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

Sundowner® apple

Sundowner® is the lesser-known sibling of Pink Lady®.  On this website we tend to use the term "sibling" when talking about apple varieties with common parents.  However unlike human children, apple siblings are nearly always raised in separate places by different growers, maybe decades or even centuries apart.  However Pink Lady® and Sundowner® really are siblings - not only do they share the same parentage - Golden Delicious and Lady Williams - but they were developed at the same time by the same fruit breeder, John Cripps of Western Australia.  Pink Lady® and Sundowner® are trademarks - the actual variety names are Cripps Pink and Cripps Red respectively.

Sundowner® is very much a warm-climate apple.  That means it needs long hot summers to ripen, but it also has a low-chill requirement so it can tolerate winters where temperatures are rarely below freezing.  (Apples originated in mountainous central Asia and need a period of very cold weather each winter as part of their annual growing cycle).

Sundowner® does not have the distinctive pink blush of Pink Lady®, being a more conventional "bi-coloured" red apple.  The flavour is less delicate than Pink Lady®, and slightly more distinctive - in this respect it is probably the better apple.

Although primarily an apple for eating fresh, Sundowner® can be used in the kitchen - it keeps its shape when cooked. For an example see this recipe for Rustic Apple Tart.

Last updated 24 Dec 2012.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 4.2 out of 5. Total votes cast: 11

Visitor comments

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

17 Aug 2017 
I just purchased my first sundowner apple, probably only because they were on special at the supermarket. WOW!! Crisp, juicy, sweet, flavoursome with a crisp clean finish. I am hooked. Now that is what I have been looking for in an apple.

09 Nov 2016 
Gave up on it. Only produced one apple for each of the last three years and they never ripened. Something is wrong about the zones, pollination or chill hours for Las Vegas NV area.

14 Jul 2016 
My favourite Apple variety. Mostly only found in Woolies in my part of the world, sometimes/rarely Aldi I don't understand why. Pink Lady is too acid for my taste. Fuji is also a favourite but 2nd to Sundowner.

12 Apr 2016 
Best Apple available in Oz. I eat 6kg of apples a week, Sundowner bought straight from the grower are the perfect combination of crunch, sweetness and acidity. The perfect apple.

06 Aug 2015 
I have been enjoying Sundowners every day this season for the first time and I love the sharper balance of sweetness and acidity. They also cook really well. A past Pink Lady fan, I am going to look for this variety every year.

25 Jul 2015 
Love Sundowners! They are very similar to Pink Lady apples, which are probably my second favourite (no surprise given they are from the same parentage) but I think Sundowners are better. A perfect balance of sweetness and acidity which leaves me wanting to eat the core (or just going and getting another one out of the fridge!)

14 Jul 2013 
Just had one labeled Joya from a Waitrose in London. S. African origin. Juicy and sweet, not as tart a Cripp's Pink. Browns readily.

14 Apr 2012 
this one really needs a period of cold storage first before it is at its best taste which is rarely straight off the tree. The trademark is being changed from Sundowner(R) to JOYA(R)

16 Nov 2011 
I'm eating one right now, it's super delicious. I can feel the juices dripping down my chin. Munch, munch.

09 Mar 2011 
I beleive I have a Sundowner apple tree that I bought from an Asian man years ago. The fruit is really tasty, and ripens in December-January. I need to spray it heavily, though, to avoid coddling moth infestation when it is flowering. Can you suggest a good spray that is organic? My gardening book suggest malithion and that is what I have been spraying. Thanks!Cathy Miller

12 Dec 2010 
New to Sundowner apples, which we bought at our local farm market yesterday. SUPERB fresh eating apple! Crisp, juicy, tart-sweet, incredible. (But the sellers had the genetic history all wrong...thought they were a cross between Pink Ladies & Fujis.) Baked a simple rustic apple tart last night with two leaving the skins on the thin slices. Will say they bake beautifully, retaining their shape...and don't turn to mush. Also, THANKS for this site! I've been doing a series of apple articles on (my food blog) and come to Orange Pippin often for background info. I'm a wanna-be home orchardist in an apple growing county.

28 Aug 2010 
Hi, Missing Sundowner this year Tesco dont have them where can I buy them?, roll on november then Kansi appear Cheers Alan

26 Apr 2010 
I get Sundowners at our local farmers market. They are wonderfully crisp, slightly tart and keep better than any apple I've ever eaten. after 2-3 weeks at room temperature the Sundowner still retains a good deal of crispness. I wish I could find bare root Sundowners so I could grow them

14 Oct 2009 
I love Sundowners. I wish you could get them organic in Irish supermarkets though.

16 Mar 2009 
They rule, its the best apple iv'e ever had...

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A late-season apple from Australia, whose varietal name is Cripps Red and which is related to Pink Lady®.

Sundowner phototape


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Golden Delicious and Lady Williams
  • Originates from: Western Australia, Australia
  • Introduced: 1970s
  • Developed by: John Cripps
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1209


  • Fruit colour: Red / Green


  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Cooking result: Keeps shape
  • Flavour quality: Very good
  • Flavour style: Sweet/Sharp
  • Harvest period: Very-Late season
  • Use / keeping: 3 months or more


  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Average growth
  • Gardening skill: Average Requires a warm climate
  • General disease resistance: Average


  • Climate suitability: Warm climates
  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates The tree should grow but the apples may not ripen
  • Chilling: Low-chill


  • Scab  - Some susceptibility
  • Mildew  - Some resistance
  • Fireblight  - Some susceptibility


  • Woolly aphid  - Some susceptibility

Relationships to other varieties

Parents and other ancestors of this variety:

Siblings of this variety (same parentage):

Also known as

  • Cripps Red

References and further reading about this variety

  • Apples for the 21st Century
    Author: Manhart

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 Sundowner 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


Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2014 season

  • 15th March  2014  - tree owned by Stefanie in OCEANSIDE, United States

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

Where to buy fresh fruit

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