Green Apple Varieties: Growing Apples That Are Green

green apples
green apples
(Image credit: warrengoldswain)

Few things can beat a fresh, crisp apple, right off the tree. This is especially true if that tree is right in your own backyard, and if the apple is a tart, tasty green variety. Growing green apples is a great way to enjoy fresh fruit, and to add some variety to the other types of apples you already enjoy.

Enjoying Apples That are Green

Apples that are green have a more pronounced tart and less sweet flavor than red varieties. If you love apples of all types, green varieties have their place. They taste great when eaten raw and fresh, just as a snack. 

They also add a delicious crunch and fresh flavor to salads and are the perfect counterbalance in flavor to salty, rich cheeses like cheddar and blue cheese. Slices of green apple hold up well in sandwiches and can be used in baking to balance the sweet flavor of other apples.

Green Apple Tree Cultivars

If you are inspired to add one or more green apple varieties to your home orchard, you have a few great options: 

Granny Smith: This is the classic green apple and the variety that everyone thinks of when thinking green. In many grocery stores, this is the only green apple you will be able to find. It is a worthy choice and has a dense flesh that is very tart. That tart flavor holds up well in cooking and baking. 

Ginger Gold: This apple is green to golden in color and was developed in Virginia in the 1960s. It was found growing in an orchard of Golden Delicious trees. The flavor has more tartness than the Golden Delicious, but it is sweeter than a Granny Smith. It is a great, fresh-eating apple that ripens earlier than other varieties. 

Pippin: The Pippin is an old American variety, dating back to the 1700s. It came from a pip, which is a chance seedling, on a farm in Newtown, Queens. It is sometimes called a Newtown Pippin. Pippins are green but may have streaks of red and orange. The flavor is tart to sweet, and because of its firm flesh, it excels as a cooking apple.

Crispin/Mutsu: This Japanese variety is green and very large. One apple is often too much for one person. It has a sharp, tart, but still sweet flavor and is great eaten fresh and when baked or cooked.

Antonovka: This old, Russian variety of apples will be hard to find, but worth it if you can get your hands on a tree. Originating in the early 1800s, the Antonovka apple is green and bracingly tart. You can eat the apple raw if you can handle it, but these are excellent apples for cooking. It is also a great tree to grow in colder climates, as it is hardier than most varieties.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.