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Freyberg apple

Freyberg is another apple variety developed by New Zealander J.H Kidd in the 1930s and 1940s, in his quest to combine the best characteristics of Cox's Orange Pippin and with some of the American varieties. Freyberg is a cross between Golden Delicious and Cox's Orange Pippin, and in this case it is Golden Delicious which is most apparent in the offspring.  (For a very different take on this combination, try Rubinette).

Kidd did not live to see the "birth" of Freyberg.  He died in 1945, but a collection of his trial seedlings was bequeathed to the New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, which planted them in research orchards and raised them to bearing age.  Freyberg was one of the most promising of these, and was released in 1959.  It was named after Lord Bernard Freyberg, the Governor-General of New Zealand from 1946 to 1952.  The variety name is often mis-spelled as Freyburg.  There is more information about Freyberg's interesting life story on Wikipedia.

You would have thought that with two such excellent parents, Freyberg could not fail to be a superb apple. In fact, Freyberg is a very nice apple, but perhaps not a great one. J.H. Kidd was also responsible for two other famous varieties: Kidd's Orange Red and Gala, both of which have Cox in their make-up. Kidd's Orange Red in particular has that extra something that marks out the top quality apple, and Gala has the distinction of being one of the most commercially successful apple varieties. Freyberg somehow does not quite live up to the standards set by its cousins.

Gala is in fact a cross between Kidd's Orange Red and Golden Delicious. A comparison of Gala and Freyberg is therefore a way of looking at the effect of the richness of a Cox, applied in varying degrees on the easy-going sweet flavour of Golden Delicious.

Freyberg is very rarely available for sale, so you will have to grow your own. Like Golden Delicious (and unlike Cox) it is a reliable tree and fairly easy to grow.

Freyberg is not a great apple, but for everyday eating it is sweet and refreshing.  It is a fairly small nicely shaped golden green apple - pretty much what you would expect from a small Golden Delicious. The flesh is white and crisp but not hard. The flavour is sweet and can have a distinct flavour pear-like note to it.  In terms of flavor it is perhaps best considered a very sophisticated Golden Delicious. Like Golden Delicious it also keeps well.

Last updated 25 Sep 2012.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 5.0 out of 5. Total votes cast: 4

Visitor comments

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

27 Apr 2017 
Right there with you, Tiffany! Left on the tree until they are orange, then stored for a few weeks, Freyberg are sensational. Complex, aniseed, crunchy, they leave my palate tingling, numb and delighted for an hour.

18 Mar 2015 
Just ate my first Freyberg, straight from our 2 year old espalier. I accidentally knocked it off while pruning, so a little bit early. It was flushed with orange from the sun, and very fragrant. As I cut it open, I noticed how dry it was, and didn't have much hope that it would taste ripe. From the first bite, the complexity was a symphony on the tongue - first a sweet orange tang, then an intense aniseed burst followed by a lingering honeyed pear - I've never had a apple like it! I'm patiently waiting for the others to ripen to taste their full potential.

11 Oct 2013 
A fairly plain looking small yellow/green apple, with an uncomplicated sweet juicy character, an ideal variety for children who love sweet apples.

15 Nov 2008 
I grow many varieties of apple and in my view Freyberg is one of the very best. It has a very sweet and aromatic taste and is one that I always look forward to eating. It is also a heavy cropper and pretty healthy. In my view it is a great apple indeed.

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The sweetness of Golden Delicious married to strong flavour of Cox - but takes after Golden Delicious. Also known as Freyburg.

Freyberg phototape


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Golden Delicious x Cox
  • Originates from: New Zealand
  • Introduced: 1934
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1088
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1961-065


  • Flowering period: Mid season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Diploid


  • Scab  - Some susceptibility
  • Fireblight  - Some susceptibility

Relationships to other varieties

Parents and other ancestors of this variety:

Siblings of this variety (same parentage):

  • Rubinette - Freyberg takes after Golden Delicious, whereas Rubinette takes after Cox

See also:

References and further reading about this variety

  • Apples for the 21st Century
    Author: Manhart

Freyberg identification photos from official fruit collections

UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Freyberg 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 Freyberg 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


New Zealand

Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2018 season

  • 8th May  2018  - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States

2010 season

  • 15th October  2010  - tree owned by Mark in Rangiora, New Zealand

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

Latest harvest records for this variety

2018 season

    2010 season

      Where to buy trees

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

      Where to buy fresh fruit

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