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Jonagold apple



Jonagold is high quality American apple, developed in the 1940s. As its name suggests, this is a cross between a Jonathan and a Golden Delicious. It is quite widely grown, and unusually for a Golden Delicious cross, is not limited to the warm apple regions, although it is not often found in the UK.

Jonagold is a large apple, and makes a substantial snack. If you are struggling to eat your 5 portions of fruit and veg per day, this can help!  The large size is a good clue that this is a triploid apple variety, with 3 sets of genes.  As a result it is a poor pollinator of other apple varieties, and needs two different nearby compatible pollinating apple varieties.  Golden Delicious is well-known as a good pollinator of other apple varieties, but cannot pollinate Jonagold.

The colouring is yellow of Golden Delicious, with large flushes of red. This is a crisp apple to bite into, with gleaming white flesh. The flavour is sweet but with a lot of balancing acidity - a very pleasant apple.

Jonagold's other parent, Jonathan, is an old American variety which was discovered in the 1820s.

In the UK Jonagold sometimes appears in supermarkets in the spring packaged as "value" apples, often from Holland, and at a very low price.  We are trying to find out more about these apples, but it seems that they are mainly "second" quality apples which are nearing the end of their storage life and are surplus to other uses.

Jonagold is widely-grown by commercial growers, and there are a number of more highly-coloured sports.  Jonagored is probably the most widely known of these.  Others include: Decosta, Primo, Rubinstar, Red Jonaprince.

Last updated 27 Dec 2013.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 4.1 out of 5. Total votes cast: 40
 

Visitor comments

(Use the form at the bottom to add your own comments about this variety)

01 Apr 2014 
I've only tried the ones at the grocery store which were grown in Michagan. They were crisp and juicy, and a little on the tart side. I prefer those traits in an apple, but these really lacked in flavor, so I probably won't buy them again.


20 Mar 2014 
Jonagold is one of those apples that can taste either extraordinary or no-so-special. It depends on where you get them. I've yet to taste a supermarket Jonagold that warranted the price. Sorry but they had little flavor. Now the ones I've bought from family owned orchards up in the Mount Airy/Frederick area were phenomenal: crisp, juicy, dense, and good strong apple flavor complemented by a subtle pear-drop sweetness inherited from Golden Delicious. The overall tasting experience is a mouthful of fruity goodness. Now is it as good as Jonathan? Hard question because it will depend on what you are looking for in an apple. Jonathan's have an intense apply flavor combined with a rich spiciness that is lacking in Jonagold. B-U-T Jonagold has more complex fruity flavors. Personally I prefer Jonathan, but I usually buy both when given a chance. Both do well as cooking applies but I prefer Jonathan for pies. For the home gardener Jonathan is also better because the size of the tree is more manageable and it is partially self-fertile. Jonagold will require a pollinator.


11 Mar 2014 
Blech! I got two of these from Lucky supermarket. They were terrible. Soggy and tasteless. And yes, they were really waxy. They weren't cheap either.


08 Dec 2013 
Cottony and unremarkable. One bite and I'm done. They're on sale everywhere, ALL THE TIME - the mark of a variety ruined by volume apple growers who need red, easy to ship apples.


18 Nov 2013 
Recently I found that Jonagold (or ??? in Chinese) are grown here in the northeast of China. No cheaper though than other common varieties such as Fuji or Gala. They are fairly large, yellow with red stipes, quite attactive fruit. Flavour is bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter. The skin has a nice stong apple smell, but an unpleasant waxy coating. Is the waxiness common?


21 Oct 2013 
Purchased these at Richard Bros near Jackson Ohio. Extremely large and juicy this year. We usually prefer golden delicious, but as we were late visiting, this was a super replacement. They are thin skinned and quite juicy, and we agree with the tasting notes. Our were 50/50 blend of yellow and red.


18 Oct 2013 
Got couple from an Asian grocery store who gets them from NY orchard. Very crisp and nicely flavored. I liked the balance of sweetness and tartness as I usually had it as dessert after meals. I am not sure if its due to their large size, but I felt that the apple was juicier and overall just better when served in slices rather than eaten whole. I hope to go back and get couple more if they're still there.


