Find a local pick your own farm here!

Are you trying to choose the right variety of apple for your needs? There are many to choose from. There are heirloom varieties that have been around for hundreds of years and apple growers are constantly creating new varieties to meet consumer tastes and 2021 is no exception. Scroll down this page for a table of dozens of apple varieties including photos and their characteristics and best uses. This page has tips about harvesting and storing apples. And if you bring home some apples and want to make applesauce, apple butter,apple juice, apple pie, apple cobbler, apple crisp, even apple cider, just click the links for each to follow directions and recipes or see this page see this page for a master list of simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, such as this list of local regional and apple festivals - click on the resources dropdown above.

If you have questions or feedback, please let me know!

What's in season in October 2021, and other timely information:

Notes for October 2021: Autumn is upon us and that means you'd better hurry to get blueberries and peaches; apples are already in full swing. Some crops continue until frost, like raspberries, blackberries, figs, corn and tomatoes. Check your area's crop calendar (see this page) and call your local farms for seasonal specific updates.

See these pages to find a local Apple festival, and other festivals. We have a guide to apple varieties and a guide to peach varieties. Also recipes, canning and freezing directions for apples, blueberries, peaches, tomatoes, corn etc.

See our comprehensive list of easy home canning, jam and jelly making, preserving, drying and freezing directions. You can access recipes and other resources from the drop down menus at the top of the page or the site search. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write me! It is easy to make your own ice cream, even gelato, or low fat or low sugar ice cream - see this page. Also note, there are many copycat website listing U-pick farms now.  They have all copied their information from here and usually do not ever update.  Since 2002, I've been updating the information every day but Christmas; so if you see anything wrong or outdated, please write me!

Master List of American Apple Varieties and Characteristics - Alphabetical Listing!

2021 looks to have apples ripening on their normal schedule. There have been few late frosts in the main apple growing regions, rain and temperatures have been good, so the year is shaping up well for a good apple crop. It's too early for prices, but I expect most areas to see $14 to $30 a bushel, depending on variety! Scroll down the page to see the chart, or click here for a PDF print version. And for an explanation of why apple slices turn brown and how to stop it, see this page! To see how to properly store apples for the winter, see this page!

Varieties which are exceptional for a trait are noted in the chart below (Best, very good, etc.). Varieties which are at least good and well-suited have an "X" in a column. A blank box simply means that they are average for the quality. Ultimately, it is personal preference and cultural traditions. that often determines which varieties of apples are used for which purpose. That said, sweeter and softer apples make the best applesauce (like Gala), harder, drier apples are often used for baking and storing (like Rome and Arkansas Black), and tarter, more crisp and juicier apples are often eaten fresh (like Honeycrisp).

If you would like to print a clean PDF version of this table, click here.

Alphabetical List of American Apple Varieties and Characteristics

Click here for a PDF printable version of this table

If you are looking for the summary table, click here.

ambrosia appleAmbrosia
  • Sweet, crisp, aromatic flavor reminiscent of pear and low acidity.
  • Mostly red coloration, with yellow patches.
  • Flesh is cream-colored, firm meat
  • Medium to large in size
  • Developed in British Columbia in the early 1990s.
  • Believed to be a cross of a Jonagold and Golden Delicious.
  • Ripens mid to late season

Ashmead Kernal appleAshmead Kernal

  • A small heirloom apple, covered with a thick russet,
  • often found in Virginia, originated in England around 1700 and was brought to the United States much later.
  • Very sweet and acidic
  • Ripens from late September into October

Arkansas Black Arkansas Black

  • A medium to large apple
  • dark purple to almost black
  • Very, very hard texture and an excellent keeper.
  • Almost too hard-textured at harvest. Best after some storage time.
  • Great for baking; and terrible for applesauce
  • A Winesap type.
  • Late season

Autumn crispAutumn Crisp

  • Sweet tart flavor
  • flesh resists browning
  • high in Vitamin C
  • late season
  • Good for applesauce

Baldwin

  • good quality large red apple
  • An old variety, subject to cold injury in the winter
  • late mid-season
  • medium sweet

Bevan's favoriteBevan's Favorite

  • Very early season
  • Mostly used for cooking
  • Old variety, from 1859

Blushing GoldenBlushing Golden

  • Medium-sized waxy coated modern yellow apple with a pink blush
  • Jonathan/Golden Delicious cross.
  • Firm flesh with flavor like Golden Delicious, but tarter.
  • Keeps well
  • Late season

Braeburn appleBraeburn

  • Rich red color with white flesh
  • Sweet
  • Best for eating
  • Late season

Cameo appleCameo

  • A large, round sub-acid apple
  • Red blush stripe over yellow.
  • Late ripening
  • Sweet/tart, good all-purpose use apple

