This apple was grown in 1708 from one of three apple pips sent from Normandy to Sir Henry Goodricke of Ribston Hall at Knaresborough, Yorkshire; the original trunk did not die until 1835. It then sent up a new shoot and, on the same root, lived until 1928.
The 'Ribston Pippin' is one of the possible parents of 'Cox's Orange Pippin'.
The apple skin is a yellow, flushed orange, streaked red with russet at the base and apex. The yellow flesh is firm, fine-grained, and sweet with a pear taste. Irregularly shaped and sometimes lopsided, the apple is usually round to conical in shape and flattened at the base with distinct ribbing. Weather conditions during ripening cause a marbling or water coring of the flesh, and in very hot weather, the fruit will ripen prematurely.
A vigorous tree with upright growth, its medium-sized ovate to oval-shaped leaves are a deep green color and distinctly folded with sharp, regular, and shallow serrations. The surface of the leaf is smooth and dull with a heavy pubescence.
It is very slow to begin bearing, and the proper pollinators will increase the fruitfulness. 'Lord Lambourne' has been recommended for a pollinator, as well as 'Adam's Pearmain', 'James Grieve', and 'Egremont Russet'.
The apple appears in a verse by Hilaire Belloc called "The False Heart":
|“||I said to Heart, "How goes it?" Heart replied: "Right as a Ribstone Pippin!" But it lied.||”|
Also it is in Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native - second book, chapter two: "Now a few russets, Tamsin. He used to like those as well as ribstones."
- A Belloc Sampler at time.com
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