A very rare and obscure local apple obtained from noted apple collector and preservationist, Carlos Manning of Lester, West Virginia. Our friend Carlos has been instrumental in “rediscovering” many wonderful old heritage apples once thought to be extinct, including Rainbow and Western Beauty. The origin of July Sweet is a bit unclear but it most certainly arose somewhere in West Virginia where it remains a well known and popular apple in many mountain communities. Though it never gained significant recognition as a important commercial variety, it was offered by the J. Van Lindley Nursery in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1893. Considered an excellent early-season apple, the July Sweet is a small to medium-sized apple with yellow skin overlaid with light and dark red striping. Very sweet, tender and juicy but does not keep well. Ripens late July to early August, depending on location.