Roter Eiserapfel

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Fruit Fact: Roter Eiserapfel, a variety of apples

Roter Eiserapfel is an ancient heirloom dark red late Winter apple that became famous all over Central Europe for its ability to store indefinitely under conventional storage. Has the typical attributes of a classic late Winter apples.

Variety Background:

Most Common Name: Roter Eiserapfel
Species: malus domestica seedling
Synonyms: Zigeunerapfel, Roter drei Jahre dauernder Streifling, Paradiesapfel
Origin: First appeared in German literature around the 15th century, but could be older. Was a very popular apple before the days of modern refrigeration
Patents or Trademarks: None


Description: A beautiful medium to large dark red apple with a light gray bloom, has many small whitish-gray dots. Will be more on the striped side in milder climates with less October frost.

Flavor and tasting notes: The light green, almost yellow flesh is slightly dry, firm, sweet and lightly vinous and aromatic.


A vigorous grower that is most likely not suitable for low chill climates, but will do well in medium chill climates with some Winter shade. Does well in the Santa Cruz mountains, firm late apple that should not mind the heat of the Central Valley. Very tolerant of poor soil and poor growing conditions in general. Blooms very early but is a triploid, so it cannot pollinate other varieties.

Bloom Time Rating: F15

Growth Habit:

Vigorous, upright grower, somewhere in between T2 and T3, rated T3.

Vigor: T3

Harvest, storage and consumption:

Roter Eiserapfel ripens very late, as late as frosts allow. In Germany, it is typically harvested in late October before temperatures head below freezing. In California, the apple can be left on the tree late into the Winter. Stores indefinitely under conventional storage conditions. Fruit holds on well, and is nor prone to premature dropping.

Begin of Harvest: mid Oct
End of Harvest: early Dec
Stores Until: mid June


Mostly a dessert apple, not juicy enough for juicing, not sharp enough for cooking.

Eating: Yes
Cooking: No
Cider: No


Apparently quite disease resistant.

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

Nurseries that carry this variety: