Opinions on Pink Pearmain apple?


I enjoy red fleshed varieties and am considering adding a Pink Sparkle/Pink Pearmain apple. Any opinions on this variety for fresh eating? Any personal photos of the fruit are appreciated if you have any different then the few I’ve been able to find on google.


I have one blooming right now that I’ll allow to set fruit for the first time. Can’t give you much more information until the fall, of course, but I’ll post my impressions then.

I’ll also be harvesting my first samples of these pink/red-fleshed Etter varieties this fall:

  • Pink Parfait
  • Rubaiyat
  • Christmas Pink
  • Blush Rosette
  • Thornberry
  • Pink Pearl

I’ll photograph them and post a report.

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Skillcult, Stephan Edholm, has alot on red fleshed apples on his Youtube site as does Derek Mills.

Over 200 of my almost 1,200 varieties of apples are red fleshed and that includes Pink Pearmain. It is not bad but not one of my favorites. Red Devil, Winekist, Pink Pearl. Geneva and Weirouge are all better tasting.

One of the characteristics of Pink Pearmain is the skin will get an oily feel to it when ripe and some people do not like that trait. Plus the flesh color does not get as intense as even other pink fleshed ones like Pink Pearl or Thornberry or Mott Pink. I will try and post a few pictures, the one on the tree is my pic, the one of the fruit cut open is from the web.

I ordered my original Pink Pearmain in the mid 1980’s from Greenmantle Nursery who found and propagated the Albert Etter varieties from the 1930’s. A couple of years later I read about a variety called Pink Sparkle from South Meadow Nursery in Michigan and ordered one. When it came there was a tag down in the roots from Greenmantle with Pink Pearmain written on it. I called Southmeadow and complained about the scam but to no avail. I called Greenmantle and let them know and they said unfortunately it was not illegal but certainly unethical.


You need to add Grenadine which is one of the best Albert Etter red fleshed vareties!


Thank you!! That was very helpful.

Since a little descriptive feedback was so useful for me, would you mind taking the time to comment on a few other red flesh varieties? They are already planted in my orchard but I’m out of space and am trying to find varieties to remove that I won’t miss. I like tart apples like Granny Smith and Pink Pearl.

I already have Almata, Winekist, Red Devil, Pink Pearl, Hidden Rose, Redfield, and Grenadine and Rubaiyat were just grafted this spring.

Please offer comments on:

Neidwetzkyana (have not heard one positive about this variety’s fruit, but the tree itself is so beautiful, more than the other red leafed varieties I have growing).

Burford’s Red Flesh (compared to the above varieties)

Discovery (I read that this is also one of your favorites, how pink is it? Any comparison to Strawberry Parfait?)

Strawberry Parfait (interchangeable with Discovery? Do they ripen at the same time? Worth having at all?)

Thanks Derek!!

I had given Grenadine a pass because @SkillCult had described it as less refined than Rubaiyat and prone to mealiness in his environment, though he did like the taste and especially the juice. My wife won’t abide a mealy apple. Is the texture better in your climate?

Just as a side note because multiple names for the same variety drive me crazy! Hidden Rose was originally, and for years, called Airlie Red Flesh, then someone put a patent or trademark (cannot remember what it is for plants) on it and called it Hidden Rose, Now someone else has done the same thing and called it Mountain Rose. As far as I know all three are the same thing but we sell the fruit as Airlie Red Flesh. It was discovered by the same guy who found Bill’s Red Flesh which is now marketed as Scarlet Surprise.

I don’t mind someone trying to come up with a more descriptive name, just with trying to claim it as their own with a different name.

Anyway, back to the varieties you asked about.

Niedzweckyana is like Red Flesh in that there are a couple of days when it is surprisingly edible. I like it enough to have a couple trees of it because it blooms reliably and heavily every year. And the fruit always goes into the red flesh cider blend.

Burford’s Red Flesh was originally sold under the name Clifford back in the 1970’s and 1980’s by Tom Burford who found it growing at Patrick Henry’s homesite. Now since he found it he can call it whatever he wants and change the name . Better tasting than Red Flesh or Niedzweckyana but the same look and feel to the skin, dry and some russetting. I eat them fresh and if you like them tart you would like it too.

Discovery is a great tasting apple and the first red fleshed one of the seasons for us with any great amount of production. We like it so much that the last two years I have grafted more trees of this variety. Good sweet tart flavor, not as solid red fleshed as others like Red Devil but red halfway through to the core. For us here in SE Ohio it is way preferable to Strawberry Parfait.

