Heritage varieties

(Many counties have their own varieties of fruit. If you have information for other areas please contact webmaster@organicgarden.org.uk)

The three counties of Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire have a long history of fruit growing. This tradition has produced many varieties which are peculiar to one of the three counties or to a smaller area within their borders. In Gloucestershire 157 varieties of apple have been recorded of which just under a half have disappeared.

This loss of varieties has been caused by changes in agricultural practices and shopping habits and foreign competition. The old varieties may not meet the requirements of today’s market in terms of productivity, storage or appearance. However, there is now increasing interest in these varieties. County councils often offer grant for their planting, especially if they are grown to be large standard trees.

Walcot Organic Nursery has a small selection available of apple varieties from the three counties grown mostly on the vigorous M25 rootstock which will make standard trees, trees with a clear stem of 1.8m (6’)

Perry Pears are almost confined to the three counties. With its favourable climate the region is home to over 120 varieties, often local to a very small area such as a parish. The Nursery has three of the more well-known varieties for fireblight resistance.

WORCESTERSHIRE
Variety Type Description Root-
stocks
GRP Picking time Keeps until
Edward VII Culinary Very late cooker that flowers late so is useful in cold areas. Skin bright
green becoming light yellow green then pale yellow.
½ standard on M25; Maidens on M25 E mid
Oct
April
William Crump Dessert High quality dessert apple, orange/red over green/yellow. Rich flavour
with a balance of sweetness and acidity.
½ standard vigorous M25 D mid
Oct
Feb
Lord Hindlip Dessert Late dessert apple, greenish yellow flushed brownish orange with red speckling. Maidens, vigorous M25 C mid
Oct
March
Chatley’s Kernal Culinary Originates from the village of the same name. Cooker. Yellowish green
with brown red flush.
Maidens, vigorous M25 C mid
Oct
March
Worcester Pearmain Dessert Early dessert. Fruit almost completely flushed bright red. Tip bearer.
Good pollinator. Allow fruit to ripen on tree.
Maidens, moderately vigorous MM106 Maidens, semi dwarfing M26 C early
Sept
Oct
Adam’s Pearmain Dessert Well-flavoured apple – nutty, aromatic. Keeps well. A trouble-free variety.
Golden Yellow skin largely covered crimson red. Herefordshire variety.
Maiden 106,25; Bush 106; Container 106 B Oct March
GLOUCESTERSHIRE
Variety Type Description Root-
stocks
GRP Picking time Keeps until
Ashmead’s Kernal Dessert Yellowish green apple with brown russet. Yellow flesh with crisp acid
flavour. Keeps well.
½ standard vigorous M25; Maidens, vigorous M25; Maidens, moderately vigorous
MM106
E mid
Oct
Feb
Wheeler’s Russet Dessert Late dessert russet apple. Sweet and aromatic. ½ standard on M25 C late
Oct
March
Gloucester Royal Dessert Late dessert apple, skin greatly flushed red. Very sweet with a tough
skin.
½ standard on M25 C mid
Oct
Feb
Gillyflower of Gloucester Dessert Oblong conical striped dessert apple. Smooth-skinned. Sweet, slightly
scented, rather dry white flesh.
½ standard on M25 B early
Sept
Sept
Gloucester Underleaf Dessert Mid-season dessert apple, predominately yellow and smooth-skinned. ½ standard on M25 C late
Sept
Nov
HEREFORDSHIRE
Variety Type Description Root-
stocks
GRP Picking time Keeps until
Pitmaston Pineapple Dessert Small oblong conical sweet apple having a nutty honeyed flavour. Colour
golden yellow with a fine cinnamon russet.
½ standard vigorous M25; Maidens, Semi dwarfing M26

C

early Oct
Adam’s Pearmain Dessert Well flavoured apple – nutty, aromatic. Keeps well. Golden yellow skin
largely covered crimson red.
½ standard vigorous M25; Maidens, vigorous M25; Maidens, oderately vigorous
MM106
B Oct March
PERRY PEARS
Variety Type Description Root-
stocks
GRP Picking time Keeps until
Barland Perry Premier perry pear. Established in the 17th Century. Triploid. Small green
or yellow fruit with russet.
Standard & ½ standard wild pear Mid season late Sept

early Oct.

n/a
Gin Perry Fruits green with an orange flush. Makes good quality perry. Standard & ½ standard wild pear Mid season Oct n/a
Moorcroft Perry Also known as ‘Malvern Hills’. One of the best vintage varieties and popular
for perry making.
Standard & ½ standard wild pear Mid season late
Sept
n/a