Blenheim Orange


Blenheim Orange tree at Carisbrooke Priory

Found at Woodstock, near Blenheim, Oxfordshire in about 1740 by a Mr Kempster.  Or that Mr Kempster planted the original pip.  It was known locally as Kempster’s Pippin.Catalogued from 1818. Banksian Silver medal in 1822. There are several slightly varying forms and it does come relatively true from seed. Difficult now to tell which is the original Blenheim with any certainty.

Large size. Flat round, regular apple, distinctively flattened at base and apex.  Lopsided but regular, five crowned at apex.
Skin at first dull yellow to olive green then dull gold/yellow with orange flush and some darker orange stripes, considerable russet dots and patches, in some cases part russet covered.  Lenticels pale russet dots.  Skin dry but can become greasy in store.

Cavity wide, deep and russet covered,
Stalk short and deep within cavity or just above. 
Basin wide and fairly deep, ribbed and russeted
Eye  large, fully open
Sepals well separated at base wirh tips reflexed and usually broken..
Flesh yellow, crisp, juicy, sweet/sharp.  Taylor says ‘a unique nutty flavour’.  Useful cooker.

Tube wide, funnel shape, Stamens median, Core axile, open

Tree very vigorous, triploid, partial tip bearer, prone to mildew

Flowering same time as Cox’s Orange Pippin with Golden Delicious   Pollination Group D

Season ; November to December