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

Catshead apple

Catshead is one of the oldest apples known in England.  The name comes from its alleged resemblance to a cat's head - perhaps not immediately obvious, although the shape is unusually conical and can be ribbed.

Like most old English apples Catshead is primarily a culinary apple.  The flesh is juicy with a fair amount of acidity, but does not need much additional sugar when cooking.  It cooks down to a puree.

Last updated 01 Dec 2012.

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Current rating: 4.0 out of 5. Total votes cast: 1

Visitor comments

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

07 Oct 2016 
We like the Catshead apple as a stewed fruit. It crops very heavily on our heavy alkaline soil.

05 Oct 2016 
I learned just the other day this is also called Pigsnout, which is a name a friend wants in his orchard. Will try grafting it next season. Too few interesting and historical apples are grown now in the Land Ruled By Red Delicious, which rule is declining fast. Anyone growing this in a dry locale?

03 Sep 2011 
We have a Catshead tree in our garden and it produces a good crop each year. It is susceptible to codling moth (aren't they all) so we don't get a lot of perfect fruits, even after using grease bands over winter. It cooks down to a superb puree, and has a good flavour.

01 Nov 2009 
Because I am a history nut, I got interested in early American foodstuffs and found out a little bit of interesting information: Catshead is the first known variety the early settlers of Virginia planted, probably as early as 1620. It would probably have been brought across the sea carefully planted in a barrel as a sapling, brought as a little tiny "comfort food" from home. "So why is Roxbury Russet listed as the oldest American apple?" -Roxbury Russet is the oldest known NATIVE apple. The problem with the varieties the French, British, and Dutch trees was that they were not accustomed to North America's climate or endemic pests, like fireblight. It probably took a Herculean effort to stop the dying, but by the looks of things they eventually succeeded.

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An ancient English apple, cooks to sharp firm puree.

Catshead phototape


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Unknown
  • Originates from: England, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1600s early
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1153
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1927-027


  • Fruit colour: Green
  • Bultitude apple group: 1. Green, smooth, no russet, acidic, culinary


  • Uses: Cooking
  • Cooking result: Puree
  • Harvest period: Mid-Late season
  • Use / keeping: 1-2 months


  • Flowering period: Mid season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Triploid
  • Pollinating others: Poor
  • Vigour: Average growth
  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Precocity: Slow to start bearing
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
  • General disease resistance: Good


  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates


  • Scab  - Very resistant

Relationships to other varieties

Offspring of this variety:

References and further reading about this variety

  • Apples of England (1948)
    Author: Taylor

Catshead identification photos from official fruit collections

UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Catshead identification photos from website visitors


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 Catshead 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


New Zealand

Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2014 season

  • 12th May  2014  - tree owned by Mark in LEYBURN, United Kingdom
  • 26th April  2014  - tree owned by in BANBURY, United Kingdom

2012 season

  • 3rd May  2012  - tree owned by Keith in LAMBOURN, United Kingdom
  • April  2012  - tree owned by in BANBURY, United Kingdom
  • January  2012  - tree owned by Linley in FEILDING, New Zealand

2011 season

  • 21st April  2011  - tree owned by Keith in LAMBOURN, United Kingdom

2010 season

  • 31st April  2010  - tree owned by Keith in LAMBOURN, United Kingdom

2009 season

  • 4th May  2009  - tree owned by Keith in LAMBOURN, United Kingdom

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

Latest harvest records for this variety

2014 season

    2012 season

    • 1st week October  2012  - tree owned by in BANBURY, United Kingdom
    • 3rd week March  2012  - tree owned by Linley in FEILDING, New Zealand

    2011 season

    • 2nd week September  2011  - tree owned by Keith in LAMBOURN, United Kingdom

    2010 season

    • 3rd week September  2010  - tree owned by Keith in LAMBOURN, United Kingdom

    2009 season

    • 1st week October  2009  - tree owned by Keith in LAMBOURN, United Kingdom

    Where to buy trees

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

    • Keepers Nursery
      United Kingdom  More >>

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    United Kingdommap >

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