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Apple Varieties
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Alexander (Emperor Alexander)
Grown by: Bernyce White
Elk Rapids, Michigan 1998
We were first introduced to this variety by Bernyce White, of Elk Rapids, Michigan. A giant Alexander tree, possibly 100 years old, stands next to her farmhouse, and most years she offers a few in her roadside market on US-31.

from Apples of New York- S.A. Beach:

"Alexander is a typical representative of the class of Russian apples commonly known as the Aport group. Fruit very large, attractive red or striped, coarse in texture, medium to good in quality, suitable for culinary rather than for dessert use. The fruit is apt to crack and decay about the stem and calyx and often becomes discolored where it is chafed by constantly rubbing against some twig or branch; there is also a considerable loss from premature dropping of the fruit. Notwithstanding these faults many fruit growers now regard Alexander favorably as a commercial variety as in some markets there is a strong demand for the fruit at good prices. It is being used to some extent for export trade. Its season begins in September and extends through October or into November. It may be held in cold storage till November. It goes down quickly and as it does not stand heat well before going into storage it should be shipped the day it is picked and under ice. As it ripens continuously during a period of from four to six weeks it should have more than one picking. The tree is hardy, vigorous and moderately productive. In some localities it is subject to blight. It can be recommended for planting in commercial orchards to a limited extent. In the West it is now largely supplanted by its Wisconsin seedling Wolf River.

At A Glance
name: Alexander
origin: Ukraine
date: ca 1700
parentage: unknown
harvest: late September
season: late September-early October
"Introduced into England from Russia in 1817. The exact date of the introduction of this variety into America is not known. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society made several importations of European varieties which were distributed among the members of the society. Mr. Manning exhibited what was supposed to be Alexander before the Massachusetts Horticultural Society at its meeting on September 18, 1830. Whether this was Alexander or not, the shipment of varieties of which Alexander was one had evidently been made prior to that date.
"It has been widely disseminated and is now pretty well known in the apple growing districts from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Thus far it has not been grown to any considerable extent in New York state but at the present time its cultivation is on the increase.

"Tree large to medium, vigorous to moderately vigorous with long, stout braches. Form upright spreading to roundish, open and somewhat inclined to droop after bearing heavy crops. Twigs short, curved, stout with large terminal buds; internodes medium. Bark brown mingled with olive-green lightly streaked with scarf-skin; slightly pubescent near tips. Lenticels scattering, medium in size, oval, raised. Buds medium in size, plump, obtuse, free, slightly pubescent.

"Fruit large, uniform in size and shape. Form roundish conic to slightly oblate conic, regular or approaching broadly angular, symmetrical. Stem medium to rather short, moderately thick. Cavity acute to acuminate, deep, broad, symmetrical, occasionally lipped, russeted, often with broad, conspicuous, outspreading russet rays. Calyx medium to large, usually open; lobes medium to short, rather narrow, acute. Basin rather small, deep, narrow to nearly medium in width, abrupt, nearly smooth, symmetrical.
"Skin moderately thick, tough, smooth, glossy, somewhat waxy, greenish or pale yellow deepening to orange-yellow in the sun, often entirely overspread with lively red or handsomely striped and splashed with bright carmine. Dots inconspicuous, small, scattering. Prevailing effect red or striped.
"Calyx tube variable, long to short, wide to medium, conical to funnel-shaped. Stamens median to basal.
"Core small, usually axile; cells often not uniformly developed, closed or very slightly open; core line slightly clasping. Carpels elliptical to slightly ovate, emarginate. Seeds medium in size, wide, short, rather plump, obtuse to acute.
"Flesh nearly white with faint yellow tinge, firm, coarse, moderately crisp, tender, juicy, mild subacid, fair to good.
"Season September and October or early November.

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 Arkansas Black
Arkansas Black
Grown by: Herb Teichman
Eau Claire, Michigan 1998
 Arkansas Black

from Apples of New York- S.A. Beach:

"The Arkansas Black is one of the most beautiful of apples. It is a good keeper and commands a good price in market. The color is a lively red deepening on the exposed side to purplish-red or nearly black. The tree is unproductive and not desirable for general planting.
"Arkansas Black is distinct from the Arkansas or Mammoth Blacktwig.


At A Glance
name: Arkansas Black
origin: Benton County, Arkansas
date: 1870
parentage: probably Winesap seedling
harvest: October
season: December-April
"According to Stinson the Arkansas Black originated in Benton county Arkansas, and bore its first fruit about 1870. The first description of it which I find, is that given by Van Deman in 1886.

"Tree moderately vigorous; branches long, slender. Form upright spreading, rather open. Twigs short, stout; internodes short. Bark dark reddish-brown, mottled with scarf-skin, pubescent. Lenticels scattering, small to below medium, round. Buds large, broad, acute, appressed, pubescent. Leaves medium in size.

"Fruit as grown here is medium or below, rarely large, pretty uniform in size and shape. Form nearly round. Stem medium. Cavity acute, rather small, sometimes lipped, not deep, partly russeted. Calyx rather small, closed.
"Skin smooth, somewhat waxy; yellow covered with a lively red deepening to purplish-red or almost black on the exposed side. Dots small, inconspicuous. Prevailing effect bright very dark red.
"Calyx tube conical, approaching funnel-form. Stamens marginal.
"Core medium to small, abaxile, closed or partly open; core lines clasping. Carpels concave, roundish, emarginate. Seeds plump, rather short, obtuse, moderately dark brown.
"Flesh decidedly tinged with yellow, very firm, rather fine-grained, crisp, moderately juicy, sprightly subacid, good to very good.
"Season December to April or later. In cold storage it keeps well through the storage season.

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