23 Sep 2013 
My new addiction!! I just discovered these apples while apple picking, and OMG - the best ever! A wonderful infusion of sweet and tart. Perfectly crunchy! They filled the majority of my sack! I brought a few to work, now all my co-workers want IN!!


03 Jul 2013 
Grown & eaten fresh off the tree this apple is super.Supermarket apples are nowhere near as nice,hence these mixed reviews.Being a triploid the large size puts off many potential buyers.Need regular spraying programme in wet climate here in SouthWest,otherwise blackspot infected


28 Jan 2013 
When this apple is good, it's one of my favorites, as good as any apple I've tasted anywhere, but sometimes it's mediocre, mostly thanks to when they're picked and how they're stored and displayed by the wholesalers and grocers, I'm guessing. They also seem to come in different strains. One is larger with a more golden and a little rougher peel, not quite russeted, which goes mealy a little quicker than the other strain which has a smoother peel and is slightly smaller, crisper,redder, and has a better balanced flavor. In Frank Browning's book "Apples" written in 1999, Jonagold was the most planted apple variety in Europe at the time it was written, which probably explains the low prices some of you have seen over there.


22 Jan 2013 
I was very proud to hear this delicious apple that so many people love was created at Cornell University.


09 Jan 2013 
Bo - tastes like a direct cross between a Red Delicious and a Golden Delicious. I think it misses the mark as it lacks the honey flavor of a golden delicious delicious and the crispness of a red delicious. Brent- A big apple with a somewhat crisp finish. Not as sweet as some dessert apples.


05 Jan 2013 
Actually the most delicious apple when picked fresh from the tree (Ontario, Canada). I am surprised by the lack of flavour reported by some reviewers, my guess is either the apples weren't fresh or the soil/climate is it ideal for flavour outside NE North America.


21 Nov 2012 
Totally love this apple! One of the bigger dessert apples.


15 Jun 2012 
The Jonagold is my current addiction. When they are in season, there is nothing I'd rather eat. They are sweet, have a hint of tart, are crispy and firm. I am in search of an opposite season apple because during the 6 months I cannot find Jonagold, my apple consumption drops off precipitously.


08 Mar 2012 
Well I agree its not the best tasting apple, but its fantastic value for money especially considering the large quality fruits. At my supermarket they are 5 times cheaper than Jazz or Fuji (my favourites). They are juicy and I like the texture - but poor flavour.


15 Feb 2012 
I must be honest, I didn't like this apple. The taste was wonderful, but the texture of the flesh threw me. I like my apples very VERY crisp, and it just didn't live up to my standards. A very good apple taste-wise though.


18 Oct 2011 
I recently found Jonagolds at a regional grocery store and bought them because they were big, and they had a special. Little did I know that I was about to bite into the best apple I've ever had. Great to eat with peanut butter (chunky!) and great plain too. I love the taste where it's not too tart but not too sweet. The only problem is, most stores don't carry them!


03 Jul 2011 
The absolute worst apple variety available on the mass market. They always look beautiful, but taste of nothing. I'd rather go without apples than eat Jonagolds.


13 Jan 2011 
Our local Costco sells them from PA. Apples from the US northeast are the best d/t the climate and limestone soil imparting excellent flavor. Jonagolds are a perfect combo of tart/sweet and firm but juicy. There only weakness is they soften a little faster if not refigerated. I've a tree growing them -but I think someone took the first dozen or so. Not surprised.


12 Nov 2010 
Our botany class has an apple tasting each semester. For fall 2010, this was the clear winner--crisp, juicy, sweet and tart. Seldom disappoints!


06 Oct 2010 
An excellent apple. I grow several strains. For baking by far the best is Jonaprince. It's flavor is tops!


26 Apr 2010 
I am planning of planting a new apple tree to replace one that I have lost. I have heard a lot of good things about the Jonagold Apple. I am looking for an apple that is good eating as well as a good cooking apple. Am I on the right track? I would be interested in your comments.


