Pfirsichroter Sommerapfel

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Fruit Fact: Pfirsichroter Sommerapfel, a variety of apples

An early Summer heirloom from Germany that seems to have vanished from cultivation. The literature refers to this apple as an aromatic, intensely perfumy and spicy rose flavored, but so far, this has not manifested itself in our orchard. While the bloom is highly aromatic, the fruit went from being inedibly sharp to slightly less sharp and mushy.

Variety Background:

Most Common Name: Pfirsichroter Sommerapfel
Species: malus domestica
Synonyms: Jenaer Rosenapfel, Peach Red Summer Apple, Sommer Rosenapfel, Pfirsichroter Sommer Rosenapfel
Origin: The exact origin of this apple is unknown, possibly France. Was popular in the German State of Thüringen in the early 1800's under the name 'Jenaer Rosenapfel'. Was widely grown under many names, but was finally given the popular common name 'Pfirsichroter Sommerapfel' by J.G. Dittrich in 1839. Now has become very rare in Germany.
Patents or Trademarks: None


Description: Medium sized round to conical shaped apple with an intense pink-red blush covering most of the pale yellow-white, almost cream background. Covered with even darker, irregular stripes. Blue-red dots are visible in areas where the blush doesn't mask the background color.

Flavor and tasting notes: The literature claims that the yellow-white, cream colored flesh is soft and very juicy, has some red coloring. The sharp spicy flesh is said to be highly aromatic, with overtones of rose. The apple is said to emit an intense perfume. This has not manifested in our orchard; the apple has no perfume, and goes from firm and sharp to soft and mealy and slightly less sharp in little time.


Appears to be a low to medium chiller short season apple that blooms early. It's recommended for cooler locations - in Germany known to be excellent in the mountains where cool Summer nights provide improved flavor. Insensitive to lack of chill - one of the first apple to bloom after Anna and Dorsett Golden. Also considered an extra-hardy apple that can be grown in colder Northern climates. Probably not a good apple in hot Summer areas due to its soft flesh that will degrade easily in the heat.

Bloom Time Rating: F4

Growth Habit:

Semi-vigorous apple with a limbertwig growth habit. In the Southern United States, this apple would certainly have inherited a limbertwig name.

Vigor: T2

Harvest, storage and consumption:

Ripens about the same time as Gravenstein, early to mid-August. Highly precocious, comes into bearing early and requires thinning in order to obtain decent size fruit and to avoid biennial tendency. This apple has virtually no storage capacity and needs to be eaten within days of harvest. Growth will be heavily stunted in more southern locales (where its tendency to come into bearing early increases) unless fruit is removed early on to allow the tree to get some size.

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


Claimed to be an around multi-purpose early apple, great for fresh eating, cooking, apple sauce and cider.

Eating: Yes
Cooking: Yes
Cider: Yes


Appears to have some disease resistance, specifically powdery mildew and scab.

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

Nurseries that carry this variety:

Not available in nurseries, scion wood available from GRIN.

GRIN Cross Reference: PI 589595

Photo Gallery

GRIN photo, doesn't quite match what grew on our trees, which makes us wonder if we have the real thing. (c) Photo Wikimedia Commons


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