Apple Index - "Y"

Yankee Sweet

yellow apple with the faintest pink blush

Description: Fruit medium, roundish conical, flattened on the ends; skin yellowish or light green, never blushed; dots numerous, rough, russet, often with a green areole. Flesh whitish tinged yellow, fine-grained, juicy, moderately crisp, mildly sweet. Ripe August/September.

History: Popular at one time in Floyd County and around Roanoke, Virginia, but very rare now. Mrs. Harriet S. Allen from near Floyd, Virginia, said the apples are good for canning and make excellent apple preserves and apple marmalade.

Yates (Yates Winter, Red Warrior, Jates, Ferguson Late)

red apple with medium white dots

Description: Fruit small, roundish to oblate; skin mostly covered with shades and stripes of dark red; dots numerous, gray or russet. Flesh white, sometimes stained red near the skin, tender, juicy, aromatic, mild subacid to almost sweet. This tree is a spur-type variety that bears heavy loads annually. Fruit hangs on tree for very long time unless picked. Ripe October/November.

History: Yates is among the elite of southern apples, being sold continuously by southern nurseries for 130 years and still listed by several nurseries. Yates originated about 1844 with Matthew Yates of Fayette County, Georgia, and was often called Red Warrior in the South.


Yellow Bellflower (Fall Bellflower, Belle Fleur, Bellflower, Lady Washington, Warren Pippin, Yellow Sheepnose, Sheepnose, Lincoln Pippin, Mrs. Barron, Bishop Pippin)

yellow apple with medium sized red spots

Description: Fruit variable in size, small to large, sometimes very large, oblong conical, but often barrel-shaped and ribbed with prominent knobs at the calyx end, sides usually unequal; skin smooth, pale lemon yellow, often blushed with brownish red or pinkish red; dots conspicuous, whitish or russet, small at the basin end but larger and more irregular at the stem end.  Flesh whitish tinged pale yellow, firm, crisp, rather tender, juicy, aromatic, acid when first picked but becoming less acid later. Ripe September.

History: There is conflicting information in old references whether Yellow Bellflower is widely adapted to the South. The Southern Apple and Peach Culturalist (1872) says it is well adapted to Tidewater Virginia as well as the Shenandoah Valley. On the other hand, an 1880 Richmond catalog says Yellow Bellflower is not adapted to the Richmond area but is “very profitable in the Valley and Western Virginia.” Coxe (1817) describes Yellow Bellflower and says the original tree grew in Burlington, New Jersey.

Yellow Flat (Parmer, Parmar)

rough yellow apple more than half covered with tan skin

Description: Fruit small to medium, oblate, slightly conical; skin deep yellow, russeted at the stem end and with irregular russet patches all over. Flesh very yellow (darkest yellow just under the skin), fine-grained, brisk subacid. Ripe July/August.

History: This old Virginia apple is not mentioned in any pomological references or nursery catalogs. Lee Calhoun first encountered this apple when Roy Wood of Stuart, Virginia, sent him some apples. Later, Lee found a tree in the heritage orchard at the Eli Whitney homestead near Steele’s Tavern, Virginia. Harriet Allen, who lived near Floyd, Virginia, called this apple Yellow Flat and remembered that it was used mostly to make apple brandy. She recalled that if you had several Parmer trees in your orchard, neighbors knew you were making illegal brandy.


Yellow Newtown Pippin® (Newtown Pippin, Albemarle Pippin, Green Winter Pippin, New York Pippin, Virginia Pippin, Back Creek, Large Newtown Pippin, Petersburg Pippin, Yellow Pippin, Pippin, Green Newtown Pippin, Green Ohio Pippin, Green Winter Pippin)

yellow apple with light red blush

Description: Fruit large, variable in shape. At harvest, yellow with pink tones near the stem end. Often streaks of light green show through, giving a slightly striped effect. Flesh yellowish, mild, tender, rather fine-grained, juicy, aromatic.

History: The original Newtown Pippin tree stood on the farm of the Moore family near Newtown Village, Long Island, New York. It is family tradition that this tree was brought from England and planted about 1666 by the first member of the Moore family in America. Thomas Sorsby’s nursery in Surry County, Virginia, advertised Newtown Pippin trees for sale in 1761. Some Newtown Pippin apples were sent to Benjamin Franklin while he was in London in 1759. The quality of these apples so astonished the British that a demand for their import quickly developed. By 1800 southern-grown Yellow Newtown Pippins, known as Albemarle Pippins, became important in the export trade.


Yellow Transparent® (Russian Transparent, Early Transparent, Early June Transparent)

very pale yellowish green apple

Description: Fruit medium, but above medium to large on young trees or if properly thinned, roundish, conical; skin smooth, transparent, clear white becoming pale yellow when ripe; dots white or greenish, often submerged and obscure. Flesh white, tender, juicy, fine-grained, acid to sprightly subacid. Ripe June/July.

History: Of the hundreds of Russian apple varieties brought to the United States in the late 1800s by the USDA, this apple caught on with southerners better than any other.  Yellow Transparent was imported into this country by the USDA in 1870 from St. Petersburg, Russia (although it originated in the Baltic region) in the search for cold-hardy apples for the Great Plains.


York® (York Imperial, Johnson’s Fine Winter, Shep)

red apple with medium yellow dots and a patch of rough tan skin

Description: Fruit medium to large, usually oblate and oblique, but may be oval or oblong and flattened on the ends; skin heavily splashed and striped with two shades of brownish red, sometimes with russet patches; dots few, gray, often areolar. Flesh yellow, firm, juicy, slightly coarse, crisp, sprightly subacid. Ripe September/October.

History: If you use store-bought apple sauce, canned apple slices, or cider vinegar, the chances are good that they have been made from York Imperial apples grown in Virginia or Pennsylvania. York Imperial originated as a chance seedling that grew up by a turnpike near York, Pennsylvania, on the farm of a Mr. Johnson. A local nurseryman named Jonathan Jessup began grafting and selling trees about 1820 under the name of Johnson’s Fine Winter.  About 1850, the famous pomologist Charles Downing suggested the apple be named York Imperial. In 1871 the American Pomological Society publicized the merits of York Imperial and it began being sold by many nurseries, becoming the leading variety in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia by 1895.