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King of the Pippins apple

A popular 19th century apple, very widely grown in Europe at the time, and versatile for culinary and dessert uses.  King of the Pippins is a sharp, firm, juicy apple which sweetens in storage.

If this variety were discovered today it would hardly merit the title "King" of the pippins, or even "Reine" de Reinettes" (queen of the reinettes) as it is called in France.  However back in the late 18th century when it first became known the name was probably more appropriate.

The main attraction of King of the Pippins today is its versatility.  It can be used as a dessert apple but also has many culinary uses.  It keeps its shape when cooked and brings an authentic old-fashioned flavour.  The sweet-sharp juice is also useful for making fresh apple juice and in cider-making.

Last updated 10 Nov 2012.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 4.1 out of 5. Total votes cast: 8

Visitor comments

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

02 Jan 2018 
We moved into a Victorian house 20 years which had an old King of the Pippins in the garden. We've loved the sweet tartness of these wonderful apples which keep until April or May in our cool garage.

23 Oct 2015 
Reine de Reinettes ranks among the top five apples I have tasted: fine grained texture, very complex flavors. Stunner. It ripens in October in Northern New England and may be different from King of the Pippins, which looks and tastes similar but ripens in September here.

13 Oct 2013 
My wife had the great idea to bake a tarte Tatin today. I had a look at what the best apple would be to use for that. I read on wikipedia that is originally was made with two apple varieties: Reine des Reinettes and Calville. I have both in my garden, and we used the Reine des Reinettes. The result was top! Really delicious. The taste is really good, while the apple pieces keep their shape. As mentioned by others, it is a really easy tree to grow as well, and it is very productive.

24 Mar 2013 
we have tasted this apple before, do you know where we can possibly order one?Thanks, Yvonne

18 Mar 2013 
It's a lovely apple tree to grow in your garden. Off the tree the fruit is nicer than all the new apples off the shelves! Greta for cooking too!

10 Jan 2012 
Linda, if you are in South Carolina there are answers to your prayers in the adjoining state. Ron and Suzanne Joyner have an orchard at Big Horse Creek Farm, in Ashe County NC. They have this variety there, I know, and graft trees to order. They are really helpful and friendly, true apple lovers with a wonderful wide knowledge. They will help you for sure.

08 Sep 2011 
I have a 6 year old cordon and I would recommend this apple very productive each year (you have to thin out alot as a cordon) medium large, very clean fruit with a good taste(medium sweet with acid tinge - but not really King of anything) and pleasing crunch, try to ripen as long on tree gets a yellow hint to the green?

14 Jun 2011 
I'm actually from England, but now live in SC, USA. We used to have a King of the Pippin apple tree in our garden back in Thetford, Norfolk, England, which had the best tasting apples I've ever tasted. I wondered if it would be possible to grow one of these trees in South Carolina, USA, and if so, if you knew where I might purchase one to plant and grow her, please? They are fantastic little apples! Thanks, Linda

20 Oct 2008 
This apple tree has been in our garden for about 60 years or more. We get a good crop every two years. The flavour is superb and we love it for its juicy taste. It spoils us for other apples!

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A good early/mid-season dual-purpose variety, thought to originate from 18th century France (where it is known as Reine de Reinettes) but widely grown in England since Victorian times.

King of the Pippins phototape


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Unknown
  • Originates from: France
  • Introduced: 1770s
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1111
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1957-218


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


  • Flowering period: Mid-Late season
  • Flowering group: 4
  • Fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Slightly small

Other qualities

  • Awards: RHS AGM 1993


  • Scab  - Some susceptibility
  • Cedar apple rust  - Some resistance

Relationships to other varieties

Offspring of this variety:

Also known as

  • Reine des Reinettes

References and further reading about this variety

  • Apples of England (1948)
    Author: Taylor

King of the Pippins identification photos from official fruit collections



UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

King of the Pippins 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 King of the Pippins 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




  • Hayden in Winslow, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA


Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2018 season

  • 8th May  2018  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

2017 season

  • 4th May  2017  - tree owned by Rosalind in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

2016 season

  • 16th May  2016  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

2015 season

  • 11th May  2015  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

2011 season

  • 19th April  2011  - tree owned by John in Malvern, United Kingdom
  • March  2011  - tree owned by John in New Market, United States

2010 season

  • 10th May  2010  - tree owned by Sandy in St Albans, United Kingdom

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

Latest harvest records for this variety

2018 season

    2017 season

    • 1st week October  2017  - tree owned by Dorothy in Peterborough, United Kingdom
    • October  2017  - tree owned by Rosalind in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

    2016 season

    • 1st week October  2016  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

    2015 season

    • 1st week October  2015  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

    2011 season

      2010 season

      • 3rd week September  2010  - tree owned by John in Malvern, United Kingdom

      Where to buy trees

      The following fruit tree nurseries offer King of the Pippins apple trees for sale:

      • Keepers Nursery
        United Kingdom  More >>

      Where to buy fresh fruit

      United Statesmap >

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