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

Fiesta® apple



Fiesta is a modern (1970s) English variety from the East Malling Research Station in Kent, sometimes known as Red Pippin. Like many modern apples one of the parents is the classic English Cox's Orange Pippin. Fiesta is a very good substitute for Cox's Orange Pippin in many respects, and whilst it lacks some of the depth and subtlety it is a better choice for the gardener.

The key to the flavour of most modern varieties that have been developed from Cox's Orange Pippin is often found in the other parent. In the case of Fiesta that is Idared, a 1940s American variety which is itself quite similar to Cox. Perhaps it is this similarity which allows the basic Cox flavour to come through quite faithfully in Fiesta.

Fiesta is a medium-sized apple, with the characteristic flecked red and orange flush over yellow - a very attractive autumnal colouring.  It is crisper than Cox, and in some ways a more accessible easier-eating apple than its parent. It is also quite juicy and is a very good variety for making your own apple juice from.

The flavour is essentially sweet, but with some of the rich complexity of Cox, and some good acidity too.  In an average year Fiesta is merely a good sweet Cox-style apple, but in a year that suits it, Fiesta gets very close indeed to the heights of Cox's Orange Pippin.  This can be a really good apple.

Cox is not a great apple for storing, but Idared stores extremely well and can easily last into the following spring in a basic cold store. The longevity of Idared is inherent in Fiesta as well, but although it remains firm, the appealing sweetness seems to disappear after a while - but it remains pleasant to eat fresh and this is definitely a point in its favour.

Fiesta is also an excellent variety for growing in the garden in most parts of the UK, as (unlike Cox) it is easy to grow and crops quite well

The only minor disadvantage is that Fiesta grows in a bizarre straggly fashion, rather more sideways than vertically.  This is definitely not a variety to plant as a specimen tree - it has the growth habit of a clematis!

In summary Fiesta is a good choice for the gardener wanting a Cox-style apple without the hassle. It is easier to grow in every respect than Cox's Orange Pippin yet comes very close indeed in the quality of flavour.

Last updated 10 Nov 2013.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 3.1 out of 5. Total votes cast: 12
 

Visitor comments

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

29 Oct 2016 
I love my Fiesta. I never feed it or water it. It crops heavily. The apples are often HUGE. And I love the sweet-sharp taste and juiciness. Prone to canker and straggly growth. But none the worse for it. I eat as much fresh as I can and microwave the rest without water in a casserole dish. I mash them up a bit with a potato masher, then freeze in half inch thick slabs. I can then either heat up a whole slab as needed, in the microwave, or snap off a bit and do the same. I'm still eating some of last year's! This year's is nearly read for picking.


18 Aug 2016 
I really like the flavour of this apple and agree with the tasting notes. My tree has a ragged, willow like shape, but is a prolific fruit bearer. It is prone to scab.


13 Mar 2015 
It's mid-march and I'm into a box of these that were put into the fridge in October. It has little scab, consistent size, it is crisp, juicy, balanced sweet tart, mild in flavor and scrumptious to gobble up right now. I have no apples in storage that have compared with this delightful blend. I pull these out to share and of course the somewhat shrunken/wrinkley appearance causes folks to look sideways but the first bite and everyone wants there own tree.


18 Oct 2014 
Bought at the UBC Apple Festival Oct 18, 2014. Very good flavour, crisp, sweet with some complexity of flavours. I don't mind the toughness of skin mentioned by others. In previous years, I've found it goes a bit mushy if kept in the fridge for a couple of months. Eating them fresh this year.


12 May 2014 
I have one apple tree of this variety which we inherited when we moved and last year the crop was great and I was still eating them in March this year after storing them in our garage. I agree with everyone who say 's they are very tasty apples but agree that you have to peel them first. I don't know if the shape of the tree is the same as other people's tree as ours is like an umbrella shape?


19 Feb 2012 
Tesco sells these as 'Red Pippin' and I have to say I found them very disappointing. There is a vague coxyness to them but its very diluted and overall the flavour is poor. Its quite similar to Early Windsor, which are usually what Sainsburys sell as their basics apples and is similarly boring. I bought one bag and wont buy another. Many breeders have sought to attain the COP flavour without the COP's drawbacks by crossing COP with something else. I find it unsurprising that few of these are any good. We know that cox came from Ribston Pippin so its a mystery why this isnt used as a parent instead as its clearly the source of those lovely genetics.


