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Irish Seed Savers
The Apple Catalogue
Irish Seed Savers Association Native Irish Apple Catalogue
details are at the foot of this page.
|Ard Cairn Russet
Yellowish-white flesh, dry, firm and sweet. Medium-sized fruit, golden-yellow
skin often flushed with carmine. Almost entirely covered with thick golden-brown
russet. Found in a garden in Ireland in 1890. Listed in Hartland of Cork's
catalogue of 1907 with the comment "tastes like a banana...found in an out
of the way orchard in this county...". Received a Royal Horticultural
Society Award of Merit of 1910.
Firm, dry, slightly acid white flesh. Large, round, conical and angular. No
canker or scab noted. A variety long grown in Northern Ireland. Noted in
Sampson's Survey of Co. Londonderry in 1802.
Very acid, crisp, firm flesh with lingering sweet taste. Large fruit, round and
uneven, yellowish-green with red flush. Once a common Clare apple, now extinct
except for a single stand. Remarkable for striking easily from cuttings.
Firm, white, crisp sub-acid flesh. Smooth yellow skin with scarlet stripes and
stippling. Fruit susceptible to scab. Once common in Counties Armagh and Antrim
until replaced by Bramley Seedling.
Firm white flesh, moderately juicy and acid. Large round fruit, pale yellow
skin, almost entirely covered with darkest crimson with a few russet veins. Also
known as the bloodhound in Co. Kilkenny and the Winesap in Co. Offaly.
Good flavour if allowed to hang late. Flat, rounded fruit. Greenish-yellow with
dark red flush and stripes overlaid with a network of coarse russet veins and
dots. Healthy grower not prone to scab or canker. All trees seen in Counties
Sligo, Offaly, West Meath, Roscommon, Dublin and Wexford.
Firm white flesh, moderately juicy, acidic. Medium-sized, roundish, angular
fruit. A variety once common in the orchards of Piltown, Co. Kilkenny.
Flesh firm, greenish-white, moderately juicy, not acid but with a pronounced
tang. Medium-sized roundish fruit. Greenish-yellow skin with a brown-red flush.
Thin russet dots, patches and veining and with pearly white specks.
Delicious baking apple. Large, flattened, round and uneven. Skin
greenish-yellow, sometimes with a red flush, strewn with russet dots.
Susceptible to canker but usually free from scab on fruit. Reputed to be raised
in Ireland in 1820 by a gardener named Logan.
|Eight Square or Kill
Firm white flesh, crisp, slightly acid with good flavour. Medium-sized, round,
uneven fruit with five broad angles. Pale whitish-yellow skin. Dull and waxy
with a slight flush of pink and patches of thin russet. No scab noted on fruit
or foliage. Once commonly grown in Co. Monaghan.
This was a seedling apple raised by Dr Lamb's father. Mrs Lamb produces
beautiful, golden, pear-tasting apple juice from its fruit.
Firm, crisp juicy fruit, a little acidic, with white flesh. Medium to large
rounded fruit. Creamy yellow with scarlet stripes and stippling. Subject to
scab. Once grown in Counties Offaly, Wexford and Kilkenny.
White-fleshed, sweet, pale yellow, strewn with russet dots and veins. Rounded
fruit. Trees were most common in Co. Dublin and Co. Meath and once listed as a
cider apple in Tighe's Survey of Co. Kilkenny.
Firm-fleshed, juicy and sweet. Medium sized, very conical. Creamy yellow with
dark red stripes and stippling. Can vary according to county. Once common in the
orchards of County Armagh and Antrim.
White flesh, soft, rather acid, a little dry. Medium-sized fruit, round, flat at
the base, irregular and angular. Skin yellowish-white. Sticky when ripe with
russet dots and veining. Slight scab noted on the fruit. An apple frequent in
Creamy white flesh, firm, crisp, moderately juicy, sweet and of a good flavour.
Medium-sized fruit, round, flat and angular. Golden yellow skin with russet dots
and slight russet veining usually confined to one side of the fruit. When ripe
the skin is greasy to a remarkable degree. No scab or canker noted. Once common
in Counties Fermanagh and Tyrone.
