cellar storage does not extend much later than December. It is a very uncertain keeper and in cold storage should go out in late fall or early winter although sometimes it has been held in good condition till spring. Fruit of this variety grown in Central and Western New York usually is somewhat smaller and keeps better than that grown in the lower Hudson valley. It appears that its keeping quality is correlated to some extent with the size of the fruit. If there is only a medium crop on the tree and the fruit is large it goes down quicker than if the crop is heavier and the individual fruits smaller and firmer. Fruit of good color also has good keeping quality, other things being equal, but poorly colored fruit soon deteriorates in flavor and quality. When the trees are allowed to become greatly overloaded, as they often do where the apples are not thinned, there is apt to be a considerable portion of undersized and poorly colored fruit. There is also some loss from the early dropping of the fruit particularly where picking is too long delayed. Hubbardston reaches edible maturity in October and holds its flavor well till December or January, but after that time its quality usually deteriorates rapidly. It may often be kept in edible condition through the winter even in cellar storage but seldom with prime flavor.
Historical. Hubbardston is a native fruit which had its origin in Hubbardston, Massachusetts. As early as 1832 Kenrick referred to it as one of the most desirable varieties known in cultivation in Eastern Massachusetts. Although it has long been widely disseminated in New York there are many localities where it is yet unknown and many others where it has been introduced within recent years. The planting of it for commercial purposes is gradually increasing.
Tree vigorous, sometimes large, but if it is allowed to overbear and is not properly fed it is more often moderately vigorous and of medium size. Form erect to roundish, somewhat spreading, rather dense. Twigs medium or rather long, spreading or erect, moderately stout, somewhat crooked, pubescent; internodes below medium to short. Bark dull olive-green with tinge of reddish-brown and mottled with thin gray scarf-skin. Lenticels scattering, conspicuous, medium to small, round or oblong, raised, becoming laterally compressed on the older bark. Buds medium, broad, obtuse, appressed, pubescent. Leaves medium to rather small, rather narrow and inclined to become incurved.
Fruit above medium to large, sometimes very large. Form roundish ovate or slightly oblong to roundish inclined to conic, characteristically rounded toward the cavity, usually symmetrical, often obscurely ribbed. The crop is usually pretty uniform in size and shape but there is considerable variability in the fruit with crops of different seasons and different localities. Stem short to very short. Cavity rather deep, acute, symmetrical, sometimes slightly furrowed, usually russeted. Calyx small to large, open to nearly closed; when large the lobes are usually reflexed and separated at the base exposing the yellowish calyx tube. Basin moderately narrow to rather wide, shallow and somewhat obtuse to moderately deep and abrupt, distinctly furrowed, often marked with concentric flecks of russet in and about the basin.
Skin sometimes quite smooth but more often roughened with dots, flecks and fine veins of russet and sometimes covered with faint bloom. Color yellow or greenish blushed and mottled with red which varies from dull brownish to clear bright red, and is more or less marked with deep carmine. Dots pale or russet, often large and irregular, especially conspicuous on the red portions of the fruit. Prevailing effect in highly colored specimens attractive red, mingled with more or less of yellow.
Calyx tube medium in length, broad, cone-shape. Stamens median.
Core medium or rather small, more or less abaxile; cells usually pretty symmetrical, closed or partly open; core lines meeting or somewhat clasping. Carpels broadly roundish, slightly emarginated, tufted. Seeds numerous, medium to rather small, rather short, plump, acute, light brown.
Flesh whitish slightly tinged with yellow, moderately firm, breaking, rather fine-grained, tender, moderately crisp, juicy, aromatic, rich, at first sprightly but becoming mild subacid mingled with sweet, very good to best.
Season. October to January.
A strikingly beautiful little apple especially suitable for decorative use and for dessert. In New York it is grown to a limited extent only and in restricted localities. It is in some cases grown with profit and often sells at very high prices. It does fairly well on any good apple soil, but a warm, gravelly or sandy loam seems to suit it best, developing to a marked degree the characteristically beautiful color and delicate high flavor of this variety, upon which its value chiefly depends. The upright habit of the limbs, together with the smallness of the apples, makes the picking of the fruit unusually expensive. The branches are full of short spurs upon which the fruit is borne in clusters. The fruit hangs well to the tree. The tree is but a moderate grower and does not come into bearing young, but in favorable locations, after it reaches maturity, it is a reliable cropper, bearing heavy crops biennially or in rare instances nearly annually. In order to grow Lady most successfully, particular pains must be taken to protect it from the attacks of insects and fungi, particularly from the apple scab fungus, by which it is often seriously damaged. When well grown, the crop is pretty uniform in size and shape and satisfactory in color and quality. It does not always color properly, and is then of little value for anything but cider, being too small either for general market purposes or for culinary use. Properly handled, it may be held in cold storage till summer, but there is little demand for it after the holiday season, and as it keeps well enough in ordinary storage till midwinter there is but little occasion for holding it in cold storage.
