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Old and historical apple varieties have some advantages. They preserve the diversity of species, often have a high level of resistance and are also very interesting in terms of taste. Unfortunately, they are often hard to find on the market due to an uneven fruit shape or uneven colouring, as they are at least visually less appealing than other cultivated forms. Nevertheless, they can convince, among other things, in terms of taste.

Old & historical apple varieties

There are numerous reasons for planting historic apple varieties. Below:

  • conservation of biodiversity
  • often high resistance to diseases and pests
  • proven and easy-care varieties
  • preservation of a cultural asset
  • good adaptation to regional conditions
  • diverse uses

Old or even historical varieties often produce very tasty apples. The most common reason why they cannot (or no longer) be found in the supermarket or at the weekly market is the look. Because an apple of an old variety is often more similar to today's "rejects" - which, however, does not change the fine to intense aroma and its resistance.

Shelf life can also be a factor. Because some people want apples that can be eaten straight off the tree and others have to be stored for weeks or months until they are ready to eat. Others, on the other hand, don't last long. The modern, practical varieties are often easier to store.

Old apple varieties from A - D


The Alkmene variety is a cross between the cultivated forms Cox Orange and Privy Councilor Dr. Oldenburg. In terms of taste, they are still very close to the Cox Orange. However, the plants are much more resistant to drought and are therefore also suitable for areas and soils with little rainfall.
Harvesting is possible from around September. The taste of the fruit is sweet with a mild acidity. Storage can be done for about two months. The only downside is that the tree or fruit is not resistant to scab.


The Berlepsch thrives particularly well on nutrient-rich, loamy soil. The fruits are also suitable for allergy sufferers and are wonderful table apples due to their well-rounded aroma.
Another special feature is that this variety is also suitable for cultivation as espalier fruit or spindle tree.

champagne reinette

The champagne renette variety is ideal for extracting juice, but can also be eaten directly. After the harvest in October, however, you should wait about two months, because only then will the apples be ready for consumption.

Cox Orange

Cox Orange is a wonderful dessert apple that can also be eaten fresh from the tree. Harvest time is around October. Due to the good storage capacity, the apples can also be enjoyed until March.
The taste is extremely aromatic and sweet.

Gdansk Cantapple

The Gdańsk Cantapfel is a very easy-care old apple variety that only has low requirements. The trees are resistant and resilient and are therefore also ideal for barren and rougher regions. The juicy, sweet and sour fruits can be harvested in October and are then ready to be eaten. The apples can usually be stored until December.

Old apple varieties from E - G

ice apple

The Eisapfel or Eiserapfel is one of the oldest German apple varieties. The trees bear large, sweet fruits. The acidity of apples is very low. The overall flavor is rather mild, which makes the Eiserapfel better suited as a kitchen apple than as a table apple.

The ice apple can be harvested in October, but only reaches maturity in December. Since it lasts surprisingly long and can be stored well, the ice apple can be kept from October to June under the right conditions.

Finkenwerder Autumn Prince

The Finkenwerder Herbstprinz is an old apple variety that should be harvested as late as possible in October. However, the historic apple requires a comparatively long post-ripening time. It is only suitable for consumption from February. Once it has reached maturity, the fruit and the sweet and sour aroma do not last long. By the end of March, the crunchy and firm flesh has become tender and soft and loses its taste.

An advantage of this variety, however, is that the fruits are well suited for allergy sufferers. A disadvantage, however, is that the trees need very nutrient-rich soil in order to thrive.


The Gravensteiner variety is undemanding but tasteful. The very juicy fruits can be harvested and enjoyed from September. However, the full maturity for consumption is only reached with them after a storage of about four weeks. The apple can be stored for several months without any problems, but is also suitable for direct consumption as a table apple, but also for cooking and baking, or for extracting juices.
Since the trees are very resistant and undemanding, they are also ideal for beginners in gardening and can produce high yields for a long time.

Varieties from H - J

Holstein Cox

The Holsteiner Cox variety can be traced back to the 17th century. The old variety is well suited for allergy sufferers and is extremely versatile, as it can be used both as a table apple and as a kitchen apple. The ripeness for picking and eating is already reached in August. Storage is possible until around December. However, the fruits are only at their most aromatic until around October.

Ingrid Marie

From September, the red apples of the old Ingrid Marie variety are ready to be picked. At first, however, they still have a comparatively sour taste. After storage for about four weeks, the apple is ripe for consumption and the taste and aroma are significantly sweeter. Ingrid Marie can be stored for a very long time and can be kept until around March. The fruits are suitable as table and kitchen apples.


Jonathan is one of the comparatively undemanding apple varieties and also thrives very well on poor soil. The apples are ready for picking between the end of September and the end of October. However, the finely sour, intense aroma is only developed from November. Storage is possible without any problems until April.

James Grieve

The Scottish, historical apple variety James Grieve is very juicy and has a sweet and sour taste. The apple of this variety is suitable both as a table apple and thus for fresh consumption, and as a kitchen apple. The fruits are particularly ideal for extracting juice.

The harvest time is at the end of August, and the ripeness for consumption is reached after one to two weeks. The fruits are not suitable for storage. They only keep for about four weeks.

Varieties of K - P

Kaiser Willhelm

Very juicy and sweet and sour in aroma, Kaiser Wilhelm is a good choice in terms of taste. The historic variety is well suited for allergy sufferers. In addition, the apples can be stored for a long time without any problems. The harvest can take place around mid-October. After two months of storage, the fruits of the Kaiser Wilhelm variety have developed their full flavor and are ready to eat.
They are ideal for fresh consumption and as table apples, but can also be used as kitchen apples.

Pomeranian crooked handle

The Pomeranian crooked stem is one of the apple varieties that thrive in harsh climates and regions without any problems. The fears are suitable for allergy sufferers as they contain only a few allergens.
Juicy and sweet and sour, they are wonderfully suitable as table apples. They can also be used for baking and cooking. Harvest time begins in October. However, the ripeness for consumption is only reached a few weeks later, around November. Storage is possible without any problems until February. However, care should be taken to ensure that the storage conditions are right, otherwise the fruit will turn brown and become brittle very quickly.

Apple varieties from R - W

Red boskoop

The red Boskoop apple needs a very nutrient-rich substrate, so it is not suitable for poor soil. Harvesting of the finely tart apples can begin in mid-October. After about six weeks of storage, the fruits have developed their full flavor and are ready to eat. They can be stored for a very long time and can usually be eaten until April.
The Roter Boskoop variety is not really suitable as a dessert apple. However, it is ideal for baking and making applesauce.

Beautiful from Boskoop

The apples are only ripe for picking between October and November. The ripeness for consumption is even longer in coming. The full aroma is not developed until December.
They are suitable for fresh consumption as well as for cooking, baking and for juicing. The flesh is firm, juicy and tart.

White clear apple

The old variety Weißer Klarapfel withstands wind and weather and is therefore a good choice for regions with a harsher climate. The apples with their mild acidity and intense flavor can be harvested from around July to August. They already have their full aroma and are ready to eat. Refrigerated storage for a few weeks is possible. However, the fruits spoil comparatively quickly. They are also best for fresh consumption, but not as kitchen apples.

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