Red Apple Varieties – Common Apples That Are Red

Decorative Table With Plate Of Red Apples
red apples
(Image credit: istetiana)

Not all apples are created equal; they each have been selected for cultivation based on one or more outstanding criteria. Usually, this criterion is flavor, storability, sweetness or tartness, late or early season, etc., but what if you just want a red apple cultivar. Again, not all apples that are red will have the same attributes. Choosing red apples for your garden is a matter of taste as well as of the eye. Read on to learn about apple trees with red fruit.

Choosing Red Apples

As mentioned above, choosing an apple tree with red fruit is a matter of taste, of course, but there are a few other considerations. About the only thing that apples that are red have in common is, that they are red. First off, not every red apple variety will be suited to your neck of the woods. Be sure that you are selecting only apples that thrive in your region. Also, take a look at their ripening time. You may want early or late harvested apples. Some of this has to do with your USDA zone, length of growing season, etc. and some has to do with flavor. And what do you plan to primarily use the apples for? Eating fresh, canning, pie making? These are all important things to consider and look for when choosing the perfect red apple tree variety.

Red Apple Cultivars

Here are some of the most commonly grown red apples to choose from: Arkansas Black is such a deep red it’s almost black. It is a very firm apple, sweet and tart, and is an excellent long storing apple. Beacon was introduced in 1936 and is slightly tart, with soft, juicy flesh. The tree is hardy yet susceptible to fire blight. Fruit ripens mid- to late August. Braeburn is a dark red apple with a bold, sweet, and spicy flavor. The skin color of this apple actually varies from orange to red over yellow. An apple from New Zealand, Braeburn makes excellent applesauce and baked goods. Fuji apples hail from Japan and are named after its famous mountain. These super-sweet apples are delicious eaten fresh or made into pies, sauces, or other baked goodies. Gala apples are sweet smelling with a crisp texture. Originating from New Zealand, the Gala is a multi-use apple perfect for eating fresh, adding to salads, or cooking with. Honeycrisp is not entirely red, but rather red mottled with green, but nonetheless worthy of mention for its complex flavors of both tart and honey-sweet. These ultra-juicy apples are perfect eaten fresh or baked. Jonagold is an early apple, a combination of Golden Delicious and Jonathan apples. It can be stored for up to 8 months and has a juicy, nicely balanced flavor. McIntosh is a Canadian cultivar that is crisp and sweet and can be stored up to 4 months. If you’re looking for the stereotypical apple that the witch tricked Snow White into eating, look no further than the classic Red Delicious. This crunchy, snacking apple is bright red and heart shaped. It was discovered by chance on the farm of Jesse Hiatt. Rome has smooth, bright red skin and sweet, juicy flesh. Although it has a mild flavor, it grows deeper and richer when baked or sautéed. State Fair was introduced in 1977. It is more of a striped red. The tree is susceptible to fire blight and prone to biennial bearing. The fruit has a short shelf life of 2-4 weeks. This is only a partial list of red apple varieties available. Other cultivars, all of which are predominantly red, include:

  • Breeze
  • Cameo
  • Envy
  • Fireside
  • Haralson
  • Jonathan
  • Keepsake
  • Prairie Spy
  • Red Baron
  • Regent
  • Snow Sweet
  • Sonya
  • Sweet Tango
  • Zestar
Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.