[NAFEX] Celestia (old apple variety found).
reveland at collinscom.net
Wed Dec 8 21:44:54 EST 2004
A michigan source. See fruit tree catalog
I came across this site while searching for Foxwhelp. Searching on
Foxwhelp finds lots of rare and cider apples.
On rare occasions one of the great old American apples mentioned in
the early literature is rediscovered. Such is the case with CELESTIA.
CELESTIA was first mentioned by John Warder in his classic work
"American Pomology - Apples 1887" containing 1500 names of apples. He
called CELESTIA a fruit with very profusely, aromatic and spicy
It is interesting that although Warder gave a "best" rating to several
varieties such as Canada Red, Esopus Spitzenberg, Newtown Pippin and
Early Joe, CELESTIA is the only one he rated "very best". For this
reason amateur fruit gardeners have always hoped CELESTIA could be
found. We are delighted to be able to make it available.
Andrew Jackson Downing mentioned CELESTIA in 1869 describing its flesh
as "crisp, tender, juicy, very pleasant, rich, mild, subacid". It was
also in the great collection of the New York State Agricultural
Experiment Station assembled at the end of the 19th century. Then it
disappeared from cultivation until the late Conrad Gemmer of
Susquehanna, Pa, found it about a decade ago in an old New Jersey
orchard. At the time of his death Gemmer had a collection of 500
varieties, mostly American. He was a lifelong fruit explorer (Perry
Russet, Doctor, Golden Pippin were among his findings and are all in
our list). He grafted CELESTIA and fruited it for several years until
he was satisfied of its authenticity. Gemmer's judgement in this area
is convincing. At Southmeadow we also fruited it for several years and
have been amazed at its high quality.
CELESTIA has a firm pale green skin sometimes with a pink or brownish
blush, often becoming yellowish in maturity and speckled broadly with
very fine dots. It is exceedingly juicy with a luscious, delicious
quality that makes it even today one of the most enjoyable apples in
our list to eat out of hand.
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