Pigeonnet Rouge

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Fruit Fact: Pigeonnet Rouge, a variety of apples

Pigeonnet apples refers to an entire class of ancient French apples with a conical shape, narrower at the calyx than at at the stem. Why the term "pigeonnet" no one knows. Even French pomologists to this day argue as to why the term pigeonnet was ever used. Pigeonnet rouge is one of the most famous pigeonnet varieties, and is often used as an archetype for all pigeonnets. However, it also features some very unique and distinct traits. The leaves tend to be dark red when they first emerge and eventually settle to a deeper green color as they mature. The apple itself has a unique almond-like flavor. If you are going to grow any pigeonnet, this would be the one to grow.

Variety Background:

Most Common Name: Pigeonnet Rouge
Species: malus domestica
Synonyms: Pigeonnet commun, Pigeon-rouge, roter winter taubenapfel. Not to be confused with pigeonnet rouge de feu, (Feuerroter Taubenapfel) which is entirely covered in solid red and is not a French apple but an apple from Denmark. In french nurseries, the latter is sometimes sold under the name "pigeonnet rouge", while the real "pigeonnet rouge" is sold under the name "Pigeonnet commun".
Origin: An ancient French apple dating back to the 17th century, popular also in Germany under the name roter Winter TaubenApfel.
Patents or Trademarks: None


Description: Medium sized, pale yellow partially blushed with red streaks with white dots, some russeting, covered with bloom. Typical pigeonnet shape, i.e. tall conical, elongated shape, wider at the stem and narrower at the calyx, ribbed. flesh tender, soft, white; flavor acid; harvest season mid to late.

Flavor and tasting notes: Has white flesh that starts out sharp but mellows in storage to become sweet and tender, soft and is very juicy with a unique flavor reminiscent of almonds.


Bloom Time Rating:

Growth Habit:


Harvest, storage and consumption:

A late Fall ripening variety that keeps exceptionally well.

Begin of Harvest: mid Oct
End of Harvest: early Nov
Stores Until: mid April


A multi-purpose apple, plenty of juiciness to make it a good candidate for cider.

Eating: Yes
Cooking: Yes
Cider: Yes


Scab Susceptibility:
Fire Blight Susceptibility:
Powdery Mildew Susceptibility:
Cedar Apple Rust Susceptibility:
Black Rot Susceptibility:
Phytopthera Rots Susceptibility:
Fly Speck Susceptibility:
Coddling Moth Susceptibility:

Nurseries that carry this variety:

Not available in any US nurseries, but scion wood is readily available from various sources.

GRIN Cross-reference: PI 132273

French Blog entry on Pigeonnet apples

Photo Gallery

Antique drawing for pigeonnet rouge from Germany (c) Photo Wikimedia Commons