16 Apr 2010 
Regarding the cheapness in supermarkets, I offer two possible explanations: 1. They are often irregular in shape and size. This devalues them in the eyes of the big retailers. 2. I've noticed that the supermarkets where I shop only put out one small box at a time. This makes me wonder if retailers are using it as a loss leader to reduce their average per/kilo price of apples.


15 Nov 2009 
Very commanly found grown in Ireland, often organically. Therefore it must be a fairly hardy apple. Some Irish-centric info can be found here.... http://www.theapplefarm.com/celtic/jonagored.htm


30 Oct 2009 
At a farmers' market they selling a multitude of different apples and as I eat an apple every day I was drawn to the one I'd never heard of. I bought a bag of Jonagold. A taste bomb, it is crisp, juicy a big. The best ever.


23 Sep 2009 
By far the best tasting apple I have ever tried, very similar to the apples I used to eat off my nans tree about 45 years ago I never knew what sort they were and have never found any as nice since until now these taste exactly the same, gorgeous.


01 Sep 2009 
This is an important improvement to apple growing quality


08 Jul 2009 
What does Rob Barlow use to pollenate his Jonagold?


17 Jun 2009 
I note the comment " Not grown in UK -- often 2 I have been growing these apples for quite a few years now -- quite succesfully A realy good apple but did not know it was a USA developed


11 Mar 2009 
I have bought these apples down at Geeveston,a cold area in southern Tasmania.I love anything and everything apple and thes are without doubt the best apples I have ever eaten.


23 Dec 2008 
I'm passionate about apples, and on holiday this October in Macedonia I saw huge crops of Jonagold, Golden Delicious and (a few) Jonathans and Galas being gathered in. I had no idea that Macedonia was a major producer, as the only Jonagold I've seen in the UK have been Dutch, but apparently Macedonia exports mainly to the Gulf States ! I bought Jonagold for the first time as I'll always try a variety I've not seen before - and they were (still are) amazingly cheap. I like them a lot, I enjoy their crisp, slightly orangey sharp/sweetness, their juiciness and the fact that they are good "keepers". Other favourites Egremont russet, crisp cox (there are always some disappointingly soft ones), new season Discovery, James Grieve, Kidd's Orange.


14 Dec 2008 
I have never liked apples or even apple pie because I didn't like the taste or the peeling of an apple, then I tried a Gala Apple because of thin skin it was a winner with me. One day while shopping for some apples, I saw a JonaGold and decided to try it. The color was striking and the taste was out of this world, it is by far the best tasting apple ever. I eat one everyday and will be sad when the season is gone I have become addicted to them. The price is a dollar or two cheaper than the rest, but I like that. An apple that is the best tasting ever at an affordable price is a WINNER.


12 Nov 2008 
The best tasting apples. Very crisp and aromatic. You can notice the fragrance right away when you cut them! There are a sport of Jonagold - "Decoster", with a litle more acidic taste - superior!


11 Jul 2008 
Half the price of other varieties. Firm, slightly acidic flesh. Best peeled and sliced into segments with a touch of sugar, rather than eaten whole (and I'm not a sweet-tooth). Big enough to make a good baked apple by the looks of it.


24 Jun 2008 
Fear not, folks: this variety has been sold Stateside for decades with very few problems and has origins in one of the oldest apple growing regions in the nation. My guess is the ones you are eating are direct from the farm, so you should be fine.


29 May 2008 
Undoubtedly the best tasting apple I have ever tried! My only problem is they are difficult to find in my area. If you like a crisp firm apple the is slightly sweet and tangy at the same time, try these!!


13 May 2008 
It is cheap also in Australia. about $1-2 difference with other varieties. Makes me worry


19 Apr 2008 
I've had similar concerns to those of Cliff, does anyone know why they are so cheap?


20 Jan 2008 
I agree with your tasting notes but what worries me is why they are so extremely cheap in s/markets, viz. 27p per kg against 63p per kg + for most other varities. Are they stock-piled somewhere in the EU? Are they as safe to eat? Are they subject more to pests & subsequently sprayed heavily? I would be grateful for your comments. Thanks.