And Strawberry Parfait is below average here. Does not produce very well and flavor is nothing special. Now in California where it was found it may be great.

Well not sure my palate knows enough to say refined or not between those two but I have no doubt some people can! We have apple tastings at our place and I get a kick out of the descriptions people give to flavors, just wish I had that sensibility. If you go to YouTube and search for my orchard, Hocking Hills Orchard, there are a dozen or so videos from a young lady who came to our place and did samples of different varieties over the season.

I will tell you that when I do my red fleshed crosses every Spring I use Rubaiyat, Grenadine, Pink Pearl and Red Devil in different combinations.

The main difference between Grenadine and Rubaiyat for me are season and intensity of flesh color. Grenadine is a little later and a little darker.

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I think i just had dejavu! Didnt i read about a south medow scam on greenmantle in an old thread of yours? I swear it wasnt about pink pearmain either.

might have, that kind of stuff drives me crazy .

Yeah it was a Mar '16 post about this same thing in the red flesh thread. Lol I thought I dreamed it, that was weird. Sorry for the odd turn here folks, continue…

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Rubaiyat, Grenadine, Pink Parfait and maypole are the ones I’ve used the most for breeding. Rubaiyat gets horrible scab here and another grower recently confirmed that. I do feel like it’s a little less “primitive” than Grenadine and the texture, when it’s good (which isn’t saying much) is better. Either when eaten less than totally ripe is fully accpetable to good texture wise, but if you want a well developed flavor out of it and for the harsh edge of grenadine to round off, they rarely seem to retain that texture by the time you get there. Both have a lot of early drops, but Grenadine does this thing where the fruits go glossy early, or maybe greasy as you described Pink Pearmain above, and become mealy inside, they are both inconsistent in ripening time. Both can have outstanding flavor, but I give the edge to Grenadine, which is the most complex fruity berry flavored red fleshed apple I’ve tasted yet, though You’ve tasted a whole lot more than me. It’s truly impressive though and between the color and flavor it was my first choice for breeding. I’ve already passed the color and flavor down to an offspring, and I’m hoping that seedling will turn out something like an improved Grenadine, with less of the weird cultural issues. If I showed it to you, you’d probably think it was a grenadine it’s so similar. Are any of your Grenadine offspring promising yet? I’m hoping to get a few more fruiting this year. I guess I say Rubaiyat is a little more refined in that it seems one small step closer to a fine desert apple in texture and also appearance, but it still has the intense redness and the flavor associated with that. I’ve made lots of crosses with it now and also crossed it to pink parfait. I wouldn’t be surprised it they have a parent in common though, besides the red fleshed parent even, so it’s probably like back crossing for better or worse. Here is that seedling, but I don’t think this one was fully ripe so I expect to be able to get it redder.


Isnt maypole a columnar variety?

Yes, very much so. I can see that columnar trait clearly in quite a few of the first year seedlings. It’s pretty neat. Could be very useful.


That is a great looking seedling!

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Hi Derek we received our first order of Etter apples from Greenmantle this spring. We purchased Vixen, Eden, Amberoso, Muscat de Venus and Wickson. Do you have any of these and which are your favorites? Which other Etters can you recommend to us?

Thank you for any advice!

We do grow them and Wickson is my favorite out of these. I believe Greenmantle call them the Sweetmeats group? All small to medium size apples. Another one of theirs that is in that category is Crimson Gold.

My first Etter variety was Pink Pearl and it is still one of favorite red fleshed varieties but very finicky here in SE Ohio to get intense red flesh color. Too much rain late in the season means a paler color.

Alaska is a great Etter variety that bears reliably every year, very light colored skin.

Grenadine and Rubaiyat are two other good red fleshed Etter varieties. Pink Parfait for us is hardly worth growing but could be different where you are.

Ram Fishman cautions that Pink Parfait requires a very long growing season and may not be suitable for many areas. @SkillCult is growing it successfully a couple of hours south of Ram and speaks very highly of it. I’m growing it a couple of hours further south, but won’t get to sample it for perhaps another season.

Continuing slightly off-topic: is anyone growing Blush Rosette? I am and should be able to sample it this season, but I’ve never seen a first-hand description of it apart from Ram’s, so I’m curious how it’s done for others.

I’ll agree with Derek that wickson is still best out of those, except that I haven’t had eden. Not surprising since it’s the only one of those that Etter named and released. Muscat de venus tastes super sweet, but very low acid, so it lacks something like balance for eating. The flavor is intriguing and reminicent of wickson. Amberoso is my least favorite of those. Vixen really is quite a bit like a large Wickson.