Frank P Matthews' red-fleshed Rosette, also sold in supermarkets as Raspberry Ripple, was the result of a chance sport on a Discovery tree near the nursery's west Worcestershire site, said assistant managing director Stephanie Dunn James.
"It eats and juices really well - it's much sweeter than the red-fleshed Lubera varieties. It ripens four days after Discovery, so is still one of the first, and is similar to grow - it is compact, disease-resistant and easy to look after. But because it doesn't store well it won't be a mainstream variety."
The company announced earlier this year it had received a "big order" for the trees from a major UK grower for planting next winter.
Another promising sport of a mainstream variety was presented by Verbeek Nurseries, one of the largest continental fruit tree nurseries and a major supplier to UK growers. Robijn - or Robins - was found on a plot of Jonagold trees by the nursery's late founder Janus Verbeek.
Representing the company, nurseryman Will Sibley said: "Jonagold is usually picked in late October to November, but this picks in early August, which from the grower's point of view is a better time to pick, and still tastes the same. At that time there is only Discovery, and we think this is a better apple. It crops heavily. Jonagold is not as popular in the UK but we hope that will change."
Its firmness has been measured at 8.6kg/cm2, with sweetness of 13.2 Brix, and has already been supplied to Asda supermarkets from British orchards. "There are two or three reasonable-size plantings here, and quite a lot in Holland and Belgium," Sibley added.
Belgian nurseryman Johan Nicolai, breeder of the Kanzi variety, unveiled Gala One, an early sport of Gala Royal Beaut that is being commercialised by his Zouk Fruit Innovation company.
"We collect budwood and graftwood from trees that are already in fruit, and we found this one among our Royal Beaut trees with more colour, which also flowered earlier," he explained. "We grafted it onto M106 rootstock and found that it was stable, and ripens 10-14 days before Royal Beaut, so it can bring the picking window forward. Taste-wise, it's still a Gala."
The company is sending test trees to growers in Britain, France, Germany and elsewhere, with first commercial plantings starting next winter, and is also trialling a cross-bred variety, currently coded Zouk16, with Kent-based horticultural consultancy Farm Advisory Services Team to assess its suitability for UK growing.