Apple Index - "Mitchell to Myer's Royal"


apple that is a dull mottled red and green

Description: Fruit above medium to large, roundish, slightly conical; skin tough, mostly covered with orangish red with some broken red stripes; dots numerous, rather large, mostly russet, but smaller and white near the calyx end. Flesh yellowish, fine-grained, moderately crisp, juicy, mild subacid to almost sweet. Ripe October/November.

History: In 1993, James Hall of Logan, West Virginia wrote: “I grew up in Mitchell Heights in Logan County, which is on the site of the Henry Mitchell farm. Henry was a Confederate soldier wounded at Seven Pines and again at Gettysburg…Henry Mitchell married Bridget Hatfield, the sister of Devil Anse, and sometime between 1880 and 1890 Henry and his wife Biddy built a house on the Guyandotte River. It was here he established his orchard.”

Mitchell Sweet

yellow apple with small brown spots and a slight pink blush

Description: Fruit medium or below, roundish; skin tough, rough, pale yellow with a faint pinkish blush on the sunny side with blotches of light tan russet; dots large, irregular, tan russet. Flesh pale yellow, chewy, slightly juicy, sweet. Ripe late August/September.

History: This is a Mitchell family apple probably named for John Mitchell who lived in the late 1800s in the Cheatham Ford community of Alexander County, North Carolina. A tree belonging to Wayne Wooten of Hiddenite was found by Tom Brown and identified by Harold Mitchell, great grandson of John Mitchell.



red apple

Description: fruit above medium to large, oblate, and quite irregular in shape; skin bright red, waxy; flesh subacid. A very good eating apple. Ripe September.

History: Sold in the early 1900s by the Pores Knob Nursery of Wilkes County, North Carolina. A single limb grafted onto a large tree was found by Tom Brown in 2002 in Troutdale, Virginia, belonging to Leslie Call.

Morgan’s Christmas (Morgan, Morgan Seedling)

red apple with patches of yellow and small yellow spots

Description: Fruit above medium to large, roundish, often oblique, flattened on the ends; skin dark red to almost black at the stem end, fading to yellow at the blossom end, often with a bloom; dots numerous, large, gray. Flesh yellowish, fine-grained, moderately crisp and juicy, sweet. An excellent eating apple that resembles Blacktwig in flavor. Ripe September.

History: Originated on the farm of J. W. Morgan of Otter Creek, Rutherford County, North Carolina, before 1880. Sold by two Virginia nurseries in 1894 and 1928.



red and tan mottled apple

An old local apple grown by Herbert Childress in Dunnville, Kentucky. He describes it as follows: “A conical, green apple with pale pink or red stripes. It used to be the ultimate apple to smoke (with sulfur fumes). Not too tart and just average for eating out of hand.”

Mother (Gardener’s Apple, Queen Anne, American Mother, Bolton Mother)

green apple with a solid red blush on the bottom two thirds of the apple

Description: Fruit medium, roundish conical, sometimes slightly oblong; skin thin, smooth, nearly covered with red with deeper red stripes; dots very numerous, minute, gray. Flesh yellow, fine-grained, tender, juicy, mild subacid with a distinctive aroma. Ripe August/September.

History: A Massachusetts apple well adapted to the South and popular around 1900. Mother originated early in the nineteenth century in Bolton, Massachusetts, on the farm of General Stephen P. Gardner. It was brought to notice in 1844 when exhibited to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.


Mountain Beauty

yellow apple nearly entirely covered with red streaks and blush

Description: Fruit medium or below, oblate; skin smooth, whitish shaded with light and dark red, purplish red in the sun, some obscure stripes; dots many, light colored, some areole. Flesh white, tender, juicy, mild subacid to almost sweet. Ripe December/January.

History: Originated with Stephen Ferguson near Keswick Depot, Virginia. This is probably the same apple as the Mountain Beauty mentioned in an 1855 issue of The American Gardener magazine.  Rediscovered by Tom Brown in 2002.

Mountain Boomer (Mount Boomer, Seek No Further)

greenish yellow apple with small brown spots

Description: Fruit large to very large, roundish conical; skin pale yellow or greenish yellow, occasionally with a blush. Flesh firm, juicy, sometimes with watery streaks near the skin. Ripe August/September.

History: The Virginia State Horticultural Society described Mountain Boomer in 1900 as a new variety, and it was listed by two Tennessee nurseries from 1905 to 1916. John and Mary Creech, of Turkey Hollow Nursery in Kentucky, rediscovered this apple.


Mrs. Bryan (Bryan, Lady Bryan?)

green apple with a red blush

Description: Fruit large, roundish to slightly oblate, conical, often lobed, and irregular; skin pale greenish, blushed with orange or pale red, with broken darker stripes; dots numerous, russet and gray. Flesh creamy, white, tender, coarse, not very juicy. Ripe August/September.

This large, showy apple was grown from seed in the 1870s by Robert Boatman near Dillon, Georgia. It was named for Mrs. J. W. Bryan of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, who was an esteemed member of the Georgia Horticultural Society.  Mrs. Bryan was extinct in the United States for many years, but Lee Calhoun found a tree in the fruit collection of the National Fruit Trust, Kent, England, and imported scionwood into the United States.

Muskmelon Sweet

light red apple with small yellow spots

Description: Fruit above medium to large, sometimes very large, roundish conical, very irregular and prominently ribbed; skin dull, pale greenish yellow; dots large, whitish, numerous, some areole. Flesh greenish white, fine-grained, not very crisp or juicy, sweet. Ripe late September/October.

History: The late T. Blaine Poole of Fries, Virginia, wrote Lee Calhoun a letter in 1986 about a nearby Muskmelon Sweet apple tree.  Mr. Poole (then almost ninety) related that when he was a boy, Muskmelon Sweet was his favorite apple.


Myer's Royal Limbertwig

red apple with orangish brown rough skin breaking through in numerous places

Description: A very large apple. Color is a dull red to crimson on yellow. Flesh is of excellent quality, juicy, firm, and very aromatic. Herbert Myers, who gave Lee Calhoun these scions, says it makes the best cider he has ever tasted. Tree is a semi-weeping consistent annual bearer. Ripens September.