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VARIETY DESCRIPTIONS 2009

You may order 12 apples of any one variety for $22. The selection of varieties available will change through the season. 

You can order Samplers and Explorer Packs with confidence that we always choose our finest cultivars for these mixes!

For home growers interested in maturity dates, we give the ripening date after each variety name as the number of weeks before (-) or after (+) Red Delicious. There's more info on Ripening Dates in the GROWING TIPS section.

ARKANSAS BLACK (+4) -- A medium to large apple with a coat of such dark purple that it appears to be almost black, quite beautiful and striking. Very firm and an excellent keeper. Almost too hard textured at harvest. Best after some storage time. Its flavor gets mixed reviews. A Winesap type.

ASHMEAD'S KERNEL
(0) -- A medium-sized antique russet from England. Ugly by modern standards. Its coat resembles an Idaho potato's. High-flavored; tart (not for sissy palates); firm textured; a good keeper. One of the best of the russets. Winter tender.

BALDWIN (+2) -- Around 1900, this was the preeminent apple of the northeast. A good quality large red apple. In the North where the fruit reaches perfection, the tree is subject to cold injury. This fault along with other cultural defects caused this fine apple to nearly disappear from cultivation.

BLACK GILLIFLOWER (0) -- An antique, medium-sized, winter dessert apple of very distinctive, tall sheepnose shape, and black-red color. Mild subacid flavor, white-fleshed, eventually becoming dry. Never crisp. Peculiarly aromatic.

BLUSHING GOLDEN (+3) -- A medium-sized waxy coated modern yellow apple with a pink blush. Believed to be a Jonathan/Golden Delicious cross. Firm fleshed. Flavor similar to Golden Delicious with an almond essence, but tarter. The "keeper" Golden. A joy to eat in December but, unlike Golden, not a joy to grow.

BRAEBURN (+3.5) - A seedling from New Zealand with the right stuff. Appearance similar to Fuji's, pale pink striped. A bit richer flavored and firmer than Fuji, but not quite as good a keeper.

CALVILLE BLANC (+1) -- Classic dessert apple from France. Light green skinned, with prominent ribs. Very high in Vitamin C. Superior for all culinary purposes.  Vigorous grower. Not especially crisp or firm. Tart.

CHIEFTAIN  (+1) -- A Jonathan/Delicious cross merging each variety's best qualities: Jonathan's sour richness, Red Delicious' juicy sweetness. Less tart than Jonathan, more flavor than Delicious. In appearance more like Delicious. Better keeper than Delicious.

CORTLAND (-1) -- A Ben Davis/McIntosh cross from the Geneva N.Y. Experiment Station. A large flat dull red apple with a purple blush. Less aromatic than McIntosh, but a better keeper. Its slow-oxidizing, soft, white flesh is very good in salads.

CRITERION  (+3) -- A chance seedling found near Parker, Wash. in 1968. Criterion is a light yellow apple of Red Delicious shape. Under ideal cultural conditions, including low nitrogen level and thinning to obtain size, it has a good mild flavor and a firm texture. Also it's a good keeper.

COX'S ORANGE PIPPIN (-3) -- The apple that still dominates the English markets.  Medium sized, golden yellow skin flushed with brownish orange; often russeted.  Flesh yellow tender, crisp, semi-tart with a very special aftertaste.  This great variety requires a lake or ocean moderated climate.

CRITERION (+3) -- A chance seedling found near Parker, Washington in 1968.  Criterion is a light yellow apple of Red Delicious shape.  Under ideal cultural conditions, including low nitrogen level and thinning to obtain size, it has a good mild flavor and a firm texture.  Also, it's a good keeper.

DOCTOR MATTHEWS (+2) -- An obscure nineteenth century local Indiana variety that deserves more respect. Large, faded red coat, crisp, juicy, excellent flavor. Rather short shelf life for a late maturing cultivar.

