This section is from the book "The Fruit Manual: Containing The Descriptions And Synonyms Of The Fruits And Fruit Trees Of Great Britain", by Robert Hogg. Also available from Amazon: The Fruit Manual.
Fruit, of medium size; round, even, and sometimes obscurely ribbed. Skin, dull green on the shaded side, and brownish red where exposed to the sun, very much covered with brown russet. Eye, closed, set in a round and plaited basin. Stamens, marginal; tube, deep, conical. Stalk, short, inserted in a deep, round cavity. Flesh, yellow, firm, sweet, rich, and perfumed with the flavour of anise. Cells, closed, obovate.
Raised by Mr. William Pleasance, a nurseryman at Barnwell, near Cambridge, and was communicated by him to the London Horticultural Society in 1821. It belongs to the Nonpareil family, and is valuable as a late winter apple.
Fruit, medium sized; roundish, broadest at the base, with broad obscure ribs extending to the apex, which give it an irregularity in its outline. Skin, at first dull green, but changing as it ripens to a fine olive green, or greenish yellow, with a reddish brown tinge next the sun, and dotted all over with small grey russety dots. Eye, small and closed, set in a small and rather shallow basin. Stamens, median; tube, conical. Stalk, half an inch long, slender, and inserted all its length in a deep round cavity lined with delicate russet, which extends over a portion of the base. Flesh, yellowish white tinged with green, firm, crisp, very juicy, with a rich and highly aromatic flavour. Cells, obovate; axile.
A dessert apple, which, when in perfection, is not to be surpassed; it is in use from December to April. This description being taken from an imported specimen, it must not be expected that fruit grown in this country will attain the same perfection; for, like most of the best American apples, it does not succeed in this climate. Even with the protection of a wall, and in the most favourable situation, it does not possess that peculiarly rich aroma which characterises the imported fruit.
The tree is a slender and slow grower, and is always distinguished, even, in its young state, by the roughness of its bark. It prefers a strong, rich, and genial soil, and, according to Coxe, does not arrive at maturity till twenty or twenty-five years old.
This is an old American apple. It originated at Newtown, on Long Island, U.S., and was introduced to this country about the middle of the last century. I find it was cultivated in the Brompton Park Nursery so early as 1768, under the name of "Newtown Pippin from New York." Forsyth remarks that it is said to have been originally from Devonshire, but if it were so, there would still have been some trace of it left in that county. It is extensively cultivated in New York, and all the middle states, and particularly on the Hudson, where the finest American orchards are. There are immense quantities produced, which are packed in barrels and exported to Britain and other parts. The month of January is generally the season they arrive in this country, and then they are the most attractive of all dessert apples in Covent Garden Market; the name serving, in many instances, as a decoy for the sale of many other and inferior varieties. The Alfriston, in many collections, is erroneously cultivated under the name of Newtown Pippin.