Flesh very white, crisp, fairly juicy, good eating with a suspicion of lemon
flavour. Medium-sized fruit, conical varying to somewhat flattened with a
characteristic square appearance at the eye end. Skin smooth, dull, green with
small russet specks. No scab or canker observed. Reputed to crop regularly.
Reported in the Northern Ireland Apple and Pear Conference of 1888 as a
"local sort of repute". One tree found in the 1990s in Donegal.
|Irish Peach or Early
Dr Lamb describes it as "The most delicious fruit of its season, but like
all early varieties it should be fully ripened on the tree, and eaten soon after
gathering...Its great weak point is its susceptibility to scab". Small,
round, slightly flattened, angular fruit. Smooth, pale-yellow skin with
brownish-red flush. Slight stripes of darker carmine red and with slight greyish
russet specks. It is quite likely that the Irish Peach originated in Co. Sligo.
It was held in great esteem during the 1800s and was exported to England where
it is still available today.
Firm, white, crisp, juicy, fairly sweet, mildly flavoured flesh. Medium-sized,
conical, uneven fruit. Skin dull-green becoming yellow when ripe with small
russet dots. No scab or canker seen. Common in Co. Armagh and was exported to
|Kemp or May Bloom
Firm white flesh, crisp, juicy and well-flavoured. Large, round, flattened
fruit, ribbed towards the eye. Pale greenish-yellow skin with a brownish-red
flush and russet dots. No scab seen on trees in Co. Armagh where it was
appreciated as a healthy variety. Noted in the Ordnance Survey of Ireland,
Hard, crisp white flesh with a spicy tang. Small and oval flattened at eye end.
Skin orange-yellow with dull carmine flush and stippling. Often with pearly
white dots and sometimes a few slight russet patches. Usually a healthy variety
but slight scab observed in a few instances. A small apple but very good for the
small garden. Fruits are crisp and crunchy and the tree a regular bearer. Long
grown in Ireland. Mentioned in the Statistical Surveys of the RDS in Counties
Kilkenny and Antrim in 1802 and 1812.
Sweet, crisp flesh, mild flavour. Medium-sized green fruit with red flush. Very
vigorous variety. Recorded in Ireland in 1831.
|Lady's Finger of Offaly
Firm, sweet, greenish-white flesh. Medium sized, markedly oblong fruit. Lady's
Finger is the name commonly applied to any long shaped apple. Generally not
scabby. Seen in Counties Offaly, Monaghan and Dublin.
|Martin Seedling or No
White, juicy, sweetish soft flesh. Large, round and uneven. One of the varieties
recommended in the 1904 Journal of the Department of Agriculture and a class was
provided for it at the Dublin Fruit Show of 1904.
Extraordinary colour, pink-orange skin with a peachy coloured flesh. Sharp
flavour, not at all peach-like. Brought to England from Co. Kilkenny in 1930.
White, firm, moderately juicy, sweet. Small, flattened, even fruit. Colour
varies from pale yellow with a few crimson stripes to almost entirely covered
with crimson flush and stripes. Noted in the field in the 1940s as being
extremely disease resistant and scab free. This was confirmed in the 1990s. Once
a common apple in the orchards of Piltown, Co. Kilkenny.
Moderately juicy, soft and sweet apple. Very large, round conical fruit. Smooth
yellow skin with carmine red stripes and stippling, covered with russet specks.
No scab seen on foliage or fruit. Raised in the late 1800s in Co. Armagh.
Greenish-white flesh, firm, a little dry with a pronounced fennel flavour.
Medium-sized fruit, round, even, covered all over with thin gold-brown russet,
occasionally with scarlet stripes and flush showing through. Long cultivated in
Ireland. Mentioned in Thompson's Survey of Co. Meath in 1802.
|Sam Young or Irish Russet
Yellowish-white, firm crisp flesh with very good flavour. Fruit very small,
round and flattened, often cracked. Skin dull green becoming yellow when ripe
with dots of russet and coarse russet over the base of the fruit and round the
eye. First recorded in 1820 and noted in 1907 apple nursery catalogue as "a
delicious little apple of the very highest quality for late keeping".
