The size is variable, depending upon soil, climate, overbearing, age, and health of tree, etc. The one given is that attained as an average and under normal conditions. The size may be very large, large, medium, small, very small.
The skin may be thick or thin, smooth or uneven, lumpy or pimpled, rough, polished, covered with bloom, unctuous or oily, sometimes russeted in whole or in part. The amount of russet varies, especially about the stem. The color usually consists of two, the ground-color of green or yellow, with over-color of red. When the ground-color is not striped, the fruit is self-colored, although it may be blushed or shaded. German writers term it one-colored. The color is a conspicuous feature, but is modified by climate, season, soil, and whether grown in shade or sunshine. Older trees usually yield better-colored fruit. Only well-colored exposed specimens should be selected for determination.
Stripes are broad alternating lines of color. Streaks are long, distinct, narrow stripes. Splashes are short, abruptly broken stripes of all sizes. When marbled the stripes are wide, faint, waving, or irregular. When washed or shaded the coloring is even, or changes gradually, as in a water-color painting. When mottled the dots nearly run together. When in part dotted, as in Utter, the red appears as distinct dots. Blotched red is of various abrupt shades irregularly placed. When clouded the blotches are broader and more softly shaded.
A bright color is sometimes dulled by being overlaid with a whitish or grayish color which is sometimes suffused, or by open russet net-veining. In the latter case it gives a bronzed appearance. In a very few varieties, especially Westfield, the russet about the basin resembles a piece of bent dry leather, and hence is termed leather-cracking. Pin scratches are minute dark lines running from stem to eye, especially on Tolman and rarely on Keswick; according to Van Deman they never exceed five and in the Northern climates are much more distinct than in the South or West.
It is impossible to give the exact shade of red in an apple. It may vary from light or pale red to black red. Crimson is a clear, beautiful, dark red, with a slight admixture of blue. Carmine is a beautiful darker crimson bordering on purple. Pink is a clear, bright, light red; rose is a delicate pink; orange red is when the red is mixed with yellow.
These are more numerous towards the eye. As a whole they may be obscure or distinct, many or few, large or minute, white, whitish gray, green, yellow or russet, round, elongated, stellate (star-shaped). When surrounded with light or green bases, they are called areolar by some writers. The dots may be depressed, prominent, even so much raised as to roughen the surface.