All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Old Green Gage gage

Old Green Gage is the definitive "gage", and often considered the best flavoured of any plum variety.  Compared to the attractive colouring of most plums, the appearance of Old Green Gage fruit is fairly plain - the plums are quite small and a dull green colour, turning slightly yellow when ripe.  However this is one that you grow for flavour - for eating fresh it is exceptional.

Old Green Gage has a fascinating history. The gages are usually included within the European plum species Prunus domestica, but are nevertheless a distinct sub-group, being smaller and more spherical, and green or yellow in colour. They have been cultivated in France since the Middle Ages having been introduced from Italy. In France the many different varieties of green-skinned gages are known collectively as "Reine Claude" in honour of Queen Claude, the wife of Francis I who ruled France from 1515 to 1547. Old Green Gage is believed to be the same variety as the French Grosse Reine Claude.

It is generally thought that Old Green Gage was introduced to England from France in the 18th century by Sir William Gage, who lived at Bury St. Edmunds and obtained a tree from his brother who was a priest living in Paris. As a result of his promotion of this new variety all green plums tend to be known as "Gages" in the UK. However, whilst Sir William is undoubtedly responsible for the English name, and the Old Green Gage in particular, there is some evidence that his was in fact a re-introduction of a variety already widely grown in England known as Verdoch, which may have come to England from Italy in the Middle Ages.

Green-skinned gages were subsequently introduced to the USA in the late 18th century where they are also known as Green Gages.

Last updated 15 Aug 2011.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 2.5 out of 5. Total votes cast: 2

Visitor comments

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

04 Mar 2014 
This article says greengage trees can take up to seven years to fruit. Keep hoping!

13 Jul 2013 
I'm looking to purchase a greengage tree possessing a full sweet flavour and prolific cropping qualities Your advice and any suggestions would be appreciated

21 Apr 2012 
Mine wont flower either. Don't know what I'm doing wrong, if anything.

03 Jun 2011 
I bought a Gage Reinne Claude 3 years ago. It has never blossomed and has never fruited. Am I doing something wrong. I had a tree surgeon prune it to make sure that was correct. Regards

31 Jul 2010 
I was able to buy green gage plums from a fruit stand years ago, and they are hands down the best plum I've ever eaten. I have pined for them ever since.

Add your comments about this variety

Have you tasted this variety ? Do you agree or disagree with our tasting notes ? Enter your comments below. Please tell us your name (just first name if you wish) and email address, and if possible the nearest city. Your name and location, but not your email address, may be published on this website. All comments are reviewed before publishing.

Your email   required
Name   required
City   optional
State / County   optional
Country    required
Password   Create a password for your account
Organisation   optional
Security question: What is the 1st or 2nd word of the name of this website (in big letters in the banner of this page)?
We send 2-3 newsletters per year, please let us know if you would like to receive them. Rest assured that we do not buy or sell email addresses - for more details see our privacy policy.

Widely considered the best-flavoured of all plums, a sublime taste experience when you get a good one.

Old Green Gage phototape


  • Species: Prunus domestica
  • Originates from: France
  • Introduced: 16th century
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1249


  • Fruit colour: Green
  • Fruit shape: Round
  • Stone clinging?: Semi-clinging


  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Flavour quality: Exceptional
  • Flavour style: Gage-like
  • Harvest period: Late season Early September
  • Use / keeping: 1-3 days


  • Cropping: Light
  • Flowering period: Mid-Late season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Self-sterile Sometimes considered partially self-fertile - but really needs another pollinator
  • Vigour: Average growth
  • Gardening skill: Some skill needed
  • General disease resistance: Poor


  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
  • Blossom frost-resistance: Good resistance

Disease resistance

  • Brown rot  Monilinia fructigena  - Some susceptibility


  • Fruit splitting  - Some susceptibility

Relationships to other varieties

Offspring of this variety:

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 Old Green Gage 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




  • Sarah in Fiesole, Tuscany




Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2016 season

  • 12th April  2016  - tree owned by Mike in GLEN ROCK, United States

2015 season

  • 21st September  2015  - tree owned by Neville in TEA TREE GULLY, Australia
  • 24th April  2015  - tree owned by Michael in GLEN ROCK, United States
  • 20th April  2015  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

2014 season

  • 14th April  2014  - tree owned by John in MALMESBURY, United Kingdom
  • 7th April  2014  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • 2nd May  2013  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom
  • May  2013  - tree owned by Jeff in Leicester, United Kingdom
  • May  2013  - tree owned by in GARDENSTOWN, United Kingdom

2011 season

  • 15th April  2011  - tree owned by Michelle in DARTFORD, United Kingdom

2010 season

  • April  2010  - tree owned by Michelle in DARTFORD, United Kingdom

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

Latest harvest records for this variety

2016 season

    2015 season

    • 4th week January  2015  - tree owned by Neville in TEA TREE GULLY, Australia

    2014 season

    • 4th week August  2014  - tree owned by John in MALMESBURY, United Kingdom
    • August  2014  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

    2013 season

    • 4th week September  2013  - tree owned by in GARDENSTOWN, United Kingdom
    • 4th week August  2013  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom

    2011 season

    • 2nd week July  2011  - tree owned by Michelle in DARTFORD, United Kingdom

    2010 season

      Sign in | Register

      Varieties you viewed

      Top 10 Varieties

      Top 10 highest ranked varieties

      Top 10 most voted on varieties

      ©2015 Orange Pippin Ltd. All rights reserved.
      Website by: Amarsys and Black Twig
      You may not reproduce any of the content of this website without our express permission.
      We do not accept any liability for loss or damage incurred as a result of any errors in the content of this website.