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Mutsu apple


Known as Mutsu in its native Japan and in the USA, Crispin looks like a large Golden Delicious and indeed one of its parents is Golden Delicious so it has that lovely sweet honeyed flavour.

It cooks superbly too and the women picking them in our local orchard used to call them 'oven busters' - take a big one home and bake it and you have a feast for two - and you don't need many for a deep apple pie.

Crispin is one of a small number of varieties which really is dual purpose - being both pleasant as a dessert apple (albeit too large for 1 person) and versatile in the kitchen.

Mutsu apple identification images

All images copyright Orange Pippin unless otherwise stated.

  • Mutsu (Crispin)
  • Mutsu (Crispin)

USDA identification images for Mutsu

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.

    Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

    Parents and other ancestors of this variety

    Siblings of this variety (same parentage)

    See also

    • Akane - Akane and Mutsu were both developed at the Aomori Apple Research Station in Japan
    • Shizuka

    Visitor reviews

    • 12 Oct 2023 
      These apples are my favorite. They remind me of the grimes golden I ate as a kid in Indiana. They’re just the perfect texture and tartness. Love them!
    • 10 Apr 2022  CA, United States
      One of my favorites. Wish it were as fertile as my Annas! Growing this in hot Los Angeles county it took 8 years before it bloomed, and no fruit yet because pollinators don’t overlap at the same time. Trying hand pollination and grafting pollinators onto it, but no luck yet. This year can manually pollinate with Reverend Morgan.
    • 01 Nov 2020  MASS, United States
      My new favorite apple over McCoun and Macs. Just bought a large bag from orchard near my camp on Lake Ontario upstate New York and wow had never heard of them before. My friends at work all love them too so I know it's not just me. Can't wait for apple pie and cooked w pork loin recipe I found. Oh yeah apple sauce and dried slices too.
    • 26 Aug 2018  NH, United States
      We bought our home 3 yrs ago (NH), and there was a huge apple tree in the back yard. The previous owners said it was a Granny Smith - but the apples were much larger and a creamy yellow green and just before harvest some carried a soft blush.. Unlike the G.S. apples these were delicious and sweeter. I finally found out today after taking time to research. they are indeed the Matsu or Crispin. Odd shaped not all are alike, most are large though. This tree is huge and incredible! No other apple tree on the lot. I Love it. Makes delicious pies and apple crisp. Lots of little surface pits and imperfections though, but doesn't affect the taste. We need to get better at treating the tree.
    • 04 Apr 2018  ONTARIO, Canada
      This is my all-time favourite apple. The texture is firm and crisp and the flavour divine - reminiscent of the candy necklaces we'd get as children. You can't go wrong with this apple although it seems to be scarcer now in southwestern Ontario.
    • 01 Mar 2018  CONNECTICUT, United States
      I buy Mutsu in February and March from CA storage, at Buell's Orchard in Eastford, CT. After they sit for a week on the table they sweeten and I like them. We keep some in the refrigerator for my wife and others who like a more tart apple. Either way they are firm.
    • 24 Dec 2016  MA, United States
      This is my sister's and my favorite apple. Beyond the sweetness, it has a subtle refreshing flavor that is better than anything else we have had.
    • 31 Aug 2016  WNC, United States
      This is a very sweet Apple. If you like your apples sweet, this is a great one to try. It's also larger and rounder than a Golden from my experience. My favorite way to use it: It makes the best thin sliced Apple snacking chips. I slice them thin with a mandolin slicer and dehydrate them. A bushel shrinks down fast but yummy snacking chips which disappear fast too!
    • 01 Nov 2015  Canada
      I bit in to my first Crispin today after a shopping spree at a local friend's biodynamic orchard. There was a lot going on in his packed warehouse and all he mentioned amidst the bustle was 'those Japanese ones' over there. I was intrigued and brought a few home. When I tried one today it looked so much like a Granny Smith I was fully braced for a little whiplash so the surprise of crisp and light sweetness was truly delightful. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. (I dug in to a Google search to identify this baby. Landed here. What a great little site this Orange Pippin is.) Now I think I will have to go back for some more. These ones are in BC, Canada, just north of Washington state, the land of apples. I noticed a little spot or rust throughout. Possibly due to cool climate or organic farming methods.
    • 11 Oct 2015  MARYLAND, United States
      Went looking ( too late) for Honey Crisp...found this, almost by accident, at a local farm market in Mt. Airy, Maryland. Delicious! Crisp, a touch tart but sweet enough for eating. If I have any left, I will try them for cooking, but they are going fast!
    • 28 Aug 2015  MA, United States
      My favorite apple of all time.
    • 11 May 2014  DEVON, United Kingdom
      Crisp & tart,ideal for my tastebuds.Being a triploid they are huge apples,but climate in Western GB not ideal,as scab prone.Wonderful dual purpose apple,up there with Grenadier if sprayed regularly
    • 18 Nov 2013  MA, United States
      I have recently become a fan of the Honeycrisp apple and found these at a local farm. They have a slightly different texture than the Honeycrisp but are crisp, sweet and juicy. Fantastic sliced with some natural peanut or almond butter.
    • 16 Oct 2013  Slovakia
      this apple is quite the delight; an explosion of flavors in my mouth. it fulfilled its dual purpose of just the right amount of crispy and sweetness. it satisfied all my snacking needs!
    • 26 Jan 2013  WASHINGTON, United States
      I found this to be a very sweet apple -too sweet for me for eating. However, it was a pleasant apple to eat, and I am growing one for use as a cider base.
