Apple - Adams's Pearmain - tasting notes, identification, reviews
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Adams's Pearmain apple

Adams's Pearmain is a an old-fashioned late dessert apple, one of the most popular varieties in Victorian England, probably originating from Norfolk. It has an attractive 'pearmain' shape.

This is a fairly dry apple - which is perhaps not regarded as a desirable attribute today. Inspite of this it is actually a very enjoyable apple, with a rich aromatic flavour which in apple terms is usually described as 'nutty' - a quality it shares with another popular Victorian apple, the Egremont Russet.

There is some evidence that Adam's Pearmain is a triploid variety, with 3 sets of chromosomes instead of the usual 2 - or perhaps a partial triploid.  However it does not possess many of the typical features seen in triploid varieties (such as large size and vigour).

Although it had 'shelf appeal' for the Victorian housewife, its autumnal colouring is probably too subdued to compete with the bright young things of the modern supermarket shelves. Perhaps this is part of its appeal; it recalls a bygone era where subtlety of flavour was appreciated - a lovely apple to savour in front of an open fire on a cold winter's day.


Last updated 15 Dec 2013.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 3.9 out of 5. Total votes cast: 25

Visitor comments

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

24 Oct 2016 
just bought a couple to try at North Perrott fruit farm near Crewkerne in Somerset. I struggle with really tart apples but my partner loves them and this is a good compromise as it has the flavour and tang without being too much for me. I agree with previous comments. Lovely fruit.

11 Nov 2014 
Bought this variety on Fakenham Market, Norfolk last week. Very large fruit with delicious flavour - will definitely buy again.

11 Dec 2011 
I bought these from a local orchard. I agree with the earlier comments, but would go further and say that the intensity of the flavour beats even the Cox's Orange Pippin, with which it is quite similar. One of my favourites.

16 Nov 2010 
Recently I inherited my late grand father's Victorian house. There is the remains of an orchard which still contains four original apple trees. One of the trees this year bore copious apples which I had never seen before. I was looking through the web tonight and came upon your web site and I am delighted to find that my apple tree is definitely an Adam's Pearman variety. It has the shape shown in this article and looks identical when sliced having little stars mainly five pointed and a few four pointed 'stars'. I would agree with the comments of David from Leeds, Yorkshire when says " The texture is appealing and unusual - you could call it 'dry' but the apple is not short of juice. The flavours are enhanced by acids which seem to get better as you eat more of the fruit. Not unlike a good Mosel wine!". Please find some photos which I took this evening.

11 Nov 2010 
Info on olde pearmain apple trees and where to purchase them in Ireland

05 Nov 2008 
Our neighbour has this tree in the garden, which used to form part of an orchard to 'the Hall' The fruit is very tasty and makes an excellent apple juice, pink and slightly tart. Keeps well. Nice to be able to identify it from this website.

29 Oct 2008 
I tasted this apple at an orchard near York last weekend and bought a couple of kilos. The texture is appealing and unusual - you could call it 'dry' but the apple is not short of juice. The flavours are enhanced by acids which seem to get better as you eat more of the fruit. Not unlike a good Mosel wine! I'm looking forward to eating more.

20 Oct 2008 
Just bought some of these from the Sheffield Wholesale Market to sell in our shop - Beanies. They were grown at Brogdale. I would agree with the comment above - they are tart and tasty with a good crisp flesh. The fruit is quite small but that might be to do with the age of the trees they came from.

29 Sep 2008 
I just bought a peck of these delicious apples today. I would describe them as tart and very flavorful. My favorite!

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Classic Victorian 'pearmain' shape apple with a nutty sweet flavour.

Adams's Pearmain phototape


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Unknown
  • Originates from: England, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1826
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1001
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1976-137


  • Bultitude apple group: 7. Flushed / striped, some russeting, sweet


  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Flavour quality: Very good
  • Flavour style: Aromatic
  • Harvest period: Late season
  • Use / keeping: 1-2 months


  • Flowering period: Mid season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Diploid Possibly triploid?
  • Pollinating others: Poor
  • Vigour: Slightly small
  • Fruit bearing: Partial tip-bearer
  • General disease resistance: Good

References and further reading about this variety

  • Review of Self-incompatibility in Apple  2006
    Author: Hegedus
    Lot of useful allele data including possible triploid nature of AP
  • Alleles of Adam's Pearmain - possible triploid  2004

  • Apples of England (1948)
    Author: Taylor

Adams's Pearmain identification photos from official fruit collections

UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Adams's Pearmain identification photos from website visitors

Apple - possibly Adams Pearmain
Apple - possibly Adams Pearmain

Copyright: Paul Thoroughgood

Main view - possible Adams Pearmain
Main view - possible Adams Pearmain

Copyright: Terry Broughton

Sliced view
Sliced view

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 Adams's Pearmain 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



  • Fiona in MT BARKER, WA

New Zealand


Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2013 season

  • 22nd April  2013  - tree owned by John in AYR, United Kingdom

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

Latest harvest records for this variety

2013 season

  • 2nd week March  2013  - tree owned by Fiona in MT BARKER, Australia
  • March  2013  - tree owned by Katrina in NELSON, New Zealand

Where to buy trees

The following fruit tree nurseries offer Adams's Pearmain apple trees for sale:

  • Cummins Nursery
    United States  More >>

Where to buy fresh fruit

United Kingdommap >

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