Cortland  appleCortland

  • A Ben Davis/McIntosh cross
  • large flat, dull red apple with a purple hue and soft, white flesh
  • Less aromatic than McIntosh
  • Good keeper.
  • Very good in salads.
  • Mid season

Cox's Orange Pippin Cox's Orange Pippin

  • Popular in English markets.
  • Medium sized, golden yellow skin, with brownish orange
  • often russeted.
  • Flesh tender, crisp, semi-tart
  • early

Crimson Crisp

  • Tart and Juicy
  • Fresh Eating
  • Disease Resistant
  • mid to Late Season

Crispin apple, also called MutsuCrispin/Mutsu *

  • Light green to yellowish white
  • Sweet, rich, full flavor, very juicy and super crisp.
  • Firm, dense texture
  • Best for: eating fresh
  • Mid - late season

Empire appleEmpire*

  • A McIntosh type apple
  • Long shelf life
  • Aromatic and crisp with creamy white juicy flesh.
  • Flesh does not brown quickly when sliced
  • Tasty blend of sweet and tart
  • Best for: eating fresh and baking
  • Early - Mid season

Enterprise appleEnterprise

  • Large, red apple
  • Disease resistant
  • Ripens 3 weeks after red delicious
  • Stores well, flavor improves in storage

Fuji appleFuji

  • Very sweet, aromatic flavor
  • Yellow-green with red highlights
  • Originated in Japan.
  • Best for: eating, salads, best applesauce apple
  • Late season

Gala appleGala

  • Developed in New Zealand.
  • Sweet, aromatic flavor
  • Best for: eating, salad, best applesauce apple
  • medium to smaller in size with a distinctive red and yellow striped heart-shaped appearance.
  • Early to mid season

Ginger Gold appleGinger Gold

  • Very slow to turn brown, so it's a great choice for apple slices.
  • Early yellow apple that's sweet and mildly tart.
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad
  • Early ripening

Golden Delicious appleGolden Delicious

  • Firm white flesh which retains its shape
  • Rich mild flavor when baked or cooked.
  • Tender skin
  • Stays white longer when cut;
  • Best for: salads, blend in applesauce
  • Early season

Grimes Golden appleGrimes Golden

  • Firm white flesh which retains its shape
  • Rich mild flavor when baked or cooked.
  • Tender skin, with a "grimy mottled surface"; (but there IS also Mr. Thomas Grimes, who developed the variety, see Wikipedia)
  • Stays white longer when cut;
  • Best for: salads, blend in applesauce
  • Early season
Granny Smith apple Granny Smith
  • Very tart
  • Bright green appearance, crisp bite and tart apple flavor.
  • Best for: people who like tart apples rather than sweet ones :-)
  • Mid to late season
  • Not good for applesauce unless you add sugar (or like a very tart applesauce)

Gravenstein appleGravenstein

  • Greenish-yellow with a lumpy appearance
  • Tart flavor
  • A good, all-purpose apple,
  • Good for applesauce and pies.
  • originated in the 17th century or earlier.
  • Picked in July and August and
  • Does not store well,

Hokuto appleHokuto

  • A Mutsu/Fuji cross
  • crisp texture of Fuji,
  • large size and shape of Mutsu,
  • sweet flavors
  • late mid-season

Honeycrisp appleHoneycrisp

  • Introduced in Minnesota
  • Very sweet and aromatic
  • Great for juice, as it is a very juicy apple
  • Best for: Eating, pies, baking
  • Mid season

Iadred appleIdared

  • Crisp and juicy with a sweet tart flavor.
  • Great for pies and fresh eating.
  • Late season
  • developed at the University of Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station in 1942
  • it is a cross between Jonathan and Wagener
  • white flesh with a firm body,
  • Excellent for apple sauces, pies, and cakes.
  • harvested at the end of September to the middle of October.
  • EXCELLENT keeper, storing apple remains good until the end of January,

Jazz appleJazz

  • Cross between Royal Gala and Braeburn, developed in Australia
  • Very sweet, more flavor than Gala
  • Vewry good fresh eating and applesauce, apple butter
  • A "Club" variety, meaning licensed with limited commercial growing, first appeared on the shelves in 2004.
  • late ripening

Jonathan apple Jonathan

  • One of the first red apples of the fall
  • Sweet-tart taste with firm texture
  • Light red stripes over yellow or deep redd
  • Best for: eating and cooking
  • Early season

JonaliciousJonalicious

  • Flavor like Jonathan but a little less tart and darker red skin.
  • Larger, crisper, and juicier than Jonathan, and a better keeper.
  • Slightly sour/acid balance.
  • early midseason

Jonamac appleJonamac

  • A medium-sized Jonathan/McIntosh cross
  • Sour flavored, aromatic and tender fleshed like McIntosh.
  • Early season, a few days prior to McIntosh.
  • Poor keeper.

