Scottish & Heritage Apple Varieties

Some top Scottish apples to enjoy growing and eating. Or you may like to just enjoy the poetic names!  We are adding information and tasting notes to help with choices - but please ring to discuss - very happy to help you choose. 
Please note that taste notes are subjective - and different apples seem to vary greatly in taste and performance at different times. Also people have different tastes. We welcome any taste notes or information about the various varieties. 

Allington Pippin   - Lincolnshire, 1884 late season eating apple Nov - Dec 
Intense taste, keeps well, and very clean fruit, with good disease resistance. 

ASHMEAD'S KERNEL - Gloucester around 1700

Raised by Dr. Ashmead, physician,. Long highly valued by connoisseurs. Scab resistant. A russeted yellowish-green fruit, sometimes flushed orange, with a sweet-sharp 'acid drop' flavour.

Scottish, 1883. Makes well-flavoured sauce. Grew well with John Butterworth in Ayrshire and originating from Gordon Castle. Flat- round greenish yellow fruit with russetting.

Bloody Ploughman  Sept - Oct.
Scottish/ Carse O Gowrie, 1883. Blood red conical fruit - delicious - named after a ploughman shot for stealing one from Megginch estate! On finding the apples, the ploughman's wife threw them on to a rubbish heap and one of the seedlings that emerged was rescued and subsequently named.
CAMBUSNETHAN PIPPIN -  Oct - Nov, MM106 (below)
Excellent Scottish Eater Arose either in Clydesdale around 1750 or possibly earlier at Stirling. According to David Storrie "an excellent scab-free desert apple popular in both the east and the west." Really nice firm apple - nutty taste

CLYDESIDE Mid season cooker 
Sent from Ayr to National Collection in 1945.  It is a reliable performer, with good-sized, clean fruit. Makes a good quality, juicy puree. In taste tests it proved surprisingly nice to eat. Good round flavour with shades of sunshine, haymeadows and is quite soft and sweet. 

GOLDEN PIPPIN -  Oct-Feb 1683
Important historic variety on 2 fronts – it was described in Scotland’s first gardening book by John Reid, written in 1683, as ‘the best apple for Scotland’, and it was the first variety to be used for deliberate cross-breeding, by Thomas Andrew Knight in 1800. It is a healthy variety with small, russeted fruit possessing an intriguing "acid drop" flavour.


Ireland, possibly Sligo 1819. Best eaten from tree, a juicy apple on the sharp side. Attractive small fruit, red flush over yellow.

Arose Scotland, 1851. Much grown here and in Cumbria in the past. Conical, ribbed fruit with rich creamy crisp flesh. Can a good eater here but only in a good summer.
Hawthornden Oct-Dec. Culinary apple
Raised by Drummond of Roslin in 1780, it was described as one of the most valuable and popular apples in cultivation because it was healthy, vigorous, and an early abundant bearer.
Arose Scotland, probably Angus before 1800. Large fruit cooking to sweet puree - in the 1870s it was reported in Clydesdale and the Carse of Gowrie - hardy and does well across Scotland.
JAMES GRIEVE - fine eating apple 
First recorded in 1893. early and delicious (came top in our recent kitchen table trial!) The apple prefers north of Uk and grows successfully in Glasgow and West as well as East coast. Fruit best eaten quickly as it bruises easily. A bit scab prone on west. 

Galloway Pippin (pictured above) -  eating apple
Galloway Pippin is an old (1871)  Scottish dual purpose apple. Delicate and sweet  in flavour as an eater soft texture - probably best used early as a cooker. Not popular at our taste test! 

COUL BLUSH -  Sept-Nov,    
Britain’s most northerly apple variety raised at Coul, Ross-shire in 1827. Gold with faint flush. Sweet, soft cream flesh. Also makes good sauce.

Oslin - Arbroath Pippin -  ripens Sept, One of the best eating apples 
Known 1815 but probably much older, associated either with Arbroath Abbey or Lindores Abbey, Newburgh, possibly originally French. Slightly scented, rich, distinctive taste with hint of aniseed, - very fragrant - also hints of canteloupe melon 

Liberty (New York) below 
A very clean and amazing looking apple - good eating, juicing and keeping qualities - and very clear of scab. 

Devonshire Quarrendon - Aug 
Arose Devon or France before 1670. Widely-grown throughout Scotland in 19th century.Dark crimson flush on yellow background. Very sweet and pretty. Eaten early, good, strawberry/ pineapple flavour. Excellent for a child’s lunchbox. 

Wheelers Russet   - late season eating apple
Dessert Jan - March. Gloucester 1720 - also known as Lady’s Lemon  in Clydesdale 1795. Very long history of growing in Scotland. Vigorous and quite prolific. 

Arose Melrose Abbey before 1831. Most popular apple of Tweedside Orchards in 19th Century. Large, ribbed, green, becoming pale yellow. A good choice for colder districts.

Some fine Heritage apple trees recommended for beauty,taste and reliability in Scotland. 

Blenheim Orange  - late season eating apple
Blenheim Orange was first described growing near Woodstock, Oxford in England, 1740. Also known as Kempster's Pippin after Mr Kempster who found it. Better in East coast of Scotland and needs a sunny location to ripen.

Discovery - Aug - Sept 
Fine early eating apple with characteristic red blush through flesh. Found in 1949 and is a seeding of Worcester Pearmain. Delicious picked and eaten from the tree. An absolute favourite of children and very reliable cropper. However doesn’t keep well. 

