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HOME FRUIT GROWING-- APPLE Cultivar lists

Cultivars (cultivated varieties) on the following linked lists were assembled during 2010 for the Fruit Gardener's Bible, however space limitations did not permit most to be included.  They represent many of the most common and popular from across North America, as gauged from listing in sources, specialist lists, and Extension publications.  Other fruits can be found in the above reference, as well as other tips for choosing cultivars successfully. For sources, please see the links (on the left sidebar).

 

Tips for Choosing Apple Cultivars  

1. Size—dwarf (8-10ft. tall), semi-dwarf (12-15ft. tall), standard (over 15ft. tall)

2. Adaptability to soils, climate (hardiness)

3. Resistance to pests and disease

4.  Flowering time—buy at least 2 cultivars, flowering near the same time, for cross pollination

4. Fruit—ripening times, biennial or annual bearing, color, flavor and texture (crisp or soft), best uses

5.  Rootstock—if a choice, look for same traits as cultivar, plus compatibility, need to stake or not, vigor compared to cultivar (more so for less vigorous cultivars)  

 

Below are 5 lists, with hopes these may help you make a better selection than if you throw darts at catalogs.

 

Modern Cultivars covers some of the more popular currently available cultivars, some including heirlooms dating back 100 years or more, but most are more recent introductions.

Heirloom Cultivars is a list of some of the more available heirlooms, dating back before the twentieth century although you’ll find many listed as heirlooms from this past century.

Low Chill Cultivars are for those living in warmer climates— apple cultivars with low chill needs (less than 500-600 hours below 45°F).  Most apples need more than 600 hours, some need 1000 or more.  Check catalogs and online sources (see Links) for more details on these and hundreds more.

Apples for Various Regions are some of the more popular, and ones recommended by professionals for general geographic areas.  This are only a starting point, as many others will grow in any area, and favorites vary widely with many factors.

Hardy apples are some of the most hardy for the coldest climates. See the planting zone map from the USDA.  

Modern Cultivars  

Fruit: Where more than one color is listed (as in red,yellow), this can vary with strain; some have a couple colors (as yellow/red).  Flower:  Since most apples need cross pollination, plant 2 or more cultivars that flower near the same time—ones with similar letters from early (A) to late (C).  Blooms times usually overlap between adjacent letters so, for instance, one from group A likely will pollinate one from group B, but not from group C.  Those self-fruitful (SF) may have better yields with cross pollination. Some have sterile pollen (SP) so can’t be used to pollinate another cultivar.  Disease resistance includes the more common diseases scab (S), cedar-apple rust (R), powdery mildew (M), and fireblight (F).  Many lists break these down into a range of resistance; listed are are those either resistant or very resistant.  Some not listed as resistant may tolerate a particular disease.  Uses include eating fresh (F) which are sometimes called dessert apples, pies and baking or sauces (B), and cider (C).  These are only suggestions, as you may find good uses not listed; or, for baking some may make better pies, others better for applesauce for instance.  

Cultivar

Fruit

Flower

Ripens

Disease resistance

Uses

Akane

(Prime Red)

red

A

early

S

F

Arkansas Black

See Heirlooms

B, SP

late

 

F,B,C

Baldwin

See Heirlooms

C,SP

late

 

F,B,C

Braeburn

Red, large, firm

B/C

late

 

F,B

Cameo®

Red, stripes, stores well

B

late

 

F,B

Cortland

See Heirlooms

A/B

mid

 

F,B,C

Earligold

yellow

A

early

 

F,B

Empire

red

A,SF

mid

R,F

F,B,C

Freedom

red

A

mid

S,R,M,F

F,B,C

Fuji

Red, sweet

B/C

late

 

F

Gala

Red,yellow

B,SF

early

 

F,B

Ginger Gold

yellow

B

early

 

F,B

Golden (Yellow) Delicious

Yellow, large, sweet, popular

B,SF

mid

 

F,B,C

GoldRush

Yellow, red blush, stores well, resists browning when cut

C

Late

S,M

F,B

Granny Smith

Green, firm, crisp, tart

B/C,SF

late

R

F,B

Gravenstein

See Heirlooms

A,SP

Mid

 

F,B,C

Haralson

red, sweet, stores well, biennial

C

Mid

 

F,B,C

Honeycrisp™

Yellow/red, stores well, crisp, slow to brown when cut

A

mid

 

F,B

Honeygold

Golden, crisp

B

Late

 

F,B

Idared

Red, precocious, stores well

A

late

 

F,B,C

Jersey Mac

red

A

early

 

F,B

Jonafree

Red, tart

A

mid

S,R,F

F,B

Jonagold

Red/yellow, large

A, SP,SF

mid

 

F,B

Jonamac

Dark red

A

mid

R

F,B

Jonathan

See Heirlooms

A,SF

mid

 

