Originated in the orchard of Major Rankin Toole, Lincoln Co., Tenn., nearly seventy years ago, and first propagated about 1870. This variety and Arkansaw were mixed for a time in nurseries under the names Paragon and Mammoth Black Twig; the trees are very similar in fruit and habit of growth, but are now considered quite distinct. Both appear to be seedlings of Winesap. (See Gilbert apple description.) The Paragon is now extensively raised in various parts of the South, and is a profitable late winter market variety; tree very vigorous, spreading, rather an open head, not an early bearer. (The cut is outlined from Tenn. Exp. Sta. Bul., Vol. IX., No. 1, May, 1896.) Dr. W. L. Moores, Cyruston, Tenn., in 1895, upon request sent both Gilbert and Paragon to the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture and wrote:
"Both originated in this neighborhood; both original trees are standing (December, 1895), and bore fruit this season. I named both apples and introduced them to public notice about eight years ago. The Paragon has obtained wonderful popularity, yet I believe it is an inferior apple to Gilbert, its twin-brother. Both apples are apparently a cross of Black Twig (Winesap) and Limbertwig, and are so much alike in appearance as to require an expert to distinguish them."
Fruit large, roundish conical; skin thick, tough; surface smooth, yellow, washed with red, having a few indistinct stripes; dots medium, yellow; cavity large, regular, deep, flaring, russet; stem short, slender; basin medium in size and depth, abrupt, furrowed; calyx small, nearly closed; segments small, converging, or slightly reflexed. Core medium, conical, clasping, partially open; seeds numerous, medium, plump, brown; flesh yellow, moderately fine-grained, breaking, juicy, subacid, very good. Winter.
A seedling of Oldenburg; seed grown near Portage, Wis., and planted in fall of 1869 by C. G. Patten, Charles City, Iowa; tree productive, of somewhat stronger growth than Oldenburg, with limbs strongly shouldered. The Minnesota State Horticultural Society has recently put it on the list recommended for general cultivation as of first degree of hardiness.
Fruit large, roundish oblate, irregular, obscurely angular; surface yellowish green, with bronze blush; dots minute, white, mostly with green bases on shaded side; cavity regular, acute, russeted; stem short to very short; basin broad, slightly wavy, abrupt; calyx open. Core closed, small, clasping; tube narrow, funnel-shaped; stamens median; flesh white, juicy, sprightly subacid, good for table, excellent for cooking. October to January.
Originated on the J. G. Payne farm, near Everton, Mo., some sixty years ago, from seeds supposed to have been brought from North Carolina; tree vigorous and productive.
Fruit large, roundish, slightly conical, very regular; surface pale greenish yellow, mostly covered with solid rather light red; dots few, distinct, very large, raised, russet with light bases; cavity deep; regular, obtuse, with large stellate russet patch out over base; stem medium; basin flat, or nearly so, narrow, smooth; calyx half open; segments flat convergent. Core wide open, irregular, meeting, long, tapering to eye; cells round, slit, abaxile, roomy; tube funnel-shaped, small, short; stamens medium; seeds large, short, plump; flesh white, moderately juicy, firm, mild, pleasant subacid, good. January to June and later.