What is this apple tree: Old Homestead Apple: Malus pumila var. Wrigthii

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by thechickenprincess, May 14, 2008.

  1. thechickenprincess

    thechickenprincess Member

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    Hi All

    Just joined your forum. Hope someone can shed like on this for me.

    I found a web site selling seeds for an old fashioned southern (american) apple tree with the following description:

    What sort of apple is this? Is it a real apple ... or just a similar species? I'm curious!

    If it is permitted I can post the link to the site selling these seeds.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Malus pumila (M. domestica) is the botanical name of the orchard apple. Haven't heard of a var. wrightii, perhaps this is actually a cultivar (botanical var. are not capitalized whereas cultivars - as in 'Wrightii' are). Description of it as a seed strain would also indicate it is probably a cultivar (var. should be something known from the wild).

    Seems like there may be a cultivar called 'Old Homestead', var. wrightii may be an antique name for this cultivar dating from long ago when some garden (cultivated) forms were described and named as wild species.

    Should be able search both names (they could be calling it either an apple from from old homestead(s) or a seed-raised cultivar 'Old Homestead') and get an idea what is involved.
     
  3. thechickenprincess

    thechickenprincess Member

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    Thanks for helping me understand this. I wasn't aware of the difference between the use of the word cultivar vs variety. I did notice that the web site selling these items tends to mis-spell words now and then ... and I believe that hampered my google searching for more info about this apple. For example, although they spelled the word as Wrigthii, I believe they meant to spell it Wrightii (h and t were reversed).

    I did find a little bit of info that might apply, however. Although I couldn't find anything regarding Homestead or Old Homestead, I found an entry for this on another site:

    'ST Wright'
    A very large cooking apple, the flesh is firm and acid. In season October to November. A large vigorous tree. Full flower not known. Harvest the fruit as late in the season as possible.


    I wonder if that is the same apple tree.

    I think eventually I'm just going to buy some of the seeds and give them a try. I don't know why it interests me so much, but it does. They also sell seeds from a soviet/russian tree typically used for rootstock which is said to have an amazing flavor if you store it for a few months before eating it.

    Thanks for your help. :)
     
  4. biggam

    biggam Active Member

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    Yes, it is probably a regular apple. If the description sounds good, you might as well try it. Too bad they couldn't give the name in a less confusing way.

    It is probably seeds of a variety known to come relatively true from seed. Some other examples are Antonovka, Famuese, and Wolf River.
     
  5. thechickenprincess

    thechickenprincess Member

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    Thanks for the additional info. I had no idea that those apples could sometimes come true from seed. I'm very interested in the Wolf River - and I wouldn't mind some Famuese. Where could I find those seeds?

    You mentioned Antonovka (they spell it Antanovka)- and that is another apple tree seed for sale on the same site. :)

    They have a third apple called: Borowinka (Which I think they mean to spell Borowianka)

    I'm just a real nut for starting things from seed. I like all the struggles and pampering. It's not nearly as much fun to buy started plants and trees.
     
  6. biggam

    biggam Active Member

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    Borowinka and Antonovka are both Russian and are used as hardy seedling rootstock. Wolf River originated in Wisconsin, possibly a seedling of Alexander, another Russian.

    You might be able to find some Wolf River apples this fall, collect seeds, and start them next year. Check http://www.applesource.com. I got a box of Ashmead's Kernel from them a couple years ago; the apples were delicious, and they gave me more quantity than the typical box since they were fairly small apples. I saved 10 or 15 seeds, but I could have saved many more. I haven't sown those, but I have several other apple seedlings in pots, and some in the ground over the past few years. I usually put seeds in small pots in baggies into the fridge in winter -- that's why I said next year -- to give them moist chilling for 75-90 days, then having brought them to room temp. to germinate, I transplant to individual pots (terra cotta rose pots this year, the tall ones,) after they have a pair or more true leaves. Sometimes they will germinate without the chilling, especially still moist out from the apple. If a couple weeks went by after sowing them and I didn't see anything, I'd put the pot into the fridge.

    Hope that's not excessive info; sounds like you know how to grow stuff anyway. I'm just excited about all my apples, even if most aren't big enough to bear fruit yet. One that flowered a lot this year was a Red Baron apple on Antonovka rootstock, and it's only a few years since planting.
     
  7. thechickenprincess

    thechickenprincess Member

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    Thanks for the further tips. :) Definitely not excessive info - I enjoyed it very much.

    While I can somewhat capably grow some things, the apples will be a new game for me - so I'm always open to suggestions. :)

    I've wondered about chilling the seeds. If an apple has been in cold storage all winter and is then used in late spring - do the seeds still need to be further chilled once they're extracted from the apple? Or did that winter/spring of chilling in the apple serve the purpose?
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Interesting that some kinds supposedly come reasonably true from seed because the apple tree is said to be generally highly polymorphic, with seedlings tending to vary wildly.
     

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