F,B,C

Liberty

Red/green, tart

A,SF

Mid

S,R,M,F

F,B

Lodi

Green

A,SF

very early

S,M

F,B

Macoun

Red, stores well

C

mid

 

F,B

McIntosh

See Heirlooms

A

mid

R

F,C

Mutsu (Crispin)

Yellow green, large, juicy, sweet

B/C, SP

late

 

F,B

Northern Spy

See Heirlooms

C

late

F

F,B,C

Nova Easygro

Red stripe on greenish-yellow

A

late

S,R

F,B

Paulared

red

A

early

R

F,B

Priscilla

Red, pineapple hint in flavor, stores well

A

mid

S,R

F,B

Pristine

Lemon-yellow

late

early

S,R,M

F,B

Red Delicious

See Heirlooms

B

mid

R,M,F

F,B,C

Redfree

red

B

early

S,R

F,B

Rezista®

Varies with strain, from Europe

B

early

S,M,F

F,B,C

(Rhode Island) Greening

See Heirlooms

B,SP

late

 

F,B,C

Rome (Beauty, Red Rome)

See Heirlooms

C,SF

late

 

F,B,C

Sansa

Red, stores well, firm

B

early

S

F

Spartan

Red, good yields, precocious

B, SF

late

S,M

F,B

Spigold

Yellow, red stripes, stores well, good texture/flavor

B/C, SP

Late

 

F,B

Stayman (Winesap)

See Heirlooms

C, SP

late

 

F,B

Suncrisp®

Gold/red blush, may russet, stores well, from NJ

B

late

S

F,B

Williams Pride

Red, soft, not good in heat

A/B

very early

S,R,F

F

Winesap

See Heirlooms

B,SP,SF

late

 

F,B

Yellow Transparent

See Heirlooms

A

early

 

F,B

Zestar!™

Red blush, crisp, stores well

A

Early

 

F,B

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Heirloom Cultivars

Those marked (*) are among the most popular, and often found in catalogs and recommended lists.  Some are among the most popular modern apples.  Most are good fresh, in baking, and for cider. Those listed “hardy” generally grow into zone 4.

Cultivar

Fruit

Ripens

Origin, other traits

Arkansas Black*

Dark red, firm, tart, stores well

late

Benton county, AR, about 1870; probably seedling of Winesap

Baldwin*

Red, stores well

late

Lowell, MA, about 1740; most widely planted in U.S. until 1920’s

Black Sheepnose (Black Gilliflower)

Red ripens almost black

mid

Connecticut, early 1700’s; ribbed fruit, nice aroma; hardy

Calville Blanc

Light yellow, russet, sweet, ribbed

early

Normandy, France, early 1600’s; holds shape when cooked

Chenango Strawberry

Greenish-white, red stripes, hint of strawberry

early

New York state, 1854 or before

Cortland*

Red, large, soft, slow to brown when cut

mid

NY Experiment Station, Geneva, NY, 1898

Cox Orange Pippin*

Orange-red, red stripes

mid

England, about 1830

Duchess

Red/green striped

Early

Russia, early 1800’s; tart, best for baking

Golden Russet*

Bronze-green, russet, sweet

late

England, 1700’s; early bloom; sweetens on storing, good cider, scab resistant

Gravenstein*

Yellow/red stripes

mid-season

Italy, early 1600’s; to U.S. around 1790; sterile pollen, great for pies

Grimes Golden

Golden, white freckles

mid

West Virginia, about 1800; less hardy (zone 6)

Jonathan*

Red, striped, tart, stores well

mid

New York state, 1862; strains and hybrids since

McIntosh*

Red/green, tart

mid

Ontario, Canada, 1798; many strains since; hardy

Northern Spy*

Green-yellow, red blush, firm, tart, stores well

late

New York state, about 1800;  hardy

Pound (Pumpkin) Sweet

Large, orange-red

Late

Manchester, CT, 1834; best for baking, popular in South; hardy

Red Astrachan*

Red, stores poorly

early

Russia; to England in 1816; to U.S. in 1835; hardy

Red Delicious*

Red classic apple, sweet

mid

Originally from Peru, IA, 1870, many strains since

Rhode Island Greening*

Yellow-green, large

late

Rhode Island, 1650; flavor develops in storage; hardy

Rome (Beauty, Red Rome)*

Red, firm, drooping habit

late

Ohio, 1848; older strains reverted back to original green with stripes; popular in eastern states,

Roxbury Russett

Green, bronze tinge, russet

late

Roxbury, MA, early 1600’s; stores well; hardy

(Westfield)

Seek-No-Further

Yellow, red streaks, russet

late

New England, 1700’s; best fresh not cooked; hardy

Smokehouse

Greenish-yellow, red stripes, spicy

mid

Lancaster county, PA, 1830’s near smokehouse of Wm. Gibbons; good fresh or in baking

