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Fruit Fact: Celestia, a variety of apples

Celestia is an old rare heirloom thought to be extinct but was re-discovered by Konrad Gemmer in an old orchard in New Jersey in 1996. A highly aromatic and complex flavored apple, it is one of the varieties Todd Kennedy recently referred to as one of the best flavored and most delicious apples. According to Todd, this apple is of inferior quality when grown in the humid climates of the midwest and East Coast, but when grown in California, it becomes a noteworthy apple.

Variety Background:

Most Common Name: Celestia
Species: Malus domestica seedling
Origin: This one was described in 1887 as having a spicy flavor and very aromatic by Warder, also noted in other texts up to about 1900, after which it disappeared, apparently extinct. Its reappearance is credited to Conrad Gemmer of Susquehanna, Pa. , in the 1980’s, in an old New Jersey orchard.
Patents or Trademarks: None


Description: The fruit has pale green skin turning slightly yellow when ripe, with pink blush for fruit exposed to sunlight.

Flavor and tasting notes: Highly rated according to several sources, including Todd Kennedy. Very juicy, highly aromatic, pleasant and rich complex flavor, crisp and tender flesh.


Unknown at this time, but Todd Kennedy recommends it for Central and Northern California.

Bloom Time Rating:

Growth Habit:


Harvest, storage and consumption:

Begin of Harvest:
End of Harvest:
Stores Until:


Eating: Yes
Cooking: No
Cider: No


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

Nurseries that carry this variety:

Available from the Arboreum Company: Celestia

Some possible sources of more information: Siloam Orchards, see Apple Descriptions

Photo Gallery

Celestia (c) Photo The Arboreum Company

Celestia Watercolor by Mary Daisy Arnold in Middletown, Indiana, 1912 (c) U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705