Christmas pearmain are small to medium-sized, conical shaped apples.
They have green skin ripening to a dull yellow, flushed with dull orange and a bright red, with russetting.
Inside, they have firm, crisp, juicy yellow flesh.
The flavour can be astringent at times, but otherwise is sweet with some richness and sharpness.
The apple is generally harvested in late September (some advise early November.)
The tree is hardy and compact, and can self-pollinate, but it can be a biennial bearer.
Stores until January.
Christmas pearmain apples were developed by a Mr Manser sometime around 1893 in Maidstone, Kent, England.
They were introduced commercially by G. Bunyard of G Bunyard & Co nursery in Maidstone, Kent.
It doesn’t seem to be known exactly who Mr Manser was. An H. Manser, tenant farmer at Owen’s Farm, North Down, Margate, Kent (about 65 km from Maidstone), is mentioned for his cooking apples in the 2 October 1890 issue of “Journal of Horticulture, Cottage Gardener and Home Farmer” (Pages 817 and 836).
The word “pearmain” comes from the French adjective “parmanus”, meaning from Parma in northern Italy.
National Fruit Collection. Christmas Pearmain. Accessed January 2020 at http://www.nationalfruitcollection.org.uk/full2.php?varid=1106