Lindsay is again the writer and I’m the photographer. Lindsay writes:
In contrast to the new up-and-coming apple variety featured on yesterday’s Botany Photo of the Day, today we pay homage to what is arguably one of the most loved heritage varieties, Malus ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’. Raised as a chance seeding by Richard Cox in 1825 at Colnbrook, in Buckinghamshire, England, the parentage of ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ is obscure but thought to be Malus ‘Ribston Pippin’. Malus ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ is distinct in its complex aroma and colour, while the taste is considered by many to be the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. In the UK, Malus ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ accounts for over 50% of dessert apple sales but has never had the same commercial support in North America and is not widely available commercially.
The tree requires more attention than other commercial varieties, as it is particularly susceptible to molding and other common problems. Growers have tried crossing Malus ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ to select its virtues without the problems, and have produced a number of notable varieties such as ‘Ellison’s Orange Pippin’, ‘Holstein’, ‘Ingrid Marie’, ‘Freyberg’, ‘Golden Nugget’, ‘Kidd’s Orange Red’ (which is a parent of ‘Gala’) and ‘Cherry Cox’.
Not only are apples available to taste and purchase at this year’s Apple Festival (web site via the FOGs, web site via the garden), but trees of Malus ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ are available for sale as well (along with over eighty other varieties!): Apple Tree Cultivars for Sale (2009).