DOWNINGLAND (+4) -- A Golden Delicious/Rome cross with a mild sweet flavor. Low acid and easily digestible. Medium to small. Excellent keeper.

DOWNING TART (+3) -- A tart, crisp, medium-sized, round, dark red apple from the famous Ohio Downings. For folks who want a really "sour" apple.

ELSTAR  (-4) --  A Golden Delicious/Ingrid Marie cross from Holland, maturing just before the better colored, neon orange Gals. Tarter than Gala. Even less well-suited than Jonagold to hot summer climates. 

EMPIRE (-.5) -- A Red Delicious/McIntosh cross from the Geneva N.Y. Experiment Station.  Medium sized, round, dark red apple of gorgeous appearance; sweet, juicy, firm, and aromatic. At its peak, Empire "cracks" when you bite it. A great apple for kids.

ENTERPRISE (+3) -- A new scab resistent apple from Purdue, named in 1992. Enterprise is a better keeper than Liberty, but also requires a longer growing season. Eating quality somewhat like Idared.

ESOPUS SPITZENBERG** (+2) -- A North American antique, medium-sized red apple of very good to best quality.  A moderate cropper.  Long considered the standard of excellence in the Baldwin class.  Believed to be a parent of Jonathan.

FORTUNE (NY-429)  (0) -- A Red Spy/Empire cross from the Geneva, NY Experiment Station with the size and bite-back of a Northern  Spy and McIntosh aromatics.  Named and introduced in '95.  

FUJI (+4) -- A Ralls Janet/Red Delicious cross, bred in Japan, where it is the number one seller. Pale pink stripes over a light green background; attractive, but not gorgeous.  Best keeping sweet apple in the world. In a refrigerator, Fuji will keep through April and still be crackling crisp.

GALA  (-3.5) -- Very sweet, firm, exciting. Medium size, conic to round. Light golden yellow with a pinkish-orange blush. Striking, peach-like appearance. Red Delicious and Cox's Orange Pippin are grandparents and Golden Delicious is a parent. For folks with a sweet tooth, Gala is a best!

GOLD COAST (+1) (AKA NY415) A beautiful, huge, greenish-yellow skinned triploid from the Geneva NY breeding program. An offspring of Doud's tetraploid Golden.  Tarter than Golden Delicious.

GOLDEN RUSSET (+3) -- A medium sized, russet coated antique. This and Roxbury Russet were the best known American russets of the nineteenth century. Crisp yellow sugary flesh of very good quality. Excellent keeper under high humidity storage conditions. Still considered to be one of the best apples for cider of all time.

GOLDRUSH (+3) First disease resistent release (from Purdue) with world class eating quality and shelf life. Medium sized. Greenish-yellow coat with some russet. Semi-tart.  Keeps as well as Fuji.

GRANNY SMITH (+6) -- A very late maturing, medium sized, tart-flavored, grass green skinned apple from Australia. To reach perfection, Granny Smith requires a very long growing season. A good quality apple, an outstanding keeper with a winning name.

GRIMES GOLDEN (-.5) -- A medium to small-sized yellow-skinned apple of the nineteenth century. Quality similar to Golden Delicious which is believed to be an offspring. Highly susceptible to collar rot, which usually kills the tree. Mild, sweet, spicy flavor. Not a good keeper.

HIDDEN ROSE (+1.5) A chance seedling with pink flesh that matures later and keeps better than Pink Pearl. Preharvest drops. Like Pink Pearl but seems better suited to a Michigan-like short growing season.

HOKUTO (+2) -- A Mutsu/Fuji cross that is a blend of its parents admirable traits -- the crisp texture of Fuji, the large size and shape of Mutsu, and an amalgam of their sweet flavors.

HOLIDAY (0) -- A Macoun/Jonathan cross from the Ohio Experiment Station. Flesh quality most resembles Macoun (the best flavored of the McIntosh clan), but with Jonathan tartness. Flesh crisp, tender, white, aromatic. Deep red slightly faded skin color.