(Esopus) Spitzenburg

Orange-red, russet

late

Esopus, NY, about 1790; favorite of Thomas Jefferson; improves with storage; hardy

Stayman (Winesap)*

Red, tart, fruit cracking after rain

late

Leavenworth, KS, 1866 by Dr. Joseph Stayman, introduced 1895; cross of Stayman and Winesap

Tolman Sweet

Yellow, red blush, sweet

mid

Dorcester, MA, about 1822; hardy

(King of) Tompkin’s County

Yellow, red blush; flesh yellowish

late

New York, before 1804; sterile pollen

Twenty Ounce

Yellow-green, red stripes

late

New York state, 1840; hardy

Wealthy

red

mid

Minnesota, 1861; long bloom, biennial bearing; hardy

White Winter Pearmain

See Low Chill

mid

Said to be the oldest English apple, from 1200’s; recorded in U.S. 1849

Winesap*

Dark red, tart

late

U.S., 1817

Winter Banana

See Low Chill

mid

from Indiana in 1890’s; hardy

Wolf River

Yellow/red blush

Mid

Wisconsin, 1875; hardy, early bloom, best for baking

Yellow Bellflower

See Low Chill

mid

from New Jersey in mid-1700’s

Yellow Newtown Pippin

Green-yellow

late

New England, mid 1700’s; stores well

Yellow Transparent*

Yellowish white

early

Russia, from1870; short shelf life, one of best for sauce, hardy

York Imperial

Yellow, red blush

late

York, PA, about 1830; best baked or for cider, stores well

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Apples for Various Regions

Most apples can be grown in many locations, but some grow much better in particular climates, or are more popular in some regions.  These are just a few suggestions to consider for each.  See the list of low chill apples for climates with mild winters, hardy ones below for the coldest climates.  

Northeast— Baldwin, Braeburn, Cameo, Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Idared, Jonagold, Liberty, Macoun, McIntosh, Nova Easygro, Northern Spy, Paulared, Redfree, Zestar!  

Mid-Atlantic—Braeburn, Cortland, Delicious—red and gold, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Idared, Jerseymac, Jonafree, Jonagold, Jonathan, Liberty, Lodi, Macoun, McIntosh, Mutsu, Paulared, Redfree, Rome, Stayman, Suncrisp, Winesap,York, Zestar!  

South— Anna, Arkansas Black, Delicious (Red and Gold), Dorset Golden, Earligold, Ein Shemer, Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, Granny Smith, Jersey Mac, Jonafree, Jonagold, Mutsu, Rome Beauty, Stayman  

Midwest—Arkansas Black, Braeburn, Cameo, Cortland, Delicious---Red and Gold, Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Honeycrisp (upper), Honeygold (upper), Jonagold, Jonathan, Paulared, McIntosh (upper), Mutsu, Rome, Stayman, Suncrisp, Winesap, Zestar! (upper),  

Northwest (including all but southern California, for latter see Low Chill list)—Akane, Arkansas Black, Braeburn, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Delicious—Red and Golden, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Honeycrisp, Idared, Jonagold, Jonamac, Jonathan, Jonagold, Liberty, Macoun, Mutsu, Rome Beauty

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Low-chill Cultivars for Warm Climates

These are especially suitable for many parts of Florida, southern California, hills of the Southwest, and similar climates although many will grow well elsewhere too.  Most are good for both fresh eating and baking uses, with Winter Banana and Yellow Bellflower also good for cider.  Chill hours (below 45°F) are approximate. 

Cultivar

Fruit, notes

Chill

Anna*

Good flavor, high yield, early; from Israel breeding

200

Beverly Hills

Pale yellow/red

300

Dorsett Golden

High yield, gold/red blush, mid-season

100-250

Ein Shemer*

From Israel, golden, early, good yield, self-fertile

150-250

Fuji*

Good flavor, red, late

200-400

Gordon

Green/red blush

400-600

Pettingill

Green/red, From Long Beach in 1949

100

Pink Lady® (Cripps Pink Variety)

Late, very sweet, yellow/pink blush; from Western Australia

200-400

White Winter Pearmain

SF, yellow/red blush

400

Winter Banana

Yellow blushed pink, mild banana flavor, stores well; mid-season

300-400

Yellow Bellflower

Yellow, mid-season

400

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Hardy Apples

These are among the more popular, hardy to zone 4 unless noted for zone (3)  Others are listed as hardy under heirlooms.  Most apples are hardy to zone 5.  See the planting zone map from the USDA.

Cortland

Cox Orange Pippin

Empire

Freedom

Gold Delicious

Gravenstein

Honeycrisp (3)

Honeygold (3)

Liberty

Lodi (3)

Macoun

McIntosh

Northern Spy (3)

Paula Red

Red Delicious

Red Rome

Spartan

Wealthy

Yellow Transparent

Zestar! (3)

 


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