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The Flower of Kent

This “distinctly ugly” cooking apple is known as the Flower of Kent. Its parent tree lives at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire.

You know that about apples, do you? Apples are genetically diverse, so if you grow an apple tree from a seed, there’s no guarantee the resulting apple will taste like the parent – or even taste good! Hence apple trees are grown from cuttings grafted onto some other tree’s root stock.

All the varieties that have names have been grown from cuttings (or cuttings from cuttings) from an original tree somewhere. Every Granny Smith you’ve ever eaten came from a little slice of that one tree Maria Ann Smith bred in her orchard in Australia in 1868.

But I digress. This lumpy specimen is from the tree Newton sat under when “the notion of gravity came into his mind occasion’d by the fall of an apple.” And you can own one!

For a mere £30, you can buy a stick that was cut from a tree that was grown from a stick from Isaac Newton’s tree that can be grafted onto a root that will grow into a tree that will bear a fruit that is apparently very meh.

But if you smack someone upside the head with it, maybe they’ll get super smart.


Comment from Deborah HH
Time: September 21, 2023, 8:21 pm

My thanks to everyone who participated in the cultivation my favorite fruit—the Apple. I’ll have pass on the heritage stick from Issac Newton’s tree. If it survived a panhandle winter then a panhandle summer would probably kill it for sure.

JavaMan planted two Fuji apple trees this summer. He ordered Gala trees from the County Extension Service but they sent us Fujis. I like Fujis so we’ll be fine.

We tried twice to buy table grapes to plant but were too slow. He found a wine-making grape—Brandt—and said what the heck and planted it. Surely one can make jelly with wine grapes. Grapes do well in the hot and dry panhandle, which was a surprise to everyone. Vineyards popping up all over.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: September 21, 2023, 10:53 pm

Apples from trees grown from seed are generally poor eating, but good for cider. So when “Johnny Appleseed” went about planting apple tree seeds, he was facilitating cider production. (Hic!)

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: September 22, 2023, 11:28 am

Omg! Genetic engineering!

We planted pears at Napsalot in East Texas. Rough summer for them, but if they made it (we’ll see about one of them) we’re probably good.

The native persimmons sprouted all over, but no fruiting this year.

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