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

Brownlees Russet apple

Brownlees' Russet was a popular russet apple in the Victorian era but unlike some of its contemporaries (notably Egremont Russet) it has faded from view.  It was rated by the Victorian writer Hogg as an excellent late apple, suitable for dessert and cooking.

Brownlees' Russet is noticeably different from the mainstream russet varieties characterised by Egremont Russet.  There is clearly something a bit stronger in its make-up - it recalls another, older, russet variety, Ashmeads Kernel in this respect.  The flavour is more robust with pear-drop overtones, and it is a far better keeper than many other russets, indeed it is probably at its best when stored for 2-3 months.  However it shares some of the other typical characteristics of russet apples - it is easy to grow and has good disease resistance, and attractive blossom.

Last updated 18 Dec 2013.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 4.7 out of 5. Total votes cast: 3

Visitor comments

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

25 Oct 2016 
I have both Egremont Russet and Brownlees Russet. I find Brownlees Russet consistently performs much better than Egremont. It crops more heavily and the apples are amazingly flawless and consistently perfect.

11 Jul 2015 
My Brownlees' Russet was planted in 2011, on M26 rootstock, and is already cropping more heavily than some trees planted in 2008. Delicious - fruty and sharp. Should be better known.

01 Dec 2012 
According to John Bultitude's "Apples - a Guide to the Identification of International Varieties" Brownlees' Russet "produces spurs very freely". This guide also categorizes it as a spur-bearer:

24 Jul 2012 
I couldn't find any information on this but it seems to be mostly a tip-bearing variety. Any thoughts?

08 Sep 2010 
Agree with N.buck's comments about excellent quality disease free fruit without spraying. Would be interested to know when others think is the best time to pick this variety for storage

22 Jul 2010 
Dave: I didn't keep track of when or how long the tree bloomed since pollination is never an issue in my orchard. Raintree Nursery classifies it as an early blooming variety. The early varieties seemed to do much better this year and the tree has a lot of fruit for its size, which supports the early blooming category. I had some fruit last year if you would like any information about the fruit. FYI - Raintree Nursery has been a big disappointment and I can not recommend buying from them.

15 Jul 2010 
My Brownlees Russets bloom early-mid season, with the M26 being slightly earlier than the M25. The blossom period of my Brownlees Russets seems to be a day or two shorter than most other varieties. The blossom of Brownlees Russet is a stunning display of light pink (yes, pink; not just pink buds that open to become disappointingly white flowers). Many people have commented on the attractive blossom, having been able to compare simultaneously with some of my other varieties. Brownlees Russet seems to be eager to flower prolifically at a very young age. Pest and disease resistance is generally good and suitable for spray-free growing in all but the wettest regions, although - like many russets - the leaves (but not fruits) tend to suffer from scab, which will reduce vigour in high-rainfall regions. The vigour is not particularly high to begin with - probably 15% smaller than the average for an apple variety. My Brownlees Russet trees are located in a relatively mild part of the UK.

12 Jul 2010 
Florian Deisenhofer: Let me know how your Brownlees Russet blooms - early, mid- late? Long bloom, short? Since you seem to have planted it only last year (2009) I won't ask more, and quite possibly it didn't bloom at all yet.

01 Jan 2010 
Starter post

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
City (optional)
State (optional)
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.

A popular English apple from the Victorian era, widely grown at the time and esteemed for its flavour and blossom.

Brownlees Russet phototape


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Originates from: Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1848
  • Developed by: Mr William Brownlees (a nurseryman)
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1241
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1957-179


  • Fruit colour: Yellow / Gold
  • Bultitude apple group: 8. Russeted, sweet


  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Uses: Juice
  • Flavour quality: Good
  • Flavour style: Sweet/Sharp
  • Harvest period: Late season
  • Use / keeping: 3 months or more


  • Cropping: Good
  • Flowering period: Mid season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Self-fertile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Slightly small
  • Precocity: Precocious
  • Gardening skill: Very easy
  • Attractive features: Attractive blossom Solid pink
  • General disease resistance: Good


  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates

References and further reading about this variety

  • Apples of England (1948)
    Author: Taylor

Brownlees Russet identification photos from official fruit collections

UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Brownlees Russet identification photos from website visitors

Brownlees Russet
Brownlees Russet

Brownlees Russet 27th April 12
Brownlees Russet 27th April 12

Copyright: L. Greensides

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 Brownlees Russet 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

Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2015 season

  • 1st May  2015  - tree owned by Stephen in Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • 17th May  2013  - tree owned by Celia in Manchester, United Kingdom
  • 26th April  2013  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States

2012 season

  • 3rd May  2012  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
  • 28th April  2012  - tree owned by Lenore in Beverley, United Kingdom

2010 season

  • 1st May  2010  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 25th April  2010  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom

2009 season

  • 23rd April  2009  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 19th April  2009  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom

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

Latest harvest records for this variety

2015 season

    2013 season

      2012 season

        2010 season

          2009 season

          • October  2009  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom
          • October  2009  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom

          Where to buy fresh fruit

          United Statesmap >

          United Kingdommap >

          Canadamap >

          Sign in | Register

          Varieties you viewed

          Top 10 Varieties

          Top 10 highest ranked varieties

          Top 10 most voted on varieties

          Our Top 10 most popular variety descriptions

          ©2018 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.