    • 07 Jan 2013  NY, United States
      Bo - Slightly milder and mealier than its relative the Golden Delicious Brent- A tart firm apple. Its quite large so one apple is very filling
    • 26 Oct 2012  PENNSYLVANIA, United States
      The absolute best apple! So sweet and crispy. Hard to find though. LOVE it!
    • 24 Aug 2012  CA, United States
      My all time favorite eating apple. Nice solid crunch! Can by them near by, at Gopher Glen in San Luis Obispo.
    • 04 Apr 2012  DEVON, United Kingdom
      A truly delicious apple have grown for over 10 years.Can sufer from bitter pit. Eat fresh or cooked
    • 11 Oct 2011  MD, United States
      In response to Whit about where to find Mutsu apples in Maryland: Larriland Farms which also has many other varieties.
    • 22 May 2011  AR, United States
      I just bought and planted a baby Crispin apple tree but it already has maybe a dozen apples on it. I have an old apple tree that was here when we moved here and hoped that it would work for pollination. Must the Mutsu have a pollinator? Is there any special fertilizer needed or pruning? Thanks so much!
    • 14 Jan 2011  NJ, United States
      Discovered this apple this year. LOVE IT! Sweet, juicy, even better than an Empire.
    • 16 Dec 2010  FL / BAY, United States
      We visited Northern GA and tried this Mercier Orchard/store in Blue Ridge GA... wow, this has a wonderful flavor. We had them fried for breakfast and they held up so well during the process. My new favorite apple!!!
    • 02 Nov 2010  ONTARIO/CANADA, Canada
      This is an excellent apple despite its appearance. Although, I have to agree that north america lacks an apple that compares to the flavour of an English Cox's Orange Pippin. I would add that this apple makes superb apple sauce and dries extremely well without going an unpleasant brown color like so many other apples. After drying its sweetness intensifies and is irresistible as a snack food.
    • 27 Oct 2010  CA, United States
      We're making hard cider with this varietal. Should be yummy. Does anyone know anything about the "Indu variety"?
    • 06 Oct 2010  WASHINGTON, United States
      I have one Mutsu tree in my orchard. Fruits are indeed very big, however, they lack the intense flavors of Fuji, Jonaprince, and Honeycrisp. They are bagged in Japan and develop a pink hue - beautiful apple. And the taste was better too. I live in Eastern Washington. Perhaps the climate of Japan and the Eastern U.S. produces a better apple.
    • 05 Oct 2010  United States
      Just picked some of these from an Orchard in Mass... I went from a Granny Smith lover to a Mutsu Lover in one bite. Perfect mid afternoon snack to hold you over untill dinner. Nice large apple with a crisp bite.
    • 17 Sep 2010  MS, United States
      Either baked or not, with ice cream or cheddar cheese, this is the perfect apple. I cannot find them at home in MS, but buy them by the bag load on visits to TN
    • 08 Sep 2010  NJ, United States
      I first found or had this apple on the North Fork of Long Island, NY. about 12 years ago. It is late ripening - early October and it is usually a 'huge' apple -- a meal in itself for one person. Love to sit and slice pieces off -- and a wonderful taste/flavor. I like it better cool/cold. One of my most favorite !! You must try !
    • 12 Jul 2010  MD, United States
      This is by far my favorite apple. I think the description missed that it's a cross between a golden delicious and an Indu apple. Anyone know where to get this apple in MD? I used to get them in Talbot county, but can't find them anywhere near Baltimore.
    • 07 Jun 2010  HEREFORDSHIRE, United Kingdom
      Mutsu is delicious. If anything, it has a better taste than the Golden Delicious I buy from the same fruit farm (heavy loam soil). A slight red cheek develops on some apples. I would rate it one of the top 10 or 15.
    • 16 Nov 2009  ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States
      I love these. The texture is the most distinctive feature -- like a honeycomb of tiny little juice-filled cells, so that it is very juicy but still firm and crisp and doesn't go to mush when you bake it.
    • 09 Nov 2009  NORT GEORGIA, US, United States
      A freind told me about these wonderful apple and I bought a peck at the orchards in n. GA Wonderful eating, sharp at first but a sweet finish. I cut one last noght into pie slices and pan cooked them in butter, brown sugar and cimmamon then served hot over french vanilla ice cream ooohhhhhhh so good.
    • 05 Nov 2009  TORONTO, ONTARIO, Canada
      Wow from the comments and the description, it sounds like a really delicious apple. Although it doesn't look stunning, an apple smelling like flowers sure is something.
    • 01 Nov 2009  WOODHAVEN, QUEENS NEW YORK, United States
      I just love the taste and crisp texture of this apple. Huge in size, have to eat one in two days. Gave it to friends just to taste and they love it. Honestly, I will eat it daily if it was to be readily available in the market.
    • 26 Oct 2009  HURON,OH, United States
      I haven't tried the apple yet, but it looks good!
    • 18 Oct 2009  United States
      The ones that are grown in Gilmer County Georgia are HUGE and are soooooo sweet. Gilmer Coutny, GA is the apple capital and are known to have some of the best apples anywhere!!
    • 22 Jan 2009  TORONTO, Canada
      Matsus and Galas are something to look forward to in winter. Crisp, light, and bright. Matsus don't look so great on the outside but a bite into a nice cool one and you'll be hooked. They're great with a small slice of parmesan cheese.
    • 24 Nov 2008  LANCASTER, PA, United States
      This is my husband's favorite apple, and one of mine as well. They smells like flowers, and they have an amazing taste
    • 17 Jan 2008  BRISTOL, United Kingdom
      This is my favourite apple, sweet, and crisp with a delicate flavour.
    • 05 Aug 2007  United Kingdom
      A crisp refershing apple and much more appetising than it looks. However, it lacks the fullness of flavour of Cox and Braeburn.