17 Sep 2007 
This apple variety was created at Cornell University.



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A very popular commercial variety, with a good flavour. Inherits many of the good qualities of its parents Jonathan and Golden Delicious.

Jonagold phototape

Origins

  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Golden Delicious x Jonathan
  • Originates from: Geneva, New York, United States
  • Introduced: 1943
  • Developed by: New York State Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1033
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession number: 1982-291

Identification

  • Flesh colour: White to Cream, pale yellow
  • Flesh colour: Yellow to Very Yellow
  • Fruit size: Medium
  • Fruit size: Large
  • Fruit size: Very large
  • Fruit size: Variable
  • Bultitude apple group: 6. Red flushed, smooth, sweet

Using

  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Uses: Juice
  • Uses: Hard cider
  • Flavour quality: Very good
  • Flavour style: Sweet/Sharp
  • Harvest period: Late season
  • Use / keeping: 1-2 months

Growing

  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Flowering period: Mid-Late season
  • Flowering group: 4
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Triploid
  • Pollinating others: Poor
  • Vigour: Large
  • Gardening skill: Average
  • General disease resistance: Poor
  • Period of origin: 1900 - 1949

Other qualities

  • Awards: RHS AGM

Disease resistance

  • Canker  - Some susceptibility
  • Scab  - Some susceptibility
  • Fireblight  - Some susceptibility
  • Cedar apple rust  - Some susceptibility

Relationships to other varieties

Parents and other ancestors of this variety:

Offspring of this variety:

Sports (natural genetic mutations) of this variety:

References and further reading about this variety

  • Cedar-Apple Rust  
    Author: Stephen Vann, University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture (FSA7538)
    Rated as susceptible - control usually needed where CAR is prevalent.

Jonagold identification photos from official fruit collections

UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Jonagold identification photos from website visitors


Jonagold
Jonagold


Fruit tree register

Do you have a tree of this variety in your garden or orchard? If so please register the details here and contribute to our international register of fruit trees.

The following Jonagold trees have been registered - click the name to view more details of each tree.

You can also view these trees on a map.

United States

United Kingdom

Hungary

Ireland

Netherlands

Canada

Australia

New Zealand

Poland



Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2013 season

  • 14th May  2013  - tree owned by K. in WARSASH, United Kingdom
  • 30th April  2013  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States

2012 season

  • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by James in ESTACADA, United States
  • 4th May  2012  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
  • 2nd May  2012  - tree owned by Steve in FERNDALE, United States
  • 2nd May  2012  - tree owned by Karel in alem, Netherlands
  • 29th April  2012  - tree owned by Mrs Tri in Redditch, United Kingdom
  • 27th April  2012  - tree owned by Simon in DULEEK, Ireland
  • 11th April  2012  - tree owned by Gary in PLEASANT HILL, United States
  • 21st March  2012  - tree owned by Randy in BAXLEY, United States

2011 season

  • May  2011  - tree owned by v in LUCKNOW, Canada
  • 25th April  2011  - tree owned by Barbara in GT. YARMOUTH, United Kingdom
  • 21st April  2011  - tree owned by Karel in alem, Netherlands

2009 season

  • 4th April  2009  - tree owned by Mrs Tri in Redditch, United Kingdom

Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.

Latest harvest records for this variety

2013 season

  • 3rd week September  2013  - tree owned by Mrs. in NEWPORT, United States
  • 1st week September  2013  - tree owned by baker3@wildblue.net in THAWVILLE, United States
  • 3rd week March  2013  - tree owned by Katrina in NELSON, New Zealand

2012 season

  • 1st week November  2012  - tree owned by James in ESTACADA, United States
  • 1st week October  2012  - tree owned by Lloyd in BEAVERTON, United States
  • 1st week October  2012  - tree owned by Steve in FERNDALE, United States

2011 season

  • 1st week October  2011  - tree owned by v in LUCKNOW, Canada

2009 season

  • 2nd week September  2009  - tree owned by Mrs Tri in Redditch, United Kingdom

Where to buy apple trees

The following fruit tree nurseries offer Jonagold apple trees for sale:

Where to buy apples

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Netherlands map >


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