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'Cox's Orange Pippin', in Britain often referred to simply as Cox, is an apple cultivar first grown in 1830, at Colnbrook in Buckinghamshire, England, by the retired brewer and horticulturist Richard Cox. Though the parentage of the cultivar is unknown, Ribston Pippin seems a likely candidate. The variety was introduced for sale by the 1850s by Mr. Charles Turner, and grown commercially from the 1860s, particularly in the Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire, and later in Kent.
'Cox's Orange Pippin' is highly regarded due to its excellent flavour and attractive appearance. The apples are of medium size, orange-red in colour, deepening to bright red and mottled with carmine over a deep yellow background. The flesh is very aromatic, yellow-white, fine-grained, crisp, and very juicy. Cox's flavour is sprightly subacid, with hints of cherry and anise, becoming softer and milder with age. When ripe apples are shaken, the seeds make a rattling sound as they are only loosely held in the apple's flesh.
One of the best in quality of the English dessert apples, Cox's Orange Pippin may be eaten out of hand or sliced. Not recommended for cooking, it cooks to a fine froth. Cox's Orange Pippin is often blended with other varieties in the production of cider.
According to the Institute of Food Research, Cox's Orange Pippin accounts for over 50% of the UK acreage of dessert apples. The tree is a moderate grower and is annually productive. However, it can be difficult to grow in many environments, and tends to be susceptible to diseases such as scab, mildew, and canker, so it is rarely grown commercially in North America. Cox's Orange Pippin is also grown in Belgium and in the Netherlands, countries with a climate similar to that of England. A number of sports of Cox's Orange Pippin have been discovered over subsequent years and propagated. These retain "Cox" in their names, e.g., Cherry Cox, Crimson Cox, King Cox, and Queen Cox. In addition to the cultivation of Cox sports, apple breeders have hybridised Cox with other varieties to improve vigour, disease resistance, and yield, while attempting to retain the unique qualities of Cox's flavour.
Cultivar name (female parent × male parent)
'Acme' ('Cox's Orange Pippin' × unknown)
'Alkmene' ('Cox's Orange Pippin' × 'Geheimrat Doktor Oldenburg')
'Allington Pippin' ('Cox's Orange Pippin' × 'King of the Pippins')
'Anna Boelens' ('Cox's Orange Pippin' × 'Freiherr von Berlepsch')
'Apollo' ('Cox’s Orange Pippin' × 'Geheimrat Doktor Oldenburg')
'Arthur W. Barnes' ('Gascoyne's Scarlet' × 'Cox's Orange Pippin')