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The Laxton’s Superb is a variety of apple that was developed in England in 1897. The variety is a cross breed between Wyken Pippin × Cox’s Orange Pippin. It is a Classic old Victorian, British apple with a green color and a dull red flush. The fruit are of a firm texture, but are not very good juice producers. This is why the variety is used for eating and not for making cider.

History

Laxton’s Superb was first bred in 1897, by Thomas Laxton, who was a famous Victorian plant breeder from Bedford in England. The variety is a cross between the Cox’s Orange Pippin and Wyken Pippin apple trees.[1] Thomas Laxton was also well known for breeding numerous fruit varieties, (apples and strawberries in particular).[2] Thomas Laxton’s company continued to trade after his death as “Laxton Brothers” as the company was taken over by his sons and grandsons, until it ceased trading in 1957 when it was taken over by Bunyard Nurseries. Bunyard eventually shut down the company and the orchards were built upon. However, the Laxton variety of apple still lives on as the town of Bedford have planted an orchard of the Laxton apple trees.[3] Winston Churchill was also believed to have ordered fruit trees and plants for his Chartwell estate in Westerham, Kent. There are also surviving Laxton apple trees at Bank Hall in Bretherton, Lancashire.

Growing and Eco Support

The Laxton Superb is a self fertile species, but may be pollinated by another apple, which will maximise the yield. The species is grown on M26 rootstock, which when un-pruned can reach a height of 8 – 12 feet (2.4 – 3.65 metres) but generally needs to be kept at a height of 6-8 feet (1.8 – 2.4 metres) to produce a good yield. The Laxton Superb generally flowers from April to May annually. The tree will usually provide a heavy crop which is best to be harvested in October.[4] The fruit is well known for its sweet and aromatic taste which is likened to the parent species it is derived from, the Cox’s Orange Pippin. The species has been recommended by the Royal Horticultural Society to be an excellent attractant and nectar source for bees and other beneficial insects.[5]

Written on May 3rd, 2012 , Fruits Tags:

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