Doing well in various sites in Scotland such as Dunkeld, Perthshire. Crisp, sweet and sour. A powerful taste, despite unassuming exterior, tangy, shades of natural yoghurt. Made a big impression. 

Tydemans Early Worcester  - Eating  apple
Tydeman's Early Worcester is an early season apple which is very juicy and sweet with a hint of strawberry flavour. First grown at Malling Kent. 

Rosemary Russet  - Desert apple,  Late season 
Rosemary Russet (1831)  is a very clean growing apple grows well with me on the West Coast - lovely balanced flavour. Very Prolific eater.  
Victorian pomologist Robert Hogg calls it "A most delicious and valuable dessert apple of the very first quality". 

Laxtons Fortune  - a personal favourite eating apple -  mid season 
The Laxton Brothers Nursery  loved great names and grew great apples. The Fortune (1904)  does well across much of Scotland and tastes great. Very successful in Scotland. Aromatic - and children tell me it has bubblegum notes . 
Sunset  -  Cox type eating apple
Sunset (1921)  is a seedling from Cox’s Orange Pippin and it is much easier to grow.  Disease resistance is far better, and cropping is good on the West coast.  Makes fantastic juice and keeps well in common with many late season apples 
Egremont Russet  -  eating apple  
Sussex c 1850 Best known russet, grows very well across Scotland. 
Generally russets keep well and have disease resistance - the russet skin is thicker and protects the fruit - and Egremont is especially clean. Great taste, sweet and well balanced. 
Fiesta  -  eating apple
Fiesta is a Cox style apple variety from 1970s East Malling Research Station in Kent. Good even cropper and late season.  
In recent taste tests - Good crunch, smooth. The Perfect Ploughman’s apple, refreshing and cleans palate without being too acidic. 
Katy - attractive eater (below)
Katy is a superbly attractive apple - particularly appealing to children - which originates from Sweden, where it is known as Katya, and as such is well-suited to growing in colder climates. It was developed in 1947 at Balsguard as a cross between James Grieve and Worcester Pearmain - a good early apple (Sept) and looks fantastic on the tree. Toffee apple taste - perfect for a child’s lunchbox

Ribston Pippin   -  Flavour to Savour
A personal favourite - a delicious late desert apple discovered in Yorkshire. The seeds thought to have been brought from Rouen around 1688 - and the original tree blew down in 1810. A slightly russeted skin and intense flavour - a connoisseur’s apple.  Keeps well into the spring. Wonderful. 

Red Falstaff   -  Eating apple
A newer (1960’s) variety - disease resistant, hardy and good pollinators (they produce loads of blossom - so good for bees and other pollinators) heavy yielding and the fruit is good for storing. A cross of James Grieve and Golden Delicious. Good reliable trouble free eating apple which is well worth growing. 
Red Windsor   -  Eating apple
Easy to grow and reliable modern apple variety. Good disease resistance. In taste it is robust, crisp, tangy, roaring with complex flavour, good with cheddar, and a remembrance of apple bobbing and autumn. 
Worcester Pearmain  -  Eating apple
Worcester Pearmain 1874 is an early/mid season English apple, originating from Worcester. Hardy reliable and heavy cropper - and frost resistant - making it a good bet for Scotland’s colder climate. 
Scottish Heritage Cooking Apples

East Lothian Pippin - cooking 
First Described 1883. Clean and pleasant apple, which fruits prolifically - its a medium sized apple cooks to a juicy puree. Tastes fresh and clean - pleasant but tart as an eater. 
Scotch Dumpling - cooking 
Mainly a cooker but can be eaten or juiced too. Citrus taste, delicate taste - hints of cucumber. Skin bitter and best eaten peeled. Large apples cook to a nice puree. 

Maggie Sinclair - Clyde Valley - age unknown
Attractive healthy and prolific cooking apple that does well in Clyde Valley and West Coast. Taste test -  quite sweet, thick skin, and slightly rough texture

Heritage  Cooking Apples 
Cooking apples are really rewarding and tend to be more prolific than eaters - and of course make exceedingly good apple tarts! )  Also some like Arthur turner also are good eating or juicing. 

Keswick Codlin 1790 Lancs 
“found among a rubbish pile growing behind a wall” A useful midseason cooker which does well in Cumbria and SW Scotland. Bright citrus taste - sweet and sour  - breaks down on cooking to a brisk sauce.

Howgate Wonder  - Culinary apple
Large late cooker (1915) raised on Isle of Wight and is a heavy cropper, which produces attractive fruit that stores and cooks well. Very successful and recommended in Scotland. 

Arthur Turner Above -  Cooking apple   (or is it!) 
Buckinghamshire, 1912. Healthy and reliable in much of Scotland including Ullapool and Tarbert. "Falls" on cooking, needs little sugar, good for baking. Large fruit.
In recent blind taste tests comments - “mellow, sweet, fantastic eating apple - an apple pie without the pastry.  Wasted as a cooker!” But that said - it is a good cooker too.  

Well known late keeping eater grown successfully in many parts of Scotland,  Raised 1809, Nottinghamshire.	The trees are very vigorous - and have a characteristic spreading shape (typically good for tree climbing!).  
One the best cookers - keeps well and excellent cooker. It’s also juices and used in many UK ciders. 

Lord Derby - Culinary apple
Cheshire, c 1850 - great prolific cooker - grows on a compact tree - and main problem is stopping it falling over under the weight of fruit! Grows well across 


Bloody Ploughman  - A tasty apple - and popular not least coz of it’s gory history...