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Pollination group:

American Limbertwig

Synonyms: Common Limbertwig, Green Limbertwig, James River, Mountain Limbertwig, Red Jewel (there is also a crabapple by this name; see Red Jewel ), Red Limbertwig, sometimes Virginia Limbertwig.

Summary: One of the 96 varieties of limbertwig apples which arose out of the South Appalachian Mountain region of south-eastern North America. Roughly half of them have been lost. Also known as the Red Limbertwig, this variety might well be the first of the limbertwigs.

Identification: Medium size, round. Base colour 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 calyx is closed, set in a shallow, wide basin. The stem is medium length tending to long. set in a deep and narrow cavity which can be lightly russetted.

Characteristics: The flesh is yellowish, firm. Juicy, sweet and somewhat tart. It does bear hints of the unique flavour and aroma representative of limbertwig apples, but not as pronounced as many of the varieties that emerged from the American Limbertwig.

Uses: Excellent fresh-eating apple and highly regarded for use in cider making. Good dried apple rings and jelly.

Origins: 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 America following the European settlement during the 1700s. Nothing is known about their origin, though it can be assumed that it developed from a seedling of an apple brought across the Atlantic Ocean by one of these settlers. The common limbertwig growth habit and distinctive sweet-tart flavour suggests that the 50 or so varieties still grown today likely have a common source and that may well be the American Limbertwig. 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.

Cultivation: Weeping growth habit typical of most limbertwig apple trees. Tip bearer.

Ploidism: Diploid. Self sterile.

12 weeks

Cold storage: Up to three months. Flavours improve in storage.

Harvest: Late in the fourth period and into the fifth. Fruit hangs firmly even after the apple is fully ripe.

Juice character: Presses out with a deep amber must.

Harvest period: 4

Type(s): Culinary, Cider, Dessert, Jelly

Pollination group: F

Pollination day: 22