Black Apples

Minnesota’ s Keepsake and SnowSweet doing pretty well in Maryland


Liberties can get pretty dark, but really just a very deep, dark red.

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I’ve read that Black Amish is very similar if not identical to Hoover. I don’t have personal experience with either.

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Ed Fackler said that the ‘Colonial J-spur’ strain of ArkBlack was a beautiful cardboard-flavored apple…he much preferred the original.
I don’t know which I’ve got, but on the rare occasion any survive bug and assorted rots and make it to October, its a pretty tasty apple.
Some years ago. I was visiting a local orchard… the man told that he’d had some 1 yr old ArkBlacks in the cooler that were still good - probably better than when they went in, flavorwise - but couldn’t sell them, because they were sort of wrinkled/shriveled, 'cause his wife had gotten tired of keeping wet towels in the cooler to keep humidity levels up over the summer.


Saw a couple types ripening now at the @39thparallel orchard recently. He saves me some AB as they keep a long time so I love them. Going to be headed there with more pears soon!

I grow the Spur type. They are amazingly productive and do great espaliered. I do not no other strains to compare them to. Storage is mandatory if you want to apricate the flavor of AB. They do get ugly in long term storage acquiring a somewhat greasy skin. I view them as more valuable fore there storage abilities than being a choice apple. My plan is to let them mellow until spring then juice them for wine.


My Black Oxfords were darker than usual this year, larger, too, and good flavor right off the tree. It appears this apple liked the unusual long, hot summer we had. And I liked the harvest! The large size was likely due to the “natural” thinning thanks to hard freezes late May during blossoming. But I still got 33# of real nice fruit. REally nice when I didn’t think I’d get any. Sue


The fruit actually was darker than shows in the photo. I had a hard time getting good color. But they sure shined up when polished. REally beautiful.


I just bookmark this interesting thread!

I have several black apple varieties like:
Arkansas Black, Black Oxford, Jersey Black, Black Limbertwig, King David, Black Raven, Mammoth Black Twig, Black Jonathan and Stayman Winesap. Black Strawberry too…
Learned a lot here… :grin:


How do you like the flavor and texture compared to your other blacks?

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Hi! I don’t know yet because this trees are small

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As it grows here, I would add Ingram. We have very bright, intense light though, so red apples tend to go very red. It’s not an amazing apple so far, very white, somewhat thin tasting flesh, though the flavors it has are nice. It will also hang into early winter here, and the longer they hang, the more chance they have to get very dark red. I think we can easily make a lot more of these “black” apples by breeding, or even just planting black apple seeds. I have at least two black seedlings already of King David. I’ve got more of those coming up and will be surprised if one or two more are not very dark. I really think it’s worthwhile to collect all the black apple varieties and cross them with each other, and especially with red fleshed varieties. I’ve crossed RF apples with King David, Black Oxford and Ingram. I had a suspicion years ago that crossing RF apples with very dark skinned red apples, would favor the red fleshed trait. Jury is still out on that, but early results are promising. I’m pretty sure thought that someday, something amazing will come of such crosses. We just need some people that inspired by black apples to do the “work”. I’m also crossing Black Strawberry (Grenadine x King David) back to King David, and to other red fleshed apples. So much potential there to explore.


An article about this black apple from Tibet with an explanation why they develop darker skin.

The unique apples owe their color to their native geography in Nyingchi, a small city in the mountains of Tibet, where they receive a lot of ultraviolet light during the day but the temperature fluctuates dramatically at night, causing the skin to develop a deep, dark color.

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There’s a lot of hype among popular media but most of it is partly true at best.
Appreciate your sharing your experiments. I have done a very few crosses, you’ve done many red flesh crosses.

The color is not real. They are photoshopped.

Below is a real photo of the Black Diamond fruit. They can look a little darker than this but they never look like the fake photos in this article.



I’ve seen apples that look dark like the photos. I believe a sport of Red Delicious, one of the long time HOS members showed them to the folks at the apple ID table as a curiosity.

I think they were commercial, and perhaps from Canada.