Flesh greenish-white, crisp and juicy with a delicious spicy flavour. Medium,
round, flattened, broadly angular fruit. Orange-yellow skin with dark scarlet
flush and stripes overlaid with a network of coarse russet veins and dots. No
canker or scab noted. The Scarlet or Red Crofton is of ancient cultivation in
Ireland. Sir Henry Crofton confirmed to Dr Lamb that the apple was brought to
Ireland during the time of Queen Elizabeth I by the founder of the Crofton
family in Ireland.
Crisp, sweet/acidic white flesh. Large, yellow, prominently ribbed, crowned like
a sheep's nose.
Soft, white, juicy flesh, sweet and mild tasting. Medium-sized fruit, roundish
and irregular varying to conical. Grown in Co. Armagh.
Firm white flesh, very juicy, mild flavour. Large, flattened, broadly angular
fruit. Skin dull green with russet veining. No scab seen on leaves or fruit. On
its way to extinction in the 1940s in Co. Fermanagh. One old tree seen by Dr
Lamb had a trunk 5ft in circumference over 2ft from the ground.
|Thompson's Apple or The
White flesh, crisp, firm, juicy, sweet. Medium sized, round, flattened. Skin
smooth, pale, creamy-yellow with brownish-red flush, stripes and stippling.
Slightly susceptible to scab. Once commonly grown in North-West Tyrone and Co.
|Uncle John's Cooker*
Undocumented Piltown variety. Large, white-fleshed, soft fruit. Very
wind-resistant: the fruit had to be pulled from the trees by Uncle John at
Christmas when all the other trees were long bare. Little is known about this
variety - your observations would be very welcome.
Soft, white, sweet and very juicy, mildly flavoured. Small, round, even fruit.
Skin pale orange-yellow with a few russet specks. Heavy and regular bearer. Once
grown in the orchards of Co. Armagh.
White firm flesh, juicy. Medium to large oblong fruit. Yellow skin with
occasional pink flush, strewn with russet dots and veins. No scab or canker
noted on Mother trees. Pitchers were documented in Ireland in the mid-1700s and
were noted for striking easily from cuttings.
Raspberry flavoured, sweet, refreshing acidity. Crisp yet soft, melting flesh.
Medium shaped, dark red flesh and stripes on a greenish-yellow background.
Introduced in the UK in 1868 when Mother tree was estimated over 100 years old.
Intense, cidery flavour. Sharp, juicy deep-cream flesh. Cooks to a
well-flavoured, slightly brisk, yellow puree. UK variety widely grown in the
late 19th century and commonly grown in Ireland.
Crisp, sweet and juicy. Bright red flush, few red stripes, pale yellow
background, skin becomes greasy. Found in the UK in 1908. Successfully grown in
Trees can be ordered on M26, a semi-dwarfing
rootstock, or MM106, a hardy half standard rootstock. Please include the
following information with your order (written in block capitals): Name,
Address, Tel.No., Name of tree, quantity and rootstock required. Click
for where to send orders
to. We are not able to take overseas orders.
The trees are one year old and will be £8.00
each. The deposit for each tree, to be sent with the order, is £2.00.
All proceeds from the sale of these trees will go towards the conservation
work of the ISSA.
How the money is used:
The Irish Seed Savers Association (ISSA) is a
non-profit limited company dedicated to the preservation of our agricultural
legacy, and all proceeds from the sale of these trees will go towards
maintaining the Association.
will notice that certain trees in 'The Catalogue' have an asterisk beside
'*' This denotes a very rare tree that would be
extinct were it not for the careful husbandry of one family. Because of
the unique contribution of these families, we are giving them a 50p
honorarium for each of their' trees which we sell. This is included in
the price of the trees.
Irish Seed Savers
"The Apple Catalogue" page last updated 5-July-2003