Kitchen Gardening

A Dozen Antique Apples to Collect

Twelve antique apples: their ripening season, appearance and flavor, uses, and strong/weak points.

'Cox's Orange Pippin' has tender, crisp flesh.
Photo/Illustration: André Baranowski

by Ruth Lively
Kitchen Gardener magazine
from issue #17

Ripening times are for central Virginia, which is in Zone 7a. In cooler areas, ripening will be later. Read Antique Apple Varieties for information on how to find and grow these heirloom apple trees.

‘Arkansas Black’
Ripens in October
Hard, crisp, juicy flesh; aromatic flavor; ripens in October.
Uses: Cider, dessert if stored first to develop flavor
Comments: Resistant to cedar-apple rust; sterile pollen, though not a triploid

‘Ashmead’s Kernel’
Ripens in late September to early October
Russet; crisp, juicy flesh; both sweet and acidic flavor
Uses: Dessert, especially good after storage
Comments: Good pollinator  

‘Bramley’s Seedling’
Ripens in early October
Large, greenish yellow;  juicy, too acidic to eat fresh
Uses: Cooking 
Comments: Bears heavily every other year, with light crops in between; triploid
‘Calville Blanc d’Hiver’ 
Ripens in October
Pale green with red dots, matures to yellow; creamy white flesh; sweet, spicy flavor; tastes
best if stored for a few weeks
Uses: Dessert, cooking, cider
Comments: Resistant to scab  

‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’
Ripens in September 
Small, streaked orange-red; tender, crisp flesh; sweet, spicy, slightly acid
Uses: Dessert 
Comments: Heavy annual crops; good pollinator

 ‘Fameuse’ or  ‘Snow Apple’  
Ripens late September
Red or yellow flushed with red; pure white flesh is sometimes streaked red; tender, juicy, subacid flavor
Uses: Dessert, cooking, cider 
Comments: Heavy annual crops; very hardy    

 ‘Grimes Golden’ 
Ripens late September
Green to yellow, sometimes russetted; crisp, tender flesh; sweet, spicy flavor
Uses: Dessert, cooking, cider 
Comments: Stores well; self-fertile, good pollinator

‘Rhode Island Greening’
Ripens September to early October
Yellowish green, sometimes blushed and russetted; fine-textured, firm, juicy flesh; rich, acidic flavor
Uses: Dessert, cooking 
Comments: An exceptional keeper; triploid

‘Roxbury Russett’ 
Ripens late September to early October
Green, russet; flesh slightly coarse; spicy, rich flavor
Uses: Dessert, cooking, cider 
Coments: Good pollinator
‘Westfield Seek-No-Further’
Ripens late September to early October
Greenish-yellow flushed orange, striped red, light russetting; flesh crisp, tender, juicy; flavor slightly subacid, aromatic
Uses: Dessert, cider Comments: Stores well; very hardy, vigorous tree
 ‘White Winter Pearmain’
Ripens early October
Light green to pale yellow; flesh fine-grained, crisp, tender, juicy; aromatic, rich flavor
Uses: Dessert 
Comments: Stores well; vigorous; good for low-chill areas

‘Yellow Bellflower’
Ripens late September to early October
Pale yellow dotted white or russet, red blush; crisp, tender, juicy flesh; aromatic, sweetly subacid in flavor
Uses: Cooking, cider, dessert if stored first
Comments: Tends to bear biennially

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