HONEY CRISP (-2) A Macoun/Honey Gold cross from Excelsior MN breeding station. Large, blotched red; extremely crisp. Best very hardy cultivar in the world today.

HONEY GOLD (0) -- A Golden Delicious/Haralson cross, introduced by Hort. Research Center, Excelsior, Minnesota in 1969. Eating quality similar to Golden Delicious. Hardier than Golden Delicious, suitable for cultivation in South Dakota and central Minnesota.

HUDSON'S GOLDEN GEM (-2) -- A conical shaped russet of first class eating quality. Most russets are antiques from the ninetenth century or before. Hudson's was introduced about 1931 by Hudson's Wholesale Nurseries, Tangent, Oregon.

IDARED (+2) -- A cross of Jonathan and Wagener. The result is a large juicy bright red apple with a rich flavor that keeps very well.  Idared requires some refrigeration time to reach peak quality.  Idared is the longest keeping Jonathan type.

JONAGOLD (-1) -- Jonagold is a wonderful flavored, very large, sweet mid-season apple with a relatively short storage and shelf life. Like Beaujolais wine, Jonagold should be savored when young (soon after harvest).

JONALICIOUS (-1.5) -- Flavor equal to the richness of Jonathan but a little less tart.  Larger, crisper, and juicier than Jonathan, and a better keeper. Jonalicious is our hottest selling local market variety with an on-the-sour-side sugar/acid balance.

JONAMAC (-3) -- A medium-sized Jonathan/McIntosh cross which ripens a few days prior to McIntosh. Sour flavored and tender fleshed like McIntosh. Has wonderful McIntosh-like aromatics. Not a good keeper.

JONATHAN (-2) -- Tart, rich, real apple flavor. Offspring of Esopus Spitzenberg, first described in 1826. Many Midwesterners consider Jonathan the best flavored apple in the world!

KANDIL SINAP (0) -- A novelty variety from Turkey of good dessert quality. Its striking medium-sized fruits are very tall and narrow; creamy yellow porcelainlike skin with a sunnyside bright red blush. Tree shaped like the fruit, very narrow.

KEEPSAKE (+2) -- A medium-sized, blotchy mostly red coated, hardy release from the Minnesota Experiment Station. Hard, very crisp, juicy, aromatic. Keeps like rocks.  A good home orchard cultivar for the brutal north. Offspring of Northern Spy. Semi-tart.

KING DAVID (+1) -- Believed to be a Jonathan/Arkansas Black cross. Medium-sized. Dark red coat. Very good quality. Distinctive flavor, a blend of its parents' strengths. Not an especially good keeper. Nearly a century ago, the famous Stark Bros' Nursery predicted that King David would replace Jonathan. Didn't happen.

KOREAN GIANT Asian Pear (+2) -- A very large keeper Asian pear from Korea. Round and crisp like an apple; juicier, denser and sweeter than an apple. Dark brown russet coat. 

LADY - An ancient very small long-keeping flat beautiful apple. Primarily used for decorations, especially for Christmas wreaths. To many tastes a fine eating apple as well, especially when ripe. Inconsistent bearer. Very good keeper.

LIBERTY (-1) -- A highly disease resistant introduction from Geneva N.Y. Liberty has superior dessert quality, somewhat akin to one of its parents, Macoun. Considered to be the best of the disease-resistant apples introduced prior to Gold Rush.

LURARED   (-3) - A chance seedling found in Bone Gap, Illinois marketed by Stark Bro's as a big fruited, early Jonathan-type.

MACOUN (-1) -- Generally regarded as the best flavored of the McIntosh types.  Medium-sized, flat-shaped. Skin color is flushed red to brownish-red over a light yellow background. Flesh crisp, tender, white, juicy, sweet and aromatic. Picked early, nothing special. When it's right, Macoun soars. When over mature, it crashes.

