This is sometimes a constant mark, but is often variable. When reaching to the general curvature of the fruit it is medium; when below this outline, short; when extending out beyond, long. It may be stout or slender; straight or curved, rarely fleshy or knobbed. The color is usually green or brown, alone or in combination, sometimes yellow and somewhat red; as means of identification the color of the stem is not reliable.
This is the depression in which the stem is inserted, and may be wide, deep, shallow, regular, irregular, wavy, uneven, or folded. In a few varieties the cavity is nearly or quite filled up, and is then termed flat. It is obtuse when blunt or rounded at bottom; acute when ending in a sharp point; acuminate or funnel-shaped, when terminating in a long-drawn-out taper, which usually crowds closely the lower part of the stem; the stem is then sometimes termed deeply inserted.
When lipped, part of the flesh crowds up against the stem as in Roman Stem, Swaar, and Pryor Red. The color may be green or russeted. When the russet extends out in ray-like lines it is termed stellate or radiating russet.
This is the depression at the apex, crown, or "blossom-end." It should be carefully distinguished from the base, which means the stem-end, carrying out the thought that the foundation or source of the fruit is at the stem. Descriptions generally should read from the stem outward from base to apex. The basin may be flat, very shallow, shallow, medium or deeper, narrow or wide; abrupt when the slope is steep; smooth, regular, or even when not furrowed, and so regular and symmetrical that the form could be turned in a lathe; cup-shaped when the slope is nearly perpendicular; angular, with several corners; wavy, with gentle and irregular undulations; furrowed, with more regular undulations; wrinkled, with small irregular undulations; corrugated, with larger irregular ridges; plaited, with small, straight, regular ridges; ribbed, with larger obtuse or rounded ridges: the bottom may have small isolated prominences. The rim of the basin may be sharp or rounded broadly, or may be smooth or ribbed.
When an apple is cut in halves crosswise the core is seen in the centre, consisting normally of five cells of tough parchment-like texture containing the seeds and surrounded by flesh. Outside of this is the core-outline or boundary, consisting of ten fibro-vascular bundles, which, carrying the nutriment, emerge from the stem and branch out over the fruit, meeting again at the calyx-tube. If these unite on the inner end of the tube the core is meeting; if lower, nearer the eye, it is clasping. Outside of the core-outline is the larger part of the flesh, different somewhat in texture and color from that inside next the cells. The fibro-vascular bundles are either opposite the points of the cells, or alternate with them, usually the larger being opposite the points. The outline of the core is clearly seen only when cut; the fruit is cut in halves lengthwise, and through or near one of the fibro-vascular bundles. Counting from the stem the core-outline may assume various forms, such as cordate, turbinate, oval, roundish, wide, or compressed, or spindle-shaped, long or short, regular or irregular; large when the breadth is considerably over half the diameter of the fruit; small when much less. The core is usually central, or in the middle of the fruit, but may be sessile or close to the stem, or distant when nearer the calyx. The core may be very small and compact, with seeds crowded in the cells; in others the cells are large and roomy, so that the seeds loosen and rattle when the apple is shaken. The other characteristics of the core are given in Hogg's classification.
These may be numerous or few, large or small, from light or gray brown to dark brown or black, short or long, plump or flattened, blunt or pointed, often some are imperfect. The latter is often a constant characteristic. Sometimes the exact number of seeds is given, but this must be understood as being approximate only, the number varying. In a few varieties, such as Saxton and Ortley, the seeds loosen very readily when ripe, and rattle when the apple is shaken.
Flesh - The color ranges from white to yellow, sometimes with greenish tinge, or stained with red. The flesh may be juicy or dry, firm and compact, or loose, spongy, or marrowy; tender, delicate, crisp, fine- or coarse-grained. The flavor may be sweet, mild, subacid, sprightly or brisk, subacid or sour, acid, very acid, astringent, insipid or rich, highly flavored and spicy. As to odor, the fruits may be sometimes perfumed or aromatic. The quality is expressed by the terms poor, inferior, good, very good, excellent, best. This judgment depends somewhat upon the individual - "there is no accounting for tastes."
Many varieties of only moderate quality for dessert use are cultivated because of greater productiveness; their bright color may take well in the market, or the fruit be excellent for culinary use.
Some of those ranked as best in quality are not much grown because of shy bearing or weakness of tree.
The season during which the fruit is best varies with the locality, the season being earlier southwards, and later at the North. The season may be early summer, summer, early or late fall, early winter, midwinter, late winter, or spring.