Origin and History
Warner’s King is an ancient culinary variety, said to have come from a tree in Weavering Street, Maidstone, Kent. During the 1700s it was known as the King Apple and around Maidstone also as the Killick Apple. James Warner, a grower from Gosforth near Leeds, sent it to the famous nurseryman Thomas Rivers, of Sawbridgeworth, Herts, who named it Warner’s King and introduced it commercially.
The Victorians loved the huge fruit, which is pale green, ripening to yellow with a slight flush and no stripes. There are prominent grey-brown lenticels and sometimes a little russeting. The skin is smooth and dry but becomes greasy in store.
In Russia Warner's King is known as the Fish Apple, for reasons no-one seems able to fathom.
Picking, Storing and Using
When cooked it breaks down into a purée, which is a little sweet and not particularly sharp. The fruit is ready to pick in early September and stores until at least December and sometimes through to February.
Growth, Flowering and Pollination
The tree is decorative and vigorous, with dark leaves, pretty blossom and heavy crops. It is robust and good for windy sites. The size of the fruit makes the variety unsuitable for espaliers and cordons. Like Bramley’s Seedling, Warner’s King is triploid, meaning it requires two different pollinators - suitable varieties include Laxton’s Fortune, James Grieve and Keswick Codlin.
Copyright © Karen Meadows 2018