Experience with Red Fleshed Apples


Hi all,

I’m curious what people’s experience with red fleshed apples is. I don’t have any, but I’d like to get one. My goal is to do some breeding work with one. It seems like most breeding has been done from Niedzwetzkyana Crabapples. So that seems like an option. Or maybe there are other options out there. Arboreum offered arborose last year, which sounded pretty good, but they’re good at marketing and tend to make all their stuff sound good.




Hi, I have a red fleshed ‘Arborose’ hasn’t bloomed yet as is was deer fodder last winter and is re-growing. I also have a ‘Scarlet Surprise’ which the deer enjoyed also. (both of these apples have been in the ground for four years.) My two most expensive trees will take time to recover. Will keep you posted on those. I also have a Mott’s Pink, which is a delicious fall apple. The flesh is not red but hot pink. I love the taste of this apple, it is tart, crisp, sweet, juicy and very pretty. Mott’s Pink is highly precocious(at least for me), so you must remove many blooms at the proper time. What is great about all three of these apples is not only are they unusual, their blossoms are as well. They have deep magenta blooms. Very striking in the orchard in Spring when everything else is pastel. Here is a list:

Pink Pearl
Pink Sparkle
Geneva Crab
Giant Russian
Winter Red Flesh
Mountain Rose
Red Wonder
Hidden Rose
Mott’s Pink
Buford Red Flesh
Scarlett Surprise


I have a few, and have apples for the first year (if the rats and squirrels don’t get them, first). Pink Pearl and HIdden Rose have about 5 to 10 apples this year. I need to get them a bit more water, but there are doing pretty well. Hopefully, I’ll get to taste test them in about month. Not big, but for the first crop, interested in seeing how they taste.



Fedco Trees of Maine sells a few red-fleshed apples that are acclimated to surviving cold New England-like winters.


I have Baya Marissa (euro), the apples look nice but nothing special, tastes bland without any aroma.


I have Airlie’s Red Flesh(hidden rose), Rubaiyat, and Christmas pink. Rubaiyat seems to enjoy Ia and should bloom next year, ARF was a spring graft, and Christmas pink has grown 8" in 2 yrs, lots of powdery mildew.


Derek Mills of Hocking Hills Orchard in Ohio has an impressive collection of red-fleshed apples. He sells scionwood beginning in November. He can send you a full list of his cultivars, with descriptions, if you e-mail him. Here’s his website:


Some of the red-fleshed apples he is tracking:



Great info, Matt. Thanks for this!


He also has an impressive collection of Welsh apples (and apples otherwise associated with Europe and the British Isles), including the very obscure variety “Baker’s Delicious,” which Stephen Hayes raves about. This is of particular interest to me as my last name is Jones and I have some Welsh ancestry.


I have a ‘Hidden Rose’ purchased from Southmeadow Fruitgardens over 15y ago. The deer seemed to preferentially browse on this as opposed to my other apples, to the point it almost died a few times. Really, the difference in damage was pronounced. I have a wire cage around it now but it has been slow growing and has given me a few apples only in 2013 and 2014. They were relatively small, green skin, red flesh, pleasant sweet - tart flavor. This year it had only a few blooms and set no fruit, while the nearby larger apple trees set fruit fine. I have been disappointed with it because of lack of production but the early year’s deer damage is at least partly to blame.


I used to be able to get Pink Pearl apples back in college, they were awesome. Like eating sour patch kids candy. I miss them.


Has anyone tried to grow the hidden rose apple in the northeast (I’m in NJ)? I want to add it to my small orchard but cedar apple rust is pernicious in my area so I have concern as to this breeds ability to survive.


I believe ‘Hoosierquilt’ grows it in CA.


20 years ago, I expressed a desire to grow red-fleshed cultivars on the NAFEX discussion list.
Ed Fackler, whom some of you know or know of, warned me that they would be ‘crap’ here in my warm zone 6 site on the KY/TN border.
He was mostly right. I still have several… Winter Red Flesh, Geneva Crab, Giant Russian … all pretty crappy except for making jelly; definitely not anything you’d want to eat out-of-hand - dry and astringent. Almata is a mediocre to decent apple for fresh eating. None are particularly productive.
Pink Pearl was exceedingly Fireblight susceptible, and never lived long enough to fruit for me, and I largely abandoned that line of pursuit.


I know this won’t help with the OP’s search for a true red fleshed apple, but I have an apple that is supposed to be a Rome and it has a slight red tinge on SOME of the apples. Most descriptions I’ve read say Romes are white fleshed but sometimes turn slightly red when exposed to air (instead of the brown we are all familiar with). But that isn’t an accurate description of what goes on with mine…they have the red tinge and lines of light red pigment running thru SOME of them the moment they are cut. It seems even stranger that some apples on the same tree would have the redish tint and some wouldn’t (could be the time I pick them- ie how ripe they are) seems really strange to me. Could be they aren’t Rome. Just curious…anyone else ever heard of a Rome apple with redish flesh? Any explanations for this? Just curious.


Prairie spy has some red veins and red under the skin. The red genes seem to be there hiding amongst many apples genes which occasionally shows up. Wild apples I would bet from time to time are red though mine have not been thus far. Some rare species of wild apples outside the US are always red https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malus_niedzwetskyana. I bring this up because a gentleman by the name of Etter once did significant work with what is believed to be the niedzwetskyana apple and other crosses. So what happened to these crosses? They are now in the possession of green mantle nursery http://www.greenmantlenursery.com/fruit/rosetta-apples.htm see this article for more on Albert Etter http://www.greenmantlenursery.com/fruit/etter-apples.htm


If you are looking at grafting and are interested , I have limited scionwood of this apple . It is unnamed at this time and only a few apples for the first time this year . This is a random wild seedling tree and growing in the shade so not sure if the flesh will become redder when grown in full sun.


That’s beautiful. How does it taste?


I always have a hard time with describing what an apple taste like and textures. Only a few produced this year but a sweet with just a hint of sour and a solid apple taste ( if that is really a thing !)


Yes, I have “Hidden Rose”. Got a few apples this year. Not bad, and definitely pink inside.