Karmijn de Sonnaville

No getting around it. These are some of the prettiest apples ever, and incredibly delicious:

Mine look to have at least a week to go before they’re ready, but I tried one today and even as green as it was it was really flavorful. Doesn’t hurt that it’s a reliable producer of generous amounts of nice-sized apples.

(I should have scion wood available in the spring if anybody wants to ask.)


Karmijn de Sonnaville is the most intensely flavored of all apples in my opinion.


That’s interesting Mark. I’ve never seen a totally red one, mine usually get more orange but more red than usual this year (they do have Surround-soaked footies on which interferes with ripening and coloring. I just started picking this week. Currently about halfway through the Alkmenes which are a slightly milder Karmijn. I bet yours will be stronger on the sweet side. Bon apetit!


I wonder if the color is a function of temperature or what. We’ve had a few frosts or near-frosts here. I see you’re in W. Washington. Maybe it has been a little warmer there?

And I should note that quite a few of the apples on the other side of the tree are not as solid-colored - they are more like the other one in the picture.

But any way you look at it, this is a great apple.


How is the bug situation with karmein apples? Do they get a lot of maggots and coddling moth? I have read that some apples like the russet or yellow dense apples tend to be less affected by bugs. Curious how this dense russetted and red apple does for you. I have a gold rush and honey crisp currently in Portland Oregon and want to add a red storage apple such as karmijn, belle de boskoop or enterprise maybe.

I haven’t had many crops with karmijn, but I haven’t noticed it being the codling moth magnet that Liberty is. And since I have to spray the Libs the Karmijn get it at the same time (same frankentree). So that makes it hard to say what the bug situation is.

But I have noted in years past that a tree covered with cm infested Liberties can have Yellow Delicious on it with no bug problems.

I haven’t found Karmijn to be a very good storage apple, but that’s OK because we eat them right away as soon as they ripen enough.

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Nice to see. My Young KdS is the largest and most vigorous of all my grafted apple trees. I’m expecting some apples in a year or two. I’m a little surprised there weren’t just a few blossoms this year, but that’s ok as I think I would have plucked them if they set anyway.

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At what temp do you store the KDS?

I find that they mellow and improve greatly in flavor after about 30 days in refrigeration storage.

I store mine at 35 to 38 f in a “non-frost free” freezer with a Johnson controller (A418, A419, A421) to keep the temp in that range.

See Google search result below. They are relatively inexpensive.



Mike, I try to keep all my apples as close to 30 -32 F as possible. It’s OK if a little ice forms in the bags. My space precludes the setup you have; mine’s an upright self-defrosting fridge. KdS seems to hold OK in there until sometime after Thanksgiving, but I haven’t been storing very many for very long and i’m lazy about record keeping so I can’t be much more precise!

Nice! I hadn’t thought of Karmijn as cold hardy, it’s one I’ll have to add.

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Our first Karmijn died last year before bearing any apples, but I successfully grafted another this spring, so now we wait again.

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My experience is that it won’t keep you waiting too long and is pretty generous.

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@Quill do you have other apple varieties besides alkmene and karmijn de soneville? Do they pollinate each other with kds being a triploid and alkmene being self fertile- that is do they bloom at the same time?

Here is mine from this year. Still one of the most fantastically delicious apples I gro

Was a good year for Karmijn



Our tree planted in 2012 is huge (mm111) but has only made a handful of fruits in each of the last two years. Ours do not get red at all. Interesting.

This is the reddest K.D.S. on our tree.

Most look more like this.


Many of ours are like that too! Like I said, I don’t know what causes the variation - maybe some combination of heat/cold/sun/water? Also, more russeting this year than I’m used to, and that on lots of different apples.

That botom apple tasted like a lemon…especially compared to Hawaii. Wow! What a contrast!

@marknmt, @joleneakamama

Remember that mine are espaliered. They are in full sun whenever the sun is out. No leaf cover.

Maybe that is a factor.

Below is a photo of my Cox Orange Pippin. Also more red area than I see in the nursery books.



How tart is KDS? You can compare it to other sweet apples or rate it on a 1-10 scale.