McINTOSH   (-3) -- The number one apple in the northeast.  Green flushed with crimson, with a characteristic purplish bloom.  Flesh is spicy, aromatic, and juicy.

MELROSE  (+1.5) -- An outstanding Jonathan/Red Delicious cross combining the rich flavor of Jonathan and the crisp juicy texture and sweetness of Red Delicious. Round shape, dull red color. Larger than Jonathan and a better keeper. A "best" for caramel apples.

MOYER'S PRIZE (0) -- A local Indiana favorite from the late nineteenth century of the Yellow Bellflower group. Medium tart, crisp, very juicy. Yellow skin, oblong conic shape, medium to large size. Quality good to very good.

MUTSU (+2.5) -- A late maturing offspring of Golden Delicious from Japan's breeding program. A very large, firm, greenish yellow apple with a sweet, cocktail of flavors, including a hint of anise. Juicy and refreshing. Absolutely outstanding dessert quality. A good keeper. Renamed Crispin in the United Kingdom and New York.

NEWTOWN PIPPIN (+4) -- A medium-sized, light green coated antique American variety whose flavor, handling, and storage qualities were so superior that it was exported to Europe in the late 1700's - the Granny Smith of its day. An outstanding keeper requiring a long growing season to mature to perfection.

NITTANY (+2) -- An open-pollinated offspring of York Imperial from the Pennsylvania State breeding program. Like York, a crisp good keeper, and a good processing cultivar.  Appearance and texture similar to Fuji.

NORTHERN SPY (+2) -- Long the standard of excellence for both eating and cooking. A large red apple. Very easy to bruise. Like French Bordeaux wine vintages, Northern Spy has its good and great seasons.

ORIN (+2) -- Same parents as Mutsu - Golden Delicious and Indo.  A medium-sized, light green to yellow apple with russeted lenticles, making for an ordinary appearance.  Orin has a crisp texture similar to Fuji's and a sweet flavor akin to Golden Deliciuos, overlaid with spectacular aromatics.

PARAGON (+4) -- A Winesap-type from early nineteenth century Tennessee. Like other Winesap types, it has a dark red coat, spicy flavor, and is a good keeper. Very similar to Black Twig.

PINK PEARL (-4) -- A novelty pink fleshed variety with a transparent skin which glows pink from the flesh underneath. Good eating quality, but quite tart. A lovely addition for applesauce. Not a good keeper. 

PINK SUGAR  (+1) -- A Downing selection, probably a Red Delicious/Golden Delicious cross.  Pink striped over a yellow background. Lacks acid, very sweet.

PITMASTON PINEAPPLE (-2) -- A small-fruited English fall russet apple.  Firm juicy flesh with a first rate rich distinctive flavor.

RAZOR RUSSET (+1) -- An attractive russet mutation of Golden Delicious.  Spicier than standard Golden.

RHODE ISLAND GREENING (0) -- This large green skinned triploid was once the second most important cultivar grown in New York, back when Baldwin was number one. Very juicy, tender, semi-tart. Unsurpassed as a cooker. Very good for dessert for folks who like tart apples. Best suited to the milder sections of New England.

ROXBURY RUSSET (0) -- A medium-sized, russet-coated antique. This and Golden Russet were the best known American russets of the nineteenth century. Roxbury is larger and less uniformly shaped than Golden Russet and less high flavored and not as good a keeper.

RUBINETTE (-2) A Swiss bred Golden Delicious/Cox's Orange Pippin cross. Sour, rich flavored. Medium-sized, fawn colored russet.  So far, this apple with Cox-like eating quality seems to handle our mid-USA climate much better than Cox does.

SCARLET O'HARA (-1) A mainly red, flattish shaped, selection from the Purdue disease resistent breeding program. Rome, Golden Delicious and Jonathan are in its heritage.  Outstanding texture and a good keeper for its season. Precocious bearer and very productive but susceptible to Fireblight. Formerly known as Co-op 25.