    Tree register

    United States

    United Kingdom






    • a Bear in TOOLANGI, VIC
    • Evan in Launceston, TASMANIA
    • Hayden in Winslow, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
    • Jenny in Melbourne, VICTORIA,


    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2019 season

    • 30th April  2019  - tree owned by Ryan in Vineyard, United States

    2014 season

    • 27th May  2014  - tree owned by Torebuch in Keene, Canada
    • 4th May  2014  - tree owned by Martin in Anaheim, United States

    2013 season

    • 1st May  2013  - tree owned by Paul in Alamo, United States

    2012 season

    • 15th May  2012  - tree owned by Phillip in Los Olivos, United States

    2010 season

    • 2nd May  2010  - tree owned by Elizabeth in Evesham, United Kingdom

    2009 season

    • May  2009  - tree owned by Mary in Begbroke, United Kingdom

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

    Harvest records for this variety

    2019 season

    • 2nd week November  2019  - tree owned by Jon in Shaw Island, United States

    2016 season

    • October  2016  - tree owned by Francis in Carmel, United States

    2013 season

    • July  2013  - tree owned by Karl in Scotts Valley, United States

    2012 season

    • 2nd week September  2012  - tree owned by Phillip in Los Olivos, United States

    2009 season

    • 3rd week October  2009  - tree owned by Elizabeth in Evesham, United Kingdom
    • October  2009  - tree owned by Mary in Begbroke, United Kingdom


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Parentage: Golden Delicious
    • Originates from: Japan
    • Introduced: 1930
    • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1977-140


    • Country of origin: Japan
    • Period of origin: 1900 - 1949
    • Fruit colour: Green
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
    • Popularity: Under-rated
    • Annual cycle: Deciduous


    • Picking season: Late
    • Keeping (of fruit): 3 months or more
    • Flavour quality: Very good
    • Flavour style (apples): Sweet/Sharp
    • Cooking result: Keeps shape
    • Discoloration of fruit: Oxidising
    • Cropping: Good
    • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening
    • Food uses: Eating fresh
    • Food uses: Culinary
    • Food uses: Juice
    • Food uses: Dual purpose
    • Picking period: mid-October
    • Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators


    • Gardening skill: Average
    • Flowering group: 3
    • Pollinating others: Poor
    • Ploidy: Triploid
    • Vigour: Vigorous
    • Bearing regularity: Biennial tendency
    • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile


    • Cold hardiness (USDA): Zone 5 (-29C)
    • Chill requirement: Low-chill
    • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
    • Climate suitability: Warm climates
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Hot (>30C / 86F)

    Other qualities

    • Disease resistance: Poor
    • Powdery mildew: Some resistance
    • Scab (Apple and Pear): Some susceptibility
    • Fire blight: Some susceptibility
    • Cedar apple rust: Some susceptibility

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer Mutsu apple trees for sale:

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Mutsu:

    United States

    United Kingdom



    • Cedar-Apple Rust  
      Author: Stephen Vann, University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture (FSA7538)
      Rated as susceptible - control usually needed where CAR is prevalent.
    • Apples for the 21st Century
      Author: Manhart
    • Fruit Expert
      Author: Hessayon

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