Jonagold appleJonagold *

  • A cross of Jonathan and Golden Delicious.
  • Best for: eating, sauce, pies, salad, baking
  • Mid season
  • A sweet/tart flavor

Jubilee appleJubilee

  • Best for: eating, sauce, pies, salad
  • Mid season
  • developed in British Columbia
  • It is a cross between McIntosh and Grimes Golden.
  • flavor is sweet, but is only crispy when just picked.

keepsake appleKeepsake

  • Best for: baking, sauces or eating raw.
  • Small apple with a red outer skin and a cream colored fine textured flesh.
  • very sweet flavor with a high sugar content
  • best of all winter storage apples, can keep until July in a cold root cellar
  • Flesh is hard, crisp, juicy and sweet.
  • Excellent aromatic flavor improves with a month of cold storage.
  • Try this apple if you need to store apples for a very long time

Liberty appleLiberty

  • A highly disease-resistant introduction from Geneva New York.
  • Liberty has superior dessert quality, similar to one of its parents, Macoun
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad
  • flavor improves in storage
  • late season

Lodi appleLodi

  • Very early apple
  • yellow
  • also called Yellow Transparent
  • hybrid of the 'Yellow Transparent' and 'Montgomery Sweet'
  • originally from the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in 1924
  • commonly grown in the Southern US

Macoun appleMacoun

  • Named after a famous fruit grower in Canada
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad
  • Very good, sweet, all-around apple
  • cross between the 'McIntosh' and 'Jersey Black' cultivars.
  • developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva,
  • first introduced in 1923,

McIntosh appleMcIntosh *

  • Popular in America since 1811
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad, good as part of a blend for applesauce
  • Sweet, tart, mild flavor
  • It is, the national apple of Canada.
  • red and green skin, tender white flesh
  • Ripens in late September.

Melrose appleMelrose

  • The official apple of Ohio
  • Similar to a Jonathan but sweeter.
  • Good for pies: the slices hold together in pies
  • Keeps well

Mutsu

  • Lousy name, but a great apple
  • It is sweet and crisp
  • It is similar to Golden Delicious. but keeps a little bit better
  • Best for eating fresh and it makes a great applesauce

Northern Spy appleNorthern Spy

  • Large, high quality fruit
  • green base color, flushed with red stripes
  • Good for storage
  • Mid-late season
  • originated in East Bloomfield, New York in about 1800
  • juicy, crisp and mildly sweet white flesh with a rich, aromatic subacid flavor, tarter than most popular varieties
  • noted for high vitamin C content.
  • flesh is harder/crunchier than most, with a thin skin.
  • commonly used for desserts and pies, as well as juice and cider.

Paulared applePaulaRed

  • A tart apple
  • bright red with some yellow and tan spots; the skin often has a dusty sheen with light to creamy flesh.
  • Good for eating, in pies and sauces.
  • Paulared arose as a seedling next to an orchard of 'McIntosh' trees
  • ripens late in the summer
  • becomes extremely soft when cooked, which suits them to some dishes (applesauce) and not others (pies).

Pink LadyPink Lady

  • Rich red/pink color with white flesh
  • Very sweet and crisp
  • Best for eating and makes a naturally sweet, smooth applesauce and it is good in salads and pies.
  • A cross between a Golden Delicious and a Lady William.
  • Late season

Pristine applePristine

  • Very early yellow apple
  • Very sweet and juicy,
  • bruises easily, not a good keeper
  • the tree is known for its resistance to apple scab, but is susceptible to cedar-apple rust

Red Delicious appleRed Delicious

  • WAS the most popular apple variety in the world! for decades (now being replaced by Fuji and Gala)
  • Best for: eating, salad, very good as a base apple for applesauce
  • Thin bright red skin with a mildly flavored fine-grained white flesh.
  • Bruises easily and does not keep well.
  • Early to mid season
  • There are many, many varieties of red delicious, so there is a range of properties. Not all red delicious are the same!

RedfreeRedfree

  • early season, ripening around mid-August.
  • Firm and crunchy flesh
  • Can be stored up to 2 months without loss of quality or firmness.
  • early-season apple
  • The flesh is light cream. medium grained


Rome

  • Best for: baking and cooking - but not applesauce - not sweet enough, and it has a fairly bland flavor
  • Very smooth red apple with a slightly juicy flesh.
  • Very hard flesh
  • Mid to late season

RubyFrost appleRubyFrost

  • tart, all around apple
  • can be compared to Empire and Granny Smith.
  • stores well,
  • Late season, ripens later in the fall

