Apple Index - "A"

Abram (Father Abram, Father Abraham, Red Abram, Abraham, Abram's Pippin)

Two Red Apples and Watercolor Print

Description: Fruit small to medium, roundish oblate, ribbed; greenish yellow shaded and splashed with dull or brownish red and often rather grayish in appearance; dots numerous, light colored. Flesh yellowish white, tender, fine-grained, subacid to almost sweet.  

History: The origin of Abram is unknown; early references say it originated in either Virginia or South Carolina, and it was listed in 1755 in a Virginia newspaper.  Tom Burford, a nurseryman in Virginia, believes Abram may be identical to the old German apple called Danzinger Kantapfel. If so, it was brought to Virginia by early German settlers. Abram was grown extensively at one time in North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and even Illinois where the fruit was prized as an excellent winter keeper and was useful for cider. Abram has been described as "not fit to eat before January," which means it mellows and improves in quality during storage.

Uses: Multipurpose, Stores well.



Big Yellow Apple

Description: Fruit medium or above, lobed; skin light yellowish green with a pinkish red blush mostly on top of the apple; dots numerous, russet.  Flesh slightly yellowish, fine-grained, juicy, crisp, subacid. Ripe August.

History: Accordian was brought to Lee Calhoun's attention by Clinton D. Vernon of Rockingham County, North Carolina, and is a perfect example of what he referred to as a "family apple." A family apple is a variety which originated with a rural family and which has been passed down in that family. Accordian apple has been esteemed by the Vernon family and propagated by root sprouts for over a hundred years. It likely gets its name from the lobes or ribs which run from top to bottom of the apples, giving the fruit a somewhat pleated appearance.

Uses: Fresh Eating

Alexander's Ice Cream (Ice Cream)

Two Red Apples

Description: Fruit medium, roundish to oblong, skin pale greenish, dotted and striped with pale red; dots whitish, small to large; stem medium in shallow, sometimes lipped and russeted cavity; calyx greenish, closed; basin small and shallow, often irregular; flesh pale yellow, moderately crisp, juicy, mildly sweet.  Ripe July

History: Sold by North Carolina nurseries from 1893 to 1915. From the 1895 catalog of the J. Van Lindley Nursery, Greensboro, North Carolina: “Introduced by W.D. Alexander of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and described by him as being of good size, striped with red. A real beauty. Ripens from 20th of June to 1st of September. An annual bearer. Has not missed a crop in fifteen years. Tree an extra fine grower, ornamental as well as useful. Sells readily at $1 per bushel while other apples only bring 25 cents.”

Uses: Fresh Eating


American Beauty

Two Red Apples and Watercolor Print

Description: A large, dark-red apple, sweet and aromatic with slightly chewy flesh. The flavor has often been described as vinous. It is regarded as a high-quality fruit and is a very productive, annual apple.  Tom Brown found a tree near McGrady, NC.   Ripens late September to October.

History: Arose in Sterling, Massachusetts around the 1850s, but the exact date of origin is unknown.

Uses: Fresh Eating, Cider

(description and history from Big Horse Creek Farm at

American Golden Russet (Bullock Pippin, Golden Russet, Sheepnose, Fox Apple, Long Tom, Sheep's Snout)

Description: Fruit below medium size, roundish to oblong, conical, symmetrical; skin pale yellow to greenish-yellow overspread with gold russet.  Flesh tinged yellow, firm, fine grained, crisp, tender, juicy, aromatic, subacid. Ripe September-November.

History:  This apple has had two lives under two different names. From 1836 to about 1870, it was listed in southern nursery catalogs as Bullock Pippin. From 1870 until well into the 20th century, it was listed mostly as American Golden Russet with Bullock Pippin as a synonym.   Writing from his home in Ohio in 1876, the noted pomologist Dr. John Warder could hardly contain his enthusiasm for this apple: "This delicious table apple is a universal favorite with all who can appreciate delicacy of flavor and fineness of flesh in an apple...The best I have seen were from the South and from sandstone soils."

