Worcester Pearmain

Worcester Pearmain

Without doubt the most well known of the county’s varieties and the only one still grown on any sort of commercial basis. It is believed to have originated from the pip of a Devonshire Quarrenden grown by a Mr Hale of Swan Pool, Worcester and was introduced as a commercial variety by Messers Smith of Worcester in 1874.

A lovely, early dessert apple best eaten straight from the tree in September. It will only keep about a month so not one to have in vast quantities, although any surplus could be used to make a fine pinkish apple juice.

This variety has been much used in breeding and several other varieties contain Worcester Pearmain in their parentage: as these were largely bred at research stations they have not been included here, but Tydeman’s Early Worcester, Merton Worcester and Laxton’s Early Crimson among others are all Worcester Pearmain crosses.

It is described as partial tip bearing in many catalogues, but seems to respond well enough to standard pruning. It makes for a good garden tree and performs well on a range of rootstocks. Said to have a resistance to mildew, yet can be prone to scab in certain summers and to bird attacks just at the point of ripening. Worth having one in any collection or orchard for its superb taste and its earliness  – it comes ready before most other dessert apples.

The apples themselves are a round conical shape and in a warm summer will make a bright red. They are very sweet and said to posses a strawberry like flavour in a crisp, white flesh.

There are believed to be 28 varieties of Worcestershire apple

Facts & Figures

Dessert apple
All of the descriptions and photographs are by Wade Muggleton unless stated.