20 Oct 2011 
This year's Fiesta apples were ripe much earlier than usual due to the hot spring weather giving way to a very cool summer, with the result that many of my fruit trees panicked, shut down their growth and dropped about half of their leaves in early August! My Fiesta apples began to drop in early September (about two weeks early) and I had harvested them all by mid-September. Fruit quality and flavour was average (not too sharp, not too sweet, slight hint of Cox flavour) but fruit which has recently been coming out of cool storage is now only just about palatable; with very strong flavours of aniseed and/or brandy (rather sweet, spicy and alcoholic). In my climate, the tree and its fruit remain almost pest and disease-free without need for sprays (albeit with a little bitter pit on some fruits). Despite claims that it only has average resistance to powdery mildew, in my very-mildew-prone location it appears to be almost immune, while other trees have been killed or crippled due to being very prone to this fungal menace of spray-free growers. Remarkably, Fiesta also seems to not be particularly attractive to woolly aphids, with no colonies established so far despite some very heavy infestations on some of its neighbouring trees. However, in the last few years my Fiesta has been developing some burr-knotting on the undersides of lower branches which might cause a variety of problems in later years such as partial girdling, canker, or it may allow tunnelling/wood-eating pests to get into the heart of the tree, resulting in a shortened lifespan. On the other hand, the development of burrs as the tree ages could make this variety reasonably easy to proagate from any cuttings which bear these burrs (although the burrs didn't start to appear on my tree until the tree was several years old - and, having tried it; I can state for a fact that cuttings from this tree which don't have those burrs will not root themselves under normal conditions).


06 Oct 2010 
I was surprised to read the word 'tastless' associated with this deliciously tangy apple. Recently available at my local farm shop I think it was one of the nicest English apples I have tasted. Aspects of strawberry and the tartness of Cox apples combine into a very juicy and delicious apple.


13 Sep 2010 
With the first of my Fiesta apples being picked at the moment, I revisited this page. I find that in my area, Fiesta is a good performer of a tree - good regular crops of blemish-free, quality fruit. As often stated: a good garden tree. Disease and frost resistance is plenty adequate in my area (eastern UK). It also doesn't suffer much from pest/insect/maggot damage. It is slightly prone to bitter pit in its younger years, when carrying only a light crop and growing strongly at the same time - no doubt the bitter pit problem is inherited from its very-prone Cox parent. As the tree starts to mature, the bitter pit problem ceases. As mentioned by another poster: Fiesta will often form a spreading, twiggy, untidy or one-sided tree, which can require a bit of pruning effort to shape it. Unfortunately, despite many claims of good flavour, I find the apples to be merely juicy, with no definite flavour. None of my Fiesta's apples have attained a Cox-like flavour. In summary: a good, reliable, relatively trouble-free tree, but the fruit is only fair flavour and the tree has a tendency for one-sided growth.


24 Oct 2009 
My experience with growing Fiesta is that it is prone to canker.


11 Oct 2009 
We have been told that the willow type apple tree iin my garden is a Fiesta Red Pippin. This year I did prune and we have much larger apples which I think taste like the Cox apple and is very juicy. The skin however is very tough and they are better pealed. I have also cooked these apples and they stay very firm. Does this sound like a Fiesta Red Pippin apple?


03 Jun 2008 
My Fiesta is a biennial bearer, but with excellent flavour. The tree itself is very untidy and actually fell over in a storm last year, however it has set a reasonable amount of fruit this year propped up by 2 stakes.


26 Jan 2008 
We agree with your tasting notes - keeps well, tastes good. Just now eating last years crop for first time. Also juices well - like several others. Also very fond of Katy for an early one. We have 12 varieties in a small new domestic orchard, in what is typically a soft-fruit area. - Fiesta was amongst the first planted in Jan 1999 as a maiden form Butterworths.


12 Nov 2007 
I think Fiesta does not have much taste, and what it does have is unpleasant.


11 Oct 2007 
I agree with the above description of this variety. A bit prone to scab, and needs to be well thinned to avoid lots of small apples, but an apple of the highest quality.



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One of the best Cox-style apples, and much easier to grow. Often marketed as Red Pippin.

Fiesta phototape

Origins

  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Cox's Orange Pippin and Idared
  • Originates from: United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1972
  • Developed by: East Malling Research
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1022
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1983-038

Identification

  • Fruit colour: Red / Orange flush
  • Flesh colour: White
  • Flesh colour: White to Cream, pale yellow
  • Fruit size: Small
  • Fruit size: Medium
  • Fruit shape: Flat-round
  • Fruit shape: Short-round-conical
  • Fruit shape: Round
  • Fruit shape: Round-conical
  • Fruit shape: Conical
  • Shape features (vertical view): Lop-sided, unequal sides, irregular
  • Shape features (vertical view): Tapering toward calyx end or apex
  • Shape features (vertical view): Variable, dissimilar shapes
  • Shape uniformity: Lack Uniformity in size & shape
  • Russet % coverage: Low
  • Basin russet: Little, light russet
  • Basin russet: Usually Russet free

Using

  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Uses: Drying
  • Flavour quality: Very good
  • Flavour style: Sweeter
  • Harvest period: Mid-Late season
  • Use / keeping: 3 months or more

