Lady Williams

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Fruit Fact: Lady Williams, a variety of apples

A super late, delicious long season Winter apple from Western Australia - a climate similar to Southern California, this apple is the latest to ripen in California, staying on the tree into February. This is also one of the parents of pink lady.

Variety Background:

Most Common Name: Lady Williams
Species: malus domestica
Synonyms:
Origin: Lady Williams originated on the Bonomia farm in Paynedale, Donnybrook, Western Australia in 1935. A.R. Williams grew out the seedling, but Mr. William's son accidentally cut down the tree. It grew back, and by 1943, the Williams began selling the fruit. The deep red color and the excellent keeping qualities of this apple helped boost its popularity, and by the 1970's, this apple was widely planted throughout Western Australia. The apple was named after Mrs. Williams, who went by "Lady Williams" since her first name was difficult to pronounce.
Patents or Trademarks: None

Fruit:

Description: Lady Williams is a medium sized, deep dark red colored apple, colors up very well in the late Winter chill of California.

Flavor and tasting notes: The yellow flesh is very firm, crisp and juicy with an excellent sugar-acid balance. Tart if picked too early but mellows to perfection if left on the tree until February. Stores better if picked before leaf fall.

Adaptation:

Lady Williams originated in a Mediterranean climate at 33″S similar to the inland valleys of Los Angeles, CA (34″S), suggesting Lady Williams is ideal in those areas. The average Winter low for Donnybrook is 42F, with an average high of 62F in the Winter, climbing to 87F at the peak of Summer, with the bulk of the precipitation falling in the Winter. (See http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_009534.shtml) This apple is clearly superbly adapted to all California climates, producing high quality apples even in the hottest Summer areas. Blooms late, requires little chill, but needs a very long growing season to ripen properly.

Bloom Time Rating: F20

Growth Habit:

Semi-vigorous growth, tendency towards tip bearing which slows down the growth. Vigor compromised with inadequate chill (<300 hours).

Vigor: T2

Harvest, storage and consumption:

Ripens very late, mid January to early February along the coast, December in the Central Valley.

Begin of Harvest: mid Jan
End of Harvest: early Feb
Stores Until: mid June

Usage:

Multi-purpose apple that stores very well and can be used as a dessert, cooker, or cider apple.

Eating: Yes
Cooking: Yes
Cider: Yes

Diseases:

Scab Susceptibility:
Fire Blight Susceptibility:
Powdery Mildew Susceptibility:
Cedar Apple Rust Susceptibility:
Black Rot Susceptibility:
Phytopthera Rots Susceptibility:
Fly Speck Susceptibility:
Coddling Moth Susceptibility:

Nurseries that carry this variety:

Apparently difficult to obtain in US nurseries. This apple should at least be available in California nurseries since it's such a prime variety for Southern California.

DPI Cross Reference: Lady Williams

GRIN Cross Reference: PI 502248

Photo Gallery

Notice the deep red coloring, can be even darker red than in this picture. (c) Govt of New South Whales, Australia

Example of what happens in climates with too short of a growing season. This NY GRIN picture shows Lady Williams apples that are most definitely unripe, probably because they cannot ripen properly in the NY area(c) GRIN

4 Comments

  1. Axel says:

    Lady williams is semi vigorous, grows fine here. My pink lady is also quite vigorous, you may want to check if yours is getting enough nitrogen.

  2. Rasmussj says:

    Is it a more vigorous than Pink Lady? My pink lady is a weak grower.

  3. nullzero says:

    Thanks for the write up Axel. Will add this to my wanted apple variety list.

  4. Axel says:

    I have it growing here in Santa Cruz, it blooms late, and ripens in February, it's truly delicious and loves our long growing season. I highly recommend this apple to anyone in California, it should do well pretty much everywhere, even coastal Southern California starting near Ventura. It might struggle a bit in the mildest coastal zones of San Diego, but even there, it might do alright.


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