Uses: Cider, Fresh Eating, Drying


American Limbertwig (Common Limbertwig, Green Limbertwig, James River, Mountain Limbertwig, Red Limbertwig)

Two Red Apples

Description: Medium size, round. Base color is greenish yellow, over which is a dull red wash on the sun-exposed face. Marked with abundant raised, russet lenticels which give the skin a rough feel. The flesh is yellowish and firm. The apple is juicy, sweet, and somewhat tart. Excellent fresh-eating apple and highly regarded for use in cider making. Good dried or in jelly.  Ripens October.

History: The American Limbertwig is said to have been one of the first of the many Limbertwig apples that emerged from the southern Appalachian region of southeastern North American following the European settlement during the 1700s. In the 1872 edition of his "The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America," Charles Downing lists a Red Limbertwig (a synonym for American Limbertwig) as having originated in North Carolina.

Uses: Multipurpose, Stores well

(Description and history from

American Summer Pearmain (Summer Pearmain, Early Summer Pearmain, Watkin's Early, American Pearmain, Pearmain)

Two Red Apples and Watercolor Print

Description: Fruit medium size or larger, variable in shape but usually rather oblong or roundish and slightly conical; skin greenish yellow mostly covered with dull purplish-red stripes and blotches. Flesh yellow, very tender (fruit often bursts when it falls), juicy, crisp, aromatic, mild subacid. Ripe July-August in most of the South.

History: This old American apple was first described by Coxe (1817) and is probably of New Jersey origin. The word "best" is the highest accolade bestowed upon an apple by pomologists, and it has been used often to describe the quality of American Summer Pearmain. Warder (1867) calls this apple "deliciously refreshing."  The fruit is excellent for both fresh eating and applesauce. 

Uses: Fresh Eating, Sauce, Drying, Does not store well



Two Red Apples

Description: Fruit below medium size; skin bright red, sometimes obscurely striped; dots numerous, white. Ripe late July.

History: An old Stokes County, North Carolina, apple found by Fred Small of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Uses: Fresh Eating


Anderson Sweet

One Red Apple

Large to very large, roundish, conical. Skin yellow almost completely covered in splotchy red, often covered with bloom. Ripe August. Very vigorous tree. Good mild flavor.

History: Unknown

Uses: Fresh Eating

Andy Reed

Two Red Apples

Description: Fruit large, roundish to somewhat oblate, irregular in shape; skin almost entirely red; dots whitish, large, scattered. Ripe August.

History: Grown in Cherokee County, North Carolina, for many years. The tree is very productive and disease resistant. Scions were given to Lee Calhoun in 1995 by Gary Smith.

Arkansas Beauty (Early Arkansas Beauty)

Two Red Apples and Watercolor Print

Description: Fruit medium, roundish to slightly roundish conical; skin yellow mostly covered with bright red and lighter red; dots whitish, somewhat large, not numerous; cavity somewhat narrow, medium depth, somewhat acute; stem medium length to almost long, sometimes lightly russeted; basin medium width, somewhat shallow with mostly closed calyx.  Ripe late July/early August.

History: This is probably the apple listed in Lee's book in the extinct section under Early Arkansas Beauty.  Was listed from 1888 to 1894 by the Planter's Nursery in Humboldt, TN.  Described as resembling Astrachan but better quality.  Highly perfumed.  July.

Uses: Fresh Eating

Arkansas Black

Two Red Apples and Watercolor Print

Description: Fruit medium size, nearly round, sometimes slightly conical; skin yellow covered with deep red, almost black on the sunny side.  Flesh very firm (hard when picked), yellow, rather fine-grained, crisp, moderately juicy, sprightly subacid. Ripe November to April.

History: The original tree is thought to have been a Winesap seedling in the orchard of a Mr. Brattwait, one mile northwest of Bentonville, Arkansas, and bore its first fruit about 1870. Lee Calhoun described this apple as "not fit to eat until after Christmas."