Sansa appleSansa

  • Sweet
  • Early season
  • Good for Fresh Eating
  • Not a great keeper

Shizuka appleShizuka

  • Mid season
  • great for salads, eating fresh or juicing
  • Fruit is juicy, firm with and it's slow to brown when cut
  • A sister to Mutsu/Golden Delicious and Indo apples developed in Japan, with milder flavor.
  • Sweeter with less acid than Mutsu, but an excellent flavor and lack of acidity

Snowsweet appleSnowsweet

  • from the University of Minnesota, released in 2006
  • sweet taste, with a slight tart balance and rich overtones.
  • white flesh is very slow to oxidize and turn brown after cutting.
  • fresh eating, snack trays, salads, sauces
  • Late, approximately 2 weeks after Honeycrisp

SnapdragonSnapdragon

  • Newer variety, derived from Honeycrisp so it is very crisp and sweet
  • Spicy-sweet flavor
  • Long shelf life.
  • crispy apple has a juicy, sweet flavor

Spartan appleSpartan

  • A cross between the McIntosh and Pippin apples.
  • Good all-purpose apple.
  • medium size and has a bright red blush, but can have background patches of greens and yellows.
  • introduced in 1936 from the Federal Agriculture Research Station in Summerland, British Columbia, now known as the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre
  • a small sweet apple, like a McIntosh"
  • bright crimson skin and very bright white flesh

Stayman apple Stayman or Stayman-Winesap

  • Juicy, cream-colored to yellowish flesh with a tart wine-like flavor.
  • often also called winesap
  • crisp crunch flesh
  • Good storing apple, bruise resistant, dull red coat.
  • Best for: Cooking, pies and cider

Starwberry apple Strawberry

  • A crunchy, juicy apple
  • a red striped exterior with slight yellow blush
  • sweet-tart flavor.
  • Antique variety, originates from Chenango, New York, circa 1854.

Summer Banana

  • Mid-August
  • A sweet apple for eating or making fried apple pies.
  • Old variety from South Carolina in the 1800s
  • When fully ripe it has the faint smell of banana.

Suncrisp appleSuncrisp

  • A hard tart, long keeping apple.
  • Red over orange color; Golden Delicious-type
  • Ripens late in the season
  • Best for Baking, storing
  • Formerly known as NJ55, SunCrisp was developed at Rutgers University
  • Cross of Golden Delicious, Cortland, and Cox's Orange Pippin apples.

Sundance appleSundance

  • Sweet, tart yellow apple with reddish highlights
  • very firm, very crisp and breaking flesh.
  • Late season
  • Good for eating fresh, applesauce
  • cross between Golden Delicious and 1050 NJ 1,
  • released for sale in 2004

SweeTango appleSweeTango

  • Similar to Honeycrisp
  • Ripens mid August - September
  • Developed at University of Minnesota
  • Tightly licensed

William's Pride apple William's Pride

  • A cross of Jonathan x Melba x Mollie's Delicious, Rome found in 1975 in West Lafayette, Indiana, by the Indiana, New Jersey, and Illinois (PRI) joint apple-breeding program, and released commercially in 1988
  • early-maturing, early July, the very earliest known commercial red apple in the Midwestern United States. It ripens 1 week after 'Lodi' and 7.5 to 8 weeks before 'Delicious'.
  • very attractive entirely dark red/purple apple, medium to large in size, slightly conical, .
  • Slightly tart, with complex sweet and rich flavor
  • attractive, dark red apple

Winesap appleWinesap

  • Rich red color with white flesh
  • Crisp texture and juicy
  • Sweet, tangy flavor
  • Best for cooking
  • Winesap is an old apple cultivar of unknown origin, dating at least to American colonial times.
  • used for eating fresh, cooking, and apple cider.

Yates appleYates

  • Mid to late season
  • Rich red color with white flesh
  • Sweet
  • Best for eating
  • Late season
  • Small

York appleYork

  • Crisp and flavorful
  • "lop-sided" shape
  • Deep red with green streaks
  • Best for eating. holds texture during cooking and freezing

Zestar appleZestar

  • Sweet-Tart
    Best for Fresh Eating and Cooking
  • Early-Mid season

Tart or Sweet?

Check the chart below for a comparison

Apple varieties, in order of sweetnesxs or tartness

Images from the U.S. Apple Association (mostly)!


English Apple Varieties

These links take you to photos on GardenAction.co.uk

More about apple varieties can be found:

University of Illinois Apple page

More Apple Varieties

Apple photos and brief descriptions

Credits:

photos:
Jonamac, Macoun, PaulaRed: Courtesy of New York Apple Association, © New York Apple Association

And if you are looking for shipping containers for apples and other fruit, see this page.


Home Canning Kits

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!

Get canning lids on Amazon here, fast and inexpensive, and BPA-free Mrs. Wages salsa canning mix

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars? Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes? Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!


Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book