Maria Ann Smith lends her name to the green variety of what kind of fruit that she discovered in the 1860s?
Answer: Granny Smith apples are named after a real Granny Smith. Granny Smith apples were discovered in Australia in the 1860’s, as a chance seedling in the compost pile on the orchard of Maria Ann Smith. Smith had numerous children and was a prominent figure in the district, earning the nickname “Granny” Smith in her advanced years.
Granny Smith apples were first introduced commercially to the the United States in the 1970’s. The fruit has hard, light green skin and a crisp, juicy flesh.
Maria Ann “Granny” Smith (1799–1870) was a British-Australian orchardist responsible for the cultivation of the Granny Smith apple.
Maria Ann Smith died on 9 March 1870 at Ryde and was buried in St Anne’s churchyard, located a few kilometres from her farm. Her husband, three sons, and two daughters survived her. The apple was not a commercial variety in her lifetime; however, its cultivation was sustained by local orchardists, including Gallard, who purchased part of the Smith farm after Thomas’ death, in 1876. In 1890 it first appeared at the Castle Hill Agricultural and Horticultural Show as the “Smith seedling”. By 1891, “Granny Smith’s Seedlings” won the prize for best cooking apples, and started its widespread adoption with local growers.