SIR PRIZE (0) -- A large yellow, russet free, scab and mildew resistant apple of very good quality.  One of the new disease resistant releases.  Bruises very easily.

SNOW APPLE (0) -- Synonym: FAMEUSE. Soft, snow-white fleshed, aromatic, medium-sized, antique flat red apple. Possibly a parent of McIntosh, being similar in quality.

SPARTAN  (-2) -- A McIntosh/Newtown Pippin cross. A medium-sized McIntosh type with white, crisp, aromatic flesh. Firmer, better-colored, and a better keeper than McIntosh.

SPIGOLD (+2) -- A very large to huge red-striped Red Spy/Golden Delicious cross from the Geneva N.Y. Experiment Station. An oddity for an apple so large to have such exquisite dessert quality, a blend of its parents' superior qualities. Perhaps the best cultivar to include in sweet cider blends.

STAYMAN WINESAP (+3) -- An offspring of Winesap having similar attributes.Good keeper, bruise-resistent, dull red coat. Flavor subacid, aromatic. Fruit has a tendency to crack.

STELLAR (+2) -- A late season, firm and crisp, Golden type from Arkansas' breeding program Stellar is milder flavored and much more attractive than two other new entries in this class, Suncrisp and Goldrush.

SUNCRISP (+2) -- A highly-flavored Golden-type with excellent aromatics. Golden Delicious is a parent, Cox's Orange Pippin and Cortland are grandparents; hence it shares three fourths of its heritage with superstar Gala.

SWAAR (+3) -- A medium-sized rough skinned russet grown by Dutch settlers on the Hudson River in the early 1800's. Its ugly coat conceals a rich and aromatic flesh of very good to best quality.

SWEET EMMA (+2) -- A seedling discovered in Doud Orchards near Denver, IN by Dave Doud and named after his daughter. A medium-sized, round, red apple, probably an off-spring of Red Delicious. Crisper and having a less tough skin than Delicious.

SWEET SIXTEEN   (-1) -- A hardy release from the Minnesota Experiment Station. A MN 447/Northern Spy cross having firm, crisp texture; moderately acid, aromatic, very pleasing anise essence flavor.

SWISS GOURMET (-3.5) Also known as ARLET. A Swiss bred cross of Golden Delicious and Idared. Prone to russet, preharvest drop, and oily skin. Firmer and tarter than Gala.  Eating quality akin to Braeburn's but ripens seven weeks earlier.

TOLMAN SWEET (0) -- This medium sized yellow apple is believed to have originated in Massachusetts in the early 1800's. In the nineteenth century when sweet apples were prized for home orchards, Tolman was the best and most popular of this class.

TURLEY WINESAP (+3) -- A Winesap offspring resembling Stayman, more crack-resistent, but of lower quality. A flat, dull red, firm apple that tolerates shipping. Good keeper. Good culinary variety.

WHITE WINTER PEARMAIN (+3) -- A medium to large, pale yellow-skinned apple from 19th century Indiana. Pleasantly aromatic and ranked very good to best for dessert. Flavor akin to Mutsu but in a smaller, harder, and less attractive package.

WINTER BANANA (+2) -- A large, clear, pale yellow apple with a beautiful pink blush.  Originated in Indiana in the late 1800's. Quality good to very good. Firm, coarse, distinctly aromatic. Often used as a pollinator for Red Delicious in Washington state.

YORK IMPERIAL (+4) -- Discovered near York, Pa in 1830, this excellent keeping apple was dubbed "Imperial of Keepers" by Charles Downing, a nineteenth century pomologist.  Usually lopsided. Similar in coloring to Fuji, but not as sweet flavored

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Jill Vorbeck
1716 Apples Road
Chapin, IL 62628
Phone: (800) 588-3854
Fax: (217) 245-7844
e-mail: vorbeck@csj.net