Experience with Red Fleshed Apples


I have all of Greenmantle’s Etter reds here (along with a few non-Etter cousins), and so far, the standouts have been Pink Pearl (early), Christmas Pink (late), and Pink Parfait (very late). Pink Pearl is fairly well-known, and the wonderful Pink Parfait may not ripen properly in many areas, but Christmas Pink has been really good for us and deserves wider attention. It’s large, productive, highly colored, sweet/tart, and very crisp and juicy. I don’t know how well it performs outside of Northern California, but it’s good enough to be worth trying elsewhere.


Jerry I’m curious as to when you find Christmas Pink at its best for both optimal texture and flavor. I have left some until Nov. and while the flavor was good, they were fairly soft. TIA.


It varies somewhat from year to year, but this year the peak was probably the last week of October through the first week of November here on the Marin coast. We still have half a dozen on our young tree, and they haven’t gone soft yet. They’re brilliantly pink inside this year.

Rubaiyat will probably be pickable within the week, and here, they have a greater tendency to go soft if left hanging too long than does Christmas Pink. I’ll likely leave Pink Parfait hanging until December. My little Grenadine is too young to bear, but ought to fall between the two ripening-wise.


Please take pictures!


Making an early start on next year, I ordered a bare root RedLove™ Calypso™ from One Green World. I wish there was more independent info on them, other than what is supplied by the nursery, but they are too new and it is what it is. Maybe in a few years I can provide some experience and evaluation. I like being able to plant it in the fall, so the timing was nice. I don’t want to open the package until morning, leaving it out in the non-freezing chill tonight.

Lubera nursery on RedLove™Calypso™


Lovely blossoms and a nice colored apple.


This year, I planted

Redlove Calypso, Era & Odysso

Also Firecracker.

Crossing fingers



The Redlove Calypso looks like a good apple to try out.


This was one of the last on the tree, a fairly small example:

You probably can see how juicy it is, and it’s still quite crisp, too. As the Greenmantle catalog says, “The melting flesh is exceedingly juicy, so combined with its color it calls to mind a very sprightly watermelon.”


It looks fantastic. I thought by now I would see red fleshed apples in our markets but they haven’t appeared yet. Does crisp mean tart as well or does it have some sweetness? Its beautiful!


It’s a very nice combination of sweet and tart with berry elements. It gets more sweet and less tart in storage, but we generally use them right off the tree. They make a lovely pink apple marmalade, too.


On whim, I tried some Ruby Macs from a local fruit stand. I was surprised to see pink flesh. Maybe that is where the name came from? The skin is dark red. The sweet-tart flavor profile and the softer texture is the same as McIntosh. I think they ripen a month later than Macs.


@AJfromElmiraNY, those look beautiful.

I searched. apparently Ruby Mac is a hybrid of McIntosh with something called Rubinstar. Or maybe not. If they were available, I would grow it. I love McIntosh - type apples.


The few descriptions I’ve seen don’t mention anything about red flesh. They indicate white or greenish flesh. However, two comments at the second site you posted appear to indicate red flesh. Why the discrepancy? Are there two strains already? It doesn’t seem like environmental conditions alone would create that much red.


Here is some fresh jam made with Airlie Red Flesh apples. It’s made using our bread machine, which has a “jam” setting. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Ingredients, just cut up apple, water, lemon juice, sugar but I also add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. This jam is for refrigerating and using within a few weeks, but I suppose it could be frozen. The red color deepened during cooking. Very tasty jam.


Jerry, I’ve decided to pass on Christmas Pink, Pink Parfait. They sound great when described by growers who hardly have winter, but I am skeptical if they would ripen in Kentucky.
And, for trying my hand at breeding, I want to pursue the ones that have red flesh, red blooms, red leaves, etc.

By the way, I am interested in still additional red fleshed varieties…but don’t want to try and collect every one that exists, just ones I would want.

Veinouin is one I’d like scion of if anyone has it. And some of the German red fleshed varieties that I don’t yet have.


Sounds reasonable to me, given your climate. If you haven’t grown the much earlier Pink Pearl, however, that’s worth a try in Kentucky.


I have had really good pink pearl apples grown from California. These were some of the best red fleshed apples i have eaten and while i found them mainly tart then sweet with a touch of astringency, Most years i would give them a 8 out of 10. I tried to grow one ignoring that it said zone 6 and it got bad Fireblight.


I believe that @derekamills has had good success with Pink Pearl in Ohio, so they may work out OK in Kentucky for @BlueBerry. Probably have to give them a try (or consult a local grower) to be sure. Sorry to hear that they didn’t work for you, though.


It was a foolhardy venture, and it was sent as a replacement for a different tree. My fireblight pressure is extremely high and several neighbors have infected pear trees so i have altered my choices. I would definitely reccomend to give it a try if anyone is interested.