The Alverstone Apple

 

(striped and sour)


Found at Alverstone Isle of Wight and named locally 2000.  It was growing in a hedge and is therefore probably a chance pollinated seedling from a discarded apple core.  Has been propagated and distributed locally.

Medium to large size. Conical to short round conical. Base wide and flat with rounded shoulders.
Green apple with a brown/red flush developing, some thin darker crimson red stripes.
Lenticels conspicuous white dots on green and pale russet dots on flush. Skin smooth.

Cavity fairly deep and narrow, no russet
Stalk long, fairly stout and to one side. The stalk to the right of the bottom photo is typical.
Basin medium
Skin evenly puckered into eye
Eye small and closed (September)
Sepals convergent
Flesh hard and stained green under the skin in September.  I am told it is not ready to use until December at the earliest and that it grows larger than the samples I was given.

Tube funnel, Stamens median, Core abaxile, pointed and open.

Tree no real information

Flowering  no information

Season : December on

The Alverstone Apple - the next instalment
I first found out about the Alverstone Apple in The Crockshop in Newport while ordering some plates.  The lady who served me told me about their new apple and how it had been propagated and named.  When I went into collect the plates she brought me some samples.  These were underripe, green and hard but she said it was a good late cooking apple.  The trail then went cold as I lost her name and she had left the Crockshop.
However  I now have more information thanks to the net.  There are Alverstone Apples in Alverstone Community Orchard, Longwood Lane, Alverstone, Isle of Wight (grid ref.SZ588851) beside National Cycle route 23.

An unknown apple variety was being overgrown by dense willow scrub on the edges of Alverstone Marsh in 1993.  It is possible the tree grew from a core thrown from the nearby train track – now a cycleway.  In 1994 the East Yar Valley Project And Alverstone Natural History Society took grafts from the tree and planted 12 new trees of the same variety on unused roadside land.  This orchard still exists but is no longer accessible and in 1995/6 another new orchard was planted with another 12 trees (half standard and dwarf) of Alverstone Apple and other IOW varieties (my source does not know which varieties).  In 1997, I am told, there were wooden sculptures, picnic table  and apples left for scrumping.  This land is owned by Southern Water and has full access at all times.
Need to check this on the ground and amend this information as needed – watch this space.

January 2012 - I walked along the cycle track and into the road opposite Sandown Waterworks and found the community orchard - it is still there.  There are picnic tables and a weathered wooden sculpture.  In January the site was overgrown and shaded but could be a pleasant retreat on a sunny summer day.  It was not possible to identify the apples but look forward to revisiting in the apple season.

August 2012  -  Revisited the site while on a walk, yes the picnic tables are accessible but the apple trees are rapidly being overtaken by brambles and bracken, the site is very shaded and the trees are struggling for survival.  There were a few apples on one tree, none that I could see on others and one tree had been vandalised - such a shame.