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Fruit Fact: Viking, a variety of apples

An early Summer apple with an unusual rose and lychee flavor. An "escapee" from the PRI scab resistance breeding program that was never officially released since it turns out not to be scab resistant. Not to be confused with 'Vicking', another similar red Summer apple from South Dakota (1925) which ripens pretty much at the same time.

Variety Background:

Most Common Name: Viking
Species: malus domestica X Malus floribunda hybrid, m. floribunda is the Japanese flowering crabapple. The pedigree for this hybrid is (Drops of New Jersey) x 187-4(49-102 x Delicious) "F2"26829-2-2=0433-2-2(Rome Beauty x M. floribunda 821) x 9433-2-8(Rome Beauty x M. floribunda 821).
Synonyms: PRI 1033-5
Origin: Originated from the PRI (Purdue University, Rutgers University and University of Illinois) apple breeding program as hybrid PRI 1033-5, which was never officially released but was apparently tasty enough to manage to "escape" even though it's not truly scab resistant. F. H. Gilbert at the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station ended up giving it the name 'Viking' in 1969. The cross is rather complicated, involving Drops of New Jersey, Delicious, and the original scab resistant cross of Malus floribunda 821 x 'Rome Beauty' that is at the root of the entire PRI program.
Patents or Trademarks: None


Description: Small to medium sized red, almost purple colored apple, oblate-round to almost perfectly round shaped, some stripes. The base color is light green even when fully ripe. Bruises easily and tends to get a little waxy. Appearance-wise almost indistinguishable from Williams Pride except for size.

Flavor and tasting notes: The crunchy bright white flesh with red veins and red coloring under the skin is sweet yet brisk, starting out tart and mellowing to a delicious, aromatic vineous and perfumy lychee and rose flavor. An outstanding apple, one of the best flavored early Summer apples.


Medium chiller that seems to be very well adapted anywhere in California where gravensteins grow well. it blooms very early, also suggesting it is perhaps suitable for Southern California. Some Summer heat is desirable, but much like a good Pinot Noir, it does best with a decent diurnal temperature shift found in the coastal areas of California.

Bloom Time Rating: F6

Growth Habit:

Strong lateral growth from the top with strong side shoots that go straight up. It's not unusual for new water shoots to come up from very low on the tree and becoming productive very quickly. This property makes it very easy to re-juvenate an older tree.

Vigor: T2

Harvest, storage and consumption:

Fruit ripen late July in California, about three weeks before gravenstein. Tree is incredibly precocious, but has a tendency towards biennial bearing if not thinned. Will overbear and produce small sized fruit if not properly thinned.

Begin of Harvest: mid July
End of Harvest: early Aug
Stores Until: early Sept


All purpose apple, excellent as a dessert apple, for cider, and for apple sauce.

Eating: Yes
Cooking: Yes
Cider: Yes


Has some scab resistance, but only Polygenic resistance. Extremely susceptible to fireblight, especially in warmer climates where the early bloom often overlaps with warm Spring rains. Fares fine in coastal Central California where it is too cool for fireblight to thrive during bloom season. Coddling moth damage is common.

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

Nurseries that carry this variety:

No nurseries carry this apple, only available in private collections.

GRIN cross reference: PI 589787

Breeding Apples for Scab Resistance: 1945-1990