Uses: Multipurpose, Stores very well.

Arkansas Sweet

Two Red Apples and Watercolor Print

Description: Fruit medium, roundish oblate; skin yellow mostly covered with crimson with indistinct darker stripes; dots scattered, whitish.  Flesh whitish, crisp, sweet. Ripens September.

History: This variety was first brought to notice when apples were sent to the USDA in 1905 by Henry Grabin of Scott County, Arkansas. In 1993, Ron Joyner of Apex, North Carolina discovered an apple of this name still being grown by John Kenyon of Lacon, Illinois. Mr. Kenyon describes Arkansas Sweet as very sweet and crunchy and quite popular with his orchard customers. 

Uses: Fresh Eating, Not a good keeper


Ashford Limbertwig

Two Red Apples

Unknown History.

Fruit Medium, Roundish, slightly conic; skin greenish yellow covered with faint and darker red stripes; dots large, numerous; stem short, thick, cavity shallow, acuminate; basin shallow, narrow; calyx closed.  Ripe October.


Two Yellow Apples

Description: Fruit very large, roundish conical to almost oblong conical, irregular, lobed; skin pale yellow, darker yellow on the sunny side; dots numerous, submerged. Ripe late June to early July.

History: Joyce Neighbors from Gadsden, Alabama, found this apple and the story behind it. Sometime before 1900 Russell L. Baker moved from California to Baileyton, Alabama to develop seedless grapes, but he also experimented with peaches and apples.  Atha is supposed to be a cross of Yellow Transparent x Red Astrachan.  It is said that Atha Warnick (d. 1906), the wife of one of Mr. Baker’s employees, made the cross.  One publication says: “Fruit firmer, ripens six weeks later and less tendency to biennial bearing than Yellow Transparent.”

Uses: Cooking, Sauce


Aunt Cora's Yard Apple (Aunt Cora's Field Apple)

Three Red Apples

Description:  Fruit below medium to almost small, roundish to slightly oblate, flattened on the ends; skin smooth, greenish yellow at the calyx end but otherwise almost completely covered with red with faint darker red stripes and some irregular russet splotches; dots grayish and some are russet; stem medium length in an acute, rather deep, pale russet cavity; calyx closed or slightly open; basin wide; flesh whitish, moderately juicy, fine grained, nutty flavor, subacid to almost sweet.  Ripe October and a good keeper. 

History: Aunt Cora died in the 1970s at age ninety-seven after a lifetime as a well-known African American midwife in Bath County, Virginia. Her father grew these trees from seed while enslaved to a very cruel master in Bath County. Dr. L. R. Littleton found these trees and traced their history.

Uses: Fresh Eating, Stores well

Aunt Rachel

One Red Apple

Description: Fruit begins ripening early in the season and continues for two to three weeks. One of the best early season apples, Aunt Rachel is a medium to large, red-striped apple covered with prominent light dots. Very attractive with very fine flavor. Ripens July - early August.

History: According to Dave Masters's Interim Report on the Collection and Evaluation of Apples Growing in the Piedmont Area of South Carolina (2005), this variety performs well in the Piedmont of South Carolina. Originated as a local apple in Chatham County, North Carolina.

Uses: Fresh Eating, Cooking

(Description from Big Horse Creek Farm at


Aunt Sally (Aunt Sallie's Everbearing?, Potts)

Two Red Apples

Description: Fruit medium to large; skin mostly red but heavily splotched with golden russet. Dots numerous, flesh tender, subacid. Ripe later September/October.

History: An Aunt Sally apple was sold by the Cedar Cove Nursery in Yadkin County, North Carolina, from 1875 to 1902, and an apple named Aunt Sallie's Everbearing was sold at about the same time by another North Carolina nursery. In 1992, Frank Smith of Raleigh, North Carolina, brought Lee Calhoun twigs from an old Aunt Sally apple tree growing in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.