Growing

  • Cropping: Good
  • Flowering period: Mid-Late season
  • Flowering group: 4
  • Fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Slightly small
  • Gardening skill: Very easy
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
  • General disease resistance: Good
  • Period of origin: 1950 - 1999

Climate

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

Other qualities

  • Awards: RHS AGM 1993

Diseases

  • Canker  - Some susceptibility
  • Mildew  - Some resistance
  • Bitter pit  - Some susceptibility

Relationships to other varieties

Parents and other ancestors of this variety:

Offspring of this variety:

Also known as

  • Red Pippin

References and further reading about this variety

  • Fruit Expert
    Author: Hessayon

Fiesta identification photos from official fruit collections

UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Fiesta identification photos from website visitors


Fiesta apples at Brogdale Farm, UK
Fiesta apples at Brogdale Farm, UK

Fiesta apples, Kent, UK
Fiesta apples, Kent, UK


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 Fiesta 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

Ireland

Italy

Netherlands

New Zealand



Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2017 season

  • 17th April  2017  - tree owned by Eric in BRISTOL, United Kingdom

2016 season

  • 21st May  2016  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 19th May  2016  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 10th May  2016  - tree owned by Eric in BRISTOL, United Kingdom
  • April  2016  - tree owned by Michael in Launceston, United Kingdom

2015 season

  • 12th May  2015  - tree owned by Michael in HALIFAX, United Kingdom
  • 7th May  2015  - tree owned by Richard in YORK, United Kingdom
  • 4th May  2015  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 4th May  2015  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 26th April  2015  - tree owned by Eric in BRISTOL, United Kingdom

2014 season

  • 13th May  2014  - tree owned by Michael in HALIFAX, United Kingdom
  • 1st May  2014  - tree owned by Eric in BRISTOL, United Kingdom
  • 1st May  2014  - tree owned by Ian in TEWKESBURY, United Kingdom
  • 30th April  2014  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 27th April  2014  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 19th April  2014  - tree owned by Pauline in LONGHAM, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • 24th May  2013  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 22nd May  2013  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 16th May  2013  - tree owned by David in SLEAFORD, United Kingdom
  • 13th May  2013  - tree owned by Eric in BRISTOL, United Kingdom

2012 season

  • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • May  2012  - tree owned by Pauline in LONGHAM, United Kingdom
  • 26th April  2012  - tree owned by Dan in UXBRIDGE, United Kingdom
  • 26th April  2012  - tree owned by Eric in BRISTOL, United Kingdom

2011 season

  • 26th April  2011  - tree owned by Malcolm in loughborough, United Kingdom
  • 22nd April  2011  - tree owned by Eric in BRISTOL, United Kingdom
  • 22nd April  2011  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 18th April  2011  - tree owned by Dan in UXBRIDGE, United Kingdom
  • 15th April  2011  - tree owned by David in SLEAFORD, United Kingdom
  • 13th April  2011  - tree owned by Alan in CHIPPENHAM, United Kingdom

2010 season

  • 7th May  2010  - tree owned by Matt in CHESTER, United Kingdom
  • 5th May  2010  - tree owned by Stuart in Newbury, United Kingdom
  • 4th May  2010  - tree owned by N. in CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom
  • 3rd May  2010  - tree owned by Marian in STREET, United Kingdom
  • 17th April  2010  - tree owned by David in SLEAFORD, United Kingdom

2009 season

  • 25th April  2009  - tree owned by N. in CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom
  • April  2009  - tree owned by Malcolm in loughborough, United Kingdom

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

Latest harvest records for this variety

2017 season

  • 1st week September  2017  - tree owned by Sylvia in Folkestone, United Kingdom

2016 season

    2015 season

    • 1st week October  2015  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
    • 1st week October  2015  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom

    2014 season

    • 4th week September  2014  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
    • 4th week September  2014  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom

    2013 season

    • March  2013  - tree owned by Katrina in NELSON, New Zealand

    2012 season

    • 2nd week October  2012  - tree owned by Pauline in LONGHAM, United Kingdom
    • 1st week October  2012  - tree owned by Kim in SHORELINE, United States
    • 1st week October  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
    • 1st week October  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
    • October  2012  - tree owned by Julia in DURHAM, United Kingdom

    2011 season

      2010 season

      • 3rd week October  2010  - tree owned by Matt in CHESTER, United Kingdom
      • October  2010  - tree owned by Pauline in , United Kingdom

      2009 season

      • 3rd week October  2009  - tree owned by Matt in CHESTER, United Kingdom
      • October  2009  - tree owned by N. in CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom
      • September  2009  - tree owned by Malcolm in loughborough, United Kingdom
      • September  2009  - tree owned by Pauline in , United Kingdom

      Where to buy trees

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

      Where to buy fresh fruit

      United Statesmap >


      United Kingdommap >


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