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Fruit Fact: Anism, a variety of apples

A relatively obscure crimson colored Winter apple of Russian origin that used to be popular in the upper midWest for its good looks and extreme hardiness. The name does not refer to any anis flavor in the apple, rather, it refers to the term beauty in Russian.

Variety Background:

Most Common Name: Anism
Species: malus domestica
Synonyms: Anisowka, Borsdorfer, Good Peasant
Origin: Russia, St Petersburg region, most likely under the original name anisowka, meaning 'beauty' in Russian, a well-deserved name. Was widely grown in the 19th century in Minnesota and the upper midwest under various names including Anisim of Peterson (most likely was Anisowka of St. Petersburg), Borsdorfer of Wragg, Good Peasant of Patten, Swedish Borsdorf and Jonathan of the North. All these eventually were identified to be the same and renamed anisim.
Patents or Trademarks: None


Description: Beautiful dark crimson color over light green to yellow background, medium sized fruit covered with blue bloom, small white dots. Slightly egg-shaped, angular.

Flavor and tasting notes: The fine-grained white flesh has green veins and is pleasant and sub-acid, very juicy and good, but can be lightly flavored under less favorable conditions.


Very hardy, late ripening Winter apple that also happens to grow well in lower chill conditions, very vigorous and prolific even in Santa Cruz County in California. Great apple for cooler coastal areas.

Bloom Time Rating: F13

Growth Habit:

Very vigorous, both upright growing and heavy branching, spreading form. The leaves are dark green and slightly narrower than usual, similar to Antonovka.

Vigor: T3

Harvest, storage and consumption:

Incredibly precocious tree, bears early, ripens in November and stores well into early February under optimal conditions.

Begin of Harvest: early Nov
End of Harvest: mid Nov
Stores Until: early Feb


Mostly a dessert apple. Can be used for cider.

Eating: Yes
Cooking: No
Cider: Yes


Very little has been written about this variety in modern literature, and old text do not contain any information about diseases. Currently under evaluation in the Cloudforest orchards.

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

Nurseries that carry this variety:

Anisim is not available in any nursery worldwide. Scion wood is available from limited sources.

Photo Gallery

Watercolor by Elsie E. Lower in Minnesota, drawn 1907. (c) U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705


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