Nomeclature and Regional Expression: Pomme de Fer & Red Winter Pearmain

POM00002970PommedeFerCaliforniaImages of (4) different apple specimens from the NAL Library USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection

4 specimens

Collected from 3 locales in 3 States:

California, Vermont, Maine

From 3 different North American growing regions

Nomenclature: Pomme de Fer and Red Winter Pearmain

“An interesting little apple, to which I may draw your attention later in the report on new fruits, is this 
Pomme de Fer, literally the Iron apple, which originated in the Province of Quebec. It is a small dark apple and keeps easily until June.” 1
“Nevertheless Quebec has enriched American pomology by the gift of an apple which has added abundantly to the wealth and comfort of the people of North Eastern America.  To know this apple is to appreciate its great beauty and its surpassing fine quality.  But one should have it grown in the islands of Lake Champlain or in Western Quebec to secure it in all its glowing beauty and in all its crisp lusciousness.  You have no doubt guessed ere this that there is only one apple meriting this description La Belle Fameuse.  Quebec Tradition – because precise history fails – tells us that the Fameuse came to us with the advent of the Norman colonists.  It is the characteristic apple of the upper St Lawrence valley and I might add of the Lake Champlain region.  Fruit growing in the Province began as no doubt it did in New England with the growing of seedling fruits in the gardens of those who had brought with them from the old land a love of horticulture. The early gardens of Quebec and Montreal were famous for their collections of apples and even of pears. From these early plantings many varieties of some local fame have originated.  In addition to the Fameuse and its large seedling progeny might be mentioned St Lawrence, Pomme de fer, and Canada Baldwin.” 2

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