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

Rubens® apple

Rubens is a new dessert apple, which is now being promoted to supermarkets in Europe. Like many modern apple varieties it is trademarked, and the supply of apples is carefully controlled using selected orchards. This highly commercial approach is necessary to break into the competitive market for supermarket apples, and whilst it is a far cry from the quiet appeal of heritage varieties, it is not necessarily a bad thing because consumers can be assured of a consistent quality.

Environmental factors are an increasing concern for all horticultural production and it is interesting to see that Rubens trees are being planted by growers throughout the main European markets, so that the "food miles" distance from orchard to consumer is minimised. 140,000 trees have been planted in Kent,UK, with other plantings in Germany, South Tyrol, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark.

We will be reporting our findings on the taste and appearance of Rubens shortly. The parentage of Gala and Elstar is a strong one so we are hopeful this should be a high-quality apple. In the meantime we are grateful to Herbert Knuppen of for the following marketing information about Rubens.

Rubens®civni is a cross between Elstar and Gala created in Ferrara, Italy in 1988, selected by CIV and registered under the brand Rubens®. C.I.V. Consorzio Italiano Vivaisti is the breeder and owner of Rubens® trademark, which identifies the trees and the fruits. The Fruit Rubens civni® is a bicolour variety and harvesting in the UK is approximately 10-15 days after Gala. Furthermore the Rubens apple farms have been specially selected for their ‘green’ credentials. All Rubens growers adhere closely to the UK’s highest standards on minimum usage of pesticides and follow the best possible environmental practices. This means that not only do the farms refrain from using harmful chemicals, but they also restore hedges and plant new woodland - rightly winning awards for their care and enhancement of the environment.

Last updated 30 Mar 2013.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 4.6 out of 5. Total votes cast: 10

Visitor comments

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

04 Mar 2012 
Reply to comment of Niamh, Ireland 29 Oct 2009. The "Banana flavour" refers to another earlier variety of the same name from 1950 ' Holland. Not the same apple at all! Make certain that you buy the right one, which shopuld contain the word "civni" on the apple or packaging.

21 Nov 2011 
The best tasting apple by a long shot. Hitherto a huge Braeburn fan ..but alas no longer. Discovered Rubens this autumn in local Sainsburys-now I am hooked! Desperately want one to plant in my garden.

19 Nov 2011 
Just bought one at our Kroger and ate it as soon as I got home. Wow. What a great tasting, crisp, apple. I hope they will be readily available this winter.~ Has any one baked with a Rubens apple? I was wondering how it cooks up in pies, breads, and cakes.

02 Nov 2011 
Bought these from Booths in Settle for the last few weeks and can’t stop eating them. They are really juicy, crisp and have a sharp fantastic flavour. The tastiest apple of the moment.

23 Jun 2011 
I was hooked on Rubens the very first time I tasted one. However, I'm finding it extremely difficult to obtain the Italian Rubens, which is the best tasting. Once tasted, you'll never want another kind of apple; it is out of this world, so jicy it does not discolour when left cut. I SO wish I could buy a tree to grow my own in the garden. Help! Dilys

13 Dec 2010 
just purchased my first Rubens in Inverness. Delicious. Oh why don't I live nearer to the growers!

23 Oct 2010 
Saw and bought these for the first time time, today, at a Booth's supermarket in Kirkby Lonsdale. Very impressed. The first bight was sharp, crisp, juicy and full of apple flavour as they are when straight from the tree. Highly recommended.

11 Nov 2009 
Just tasted Rubens; it's absolutely delicious. I never thought I'd find the equal to my favorite, Macintosh USA (whose crossbreed is Spartan in this country.

29 Oct 2009 
Odd little tidbit...the wrapper on these apples from my local supermarket described them as having a 'banana flavor'. I must say I didn't taste that.

27 Oct 2009 
They were giving these apples free to the public today outside tube stations and I got 2. I'm not a huge lover of apples but these rubens apples are utterly delicious. They're crunchy and crisp and the best apples I've tasted in a long time. Definitely an apple with a lot of flavour and I'll be buying them if I see them in the shops.

25 Oct 2009 
Lovely, distinct 'fizzing' taste from this apple. I like the apparent focus on European growers too. I will buy these again.

19 Nov 2008 
As well as the usual bland 'green apples' and 'red apples', the Cheapside Tesco in the City stocks bags of different Kent grown apples throughout Autumn. This week they've got Rubens grown by JA Colthup. Really tasty, would happily eat these all the time.

12 Nov 2008 
12/10/08. Our local greengrocer had some in today,tastiest apples in a long time,they were grown in Kent

25 Oct 2008 
Rubins, Italy, prepackedx4 - Asda. Never tasted before, so curious. was not expecting much - as on offer £1/4 fruit. Very pleasant. particulary consistent taste. quite moreish.

12 Oct 2008 
I am fed up with the usual supermarket rubbishy apples that are stocked simply because of their uniform size. Where can I taste and purchase some 'Rumens'? Thank you. William Buck.

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An attractive modern apple from Italy which is now being promoted in European supermarkets.

Rubens phototape


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Elstar x Gala
  • Originates from: Ferrara, Italy
  • Introduced: 1988
  • Developed by: Consorzio Italiano Vivaisti
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1210
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1955-008


  • Use / keeping: 3 months or more


  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Average growth
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
  • General disease resistance: Average


  • Climate suitability: Warm climates
  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates


  • Scab  - Very susceptible
  • Mildew  - Some susceptibility

Relationships to other varieties

Parents and other ancestors of this variety:

Close relations of this variety (share 1 parent):

Also known as

  • Civni

Rubens identification photos from website visitors


Copyright: Monique R.

Rubens fruit
Rubens fruit

Copyright: Herbert Knuppen

Rubens orchard
Rubens orchard

Copyright: Herbert Knuppen

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