Historical. According to Leroy, who gives an excellent historical account of the variety, the Lady apple, or as it is there known, Api, has been in cultivation in France for at least three hundred years. It has been sparingly disseminated throughout this country from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It has long been recognized in the New York market as one of the most desirable apples for fancy trade at the holiday season.
Tree at first moderately vigorous, eventually becomes a rather slow grower; size medium or somewhat dwarfish; branches erect, rather slender. Form rather dense, erect. Twigs long and slender, or on old trees rather short; internodes short. Bark bright brown approaching black, partly overlaid with thin scarf-skin, slightly pubescent towards the tips. Lenticels numerous, conspicuous, round or sometimes elongated, usually medium to small, sometimes large. Buds usually large, rather narrow, acute to acuminate, plump, quite pubescent, free. Leaves not large, rather narrow.
Fruit small to very small, uniform in size and shape. Form usually oblate but varies to roundish inclined to conic, often obscurely ribbed, symmetrical. Stem medium, slender. Cavity pretty large and wide, obtuse to acute, moderately shallow to deep, gently furrowed, sometimes thinly russeted. Calyx small, closed; lobes small, acute. Basin rather wide, shallow to moderately deep, obtuse, narrowly ridged and wrinkled.
Skin moderately thick, tough, smooth, glossy with a deep red blush which is often irregular and sharply outlined against the clear pale yellow or whitish ground color. Dots whitish or with russet point, inconspicuous. Prevailing effect beautiful bright red and yellow.
Calyx tube conical or somewhat funnel-form with short truncate cylinder. Stamens marginal.
Core small, axile; cells symmetrical, closed; core lines clasping. Carpels smooth, roundish or inclined to elliptical, emarginated, mucronate. Seeds plump, wide, obtuse, completely filling the cells.
Flesh white, firm, fine-grained, crisp, rather tender, juicy, pleasantly aromatic, mild subacid becoming nearly sweet, good to very good for dessert.
Season. December to May.
A hard, green, late-keeping apple used by the trade to some extent as a substitute for Rhode Island Greening late in the season when it often brings good prices. It is decidedly inferior to Rhode Island Greening in quality and does not always have a good clear green color, being sometimes streaked more or less with a network of russet. Its great merits are the productiveness of the tree and the smoothness, uniformity and superior keeping and shipping qualities of the fruit. The tree is superior to Rhode Island Greening and Baldwin in hardiness and usually is a reliable cropper, yielding good to heavy crops biennially or in some localities almost annually. It is a little slow about coming into bearing. In many cases the crops are so heavy that the percentage of loss in undersized fruit is rather high and the trees are damaged by the breaking of the limbs.
Historical. Originated as a chance seedling in the orchard of Judge Mooney of Granby, Oswego county, N.Y., where it was formerly called the Deiltz. It was introduced into Niagara county by Dr. Mann, and on the suggestion of Elisha Moody of Lockport the Western New York Horticultural Society named the apple Mann. It is not grown extensively in any portion of the state but it is still being planted to a limited extent by commercial growers.
Tree medium to large, moderately vigorous to vigorous. Form at first decidedly upright and rather dense but after bearing heavy crops becomes decidedly spreading with the laterals inclined to droop. Twigs medium to long, nearly straight, rather slender to moderately stout; internodes short. Bark more or less dark dull brown overspread with grayish-green and streaked with gray scarf-skin, slightly pubescent near tips. Lenticels numerous, dull, not very conspicuous, above medium to below, roundish, slightly raised. Buds medium to rather short, plump, obtuse, appressed, pubescent, deeply set in bark.
Fruit medium to large. Form roundish, somewhat inclined to oblate, symmetrical, usually pretty regular, sometimes faintly ribbed; pretty uniform in size and shape. Stem short to medium, usually not exserted. Cavity acuminate, rather narrow to moderately wide, deep, usually russeted, and often with outspreading broken russet, somewhat furrowed. Calyx small to medium, closed or partly open; lobes medium in length, acute. Basin somewhat abrupt, rather narrow to moderately wide, usually pretty symmetrical, furrowed and wrinkled.
Skin moderately thick, tough, at first deep green, often partly overspread with a brownish-red blush tinged with shade of olive-green but late in the season it develops a pronounced yellow color. Dots numerous, large, conspicuous, areolar, whitish with russet center.
Calyx tube moderately wide, cone-shape. Stamens below median to basal.
Core below medium to small, usually axile or nearly so; cells pretty symmetrical, usually closed, sometimes open; core lines meeting or slightly clasping. Carpels smooth, broad, narrowing towards the base and apex or approaching truncate at the base, but slightly emarginate if at all. Seeds numerous, medium or above, wide, obtuse to acute, dark.
Flesh yellowish, moderately coarse, moderately juicy, at first very hard and firm but later becoming moderately tender and somewhat crisp, subacid, fair to good.
Season. Commercial limit March or April in ordinary storage and May in cold storage.