Dumelow's Seedling

Origin and History

Dumelow's Seedling was raised in the late 1700s by Richard Dumeller, a farmer of Shackerstone, near Market Bosworth in Leicestershire, who died in 1816 and is buried in Shackerstone churchyard. It probably originated as a seedling of Northern Greening.'Dumelow' was the local pronunciation of Dumeller and the variety was planted in nearby Gopsall Hall as Dumelow's Crab. Gopsall's owner, Richard Curzon-Howe, seems to have introduced it to the nurseryman Richard Williams (of Williams bon Chrétien pear fame)of Turnham Green near Chiswick.

Williams presented the variety to the Royal Horticultural Society as Dumelow's Crab, but in 1819 it was renamed Wellington in celebration of the Duke's triumphant return from the Peninsular War.

 

By the 1850s it seems to have acquired its current name of Dumelow's Seedling and had become the nation's favourite cooking apple. 

 

It was particularly popular with growers in the West Midlands and was saved as a May Day apple in northern England because of its unusually long storage life.

Dumelow’s Seedling is reputed to have been Queen Victoria’s favourite apple

Fruit

The fruit is large to medium in size and can be lopsided and irregular. The skin is greenish-yellow with a scarlet flush and orange stripes showing through heavy russeting. The lenticels are small, grey-green and russet dots and the skin is dry. The flesh is creamy-yellow with a coarse texture. It has a crisp bite and tastes sharp and fragrant.

Picking, Storing and Using

The fruit cooks down to a strongly-flavoured purée, similar to Bramley but creamier in texture. Dumelow’s Seedling was once grown especially for the mincemeat trade and the fruit is also excellent baked. It should be picked in early to mid October and stores exceptionally well – often through to late spring. 

Growth, Flowering and Pollination

It forms a spreading tree with attractive blossom and can crop heavily, although it has biennial tendencies. It is more frost-resistant than Bramley.

 

Dumelow’s Seedling is self-sterile; good pollination partners include Newton Wonder, Monarch and Lane’s Prince Albert.

Copyright © Karen Meadows 2018 

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