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Duke of Devonshire apple

Duke of Devonshire was raised at Holker Hall in Cumbria, the estate of the Duke of Devonshire in the 19th century.  It is not a particularly attractive apple, its beauty is in its flavour.

Duke of Devonshire is a russeted apple, more in the fruity style of Ashmead's Kernel than the sweeter style of Egremont Russet.  Although it has never achieved mainstream success, it remains quietly popular amongst enthusiasts who appreciate russets, and like most russet apples it is easy to grow and has good natural disease resistance.

Russet apples, particularly those with strong flavours, are also increasingly sought out by cider enthusiasts.

The pedigree of Duke of Devonshire is unknown, but in appearance and flavour there is clearly some relation to Ashmead's Kernel, a much older russet variety that was well known in England at the time Duke of Devonshire was raised.

USDA identification images for Duke of Devonshire

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.

    Close relations of this variety (share 1 parent)

    • Ashmead's Kernel - It is likely that Duke of Devonshire descends from Ashmeads Kernel or shares a common ancestor.

    Visitor reviews

    Tree register

    United Kingdom

    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2012 season

    • April  2012  - tree owned by Graham in Coldstream, United Kingdom

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

    Harvest records for this variety

    2012 season

    • September  2012  - tree owned by Graham in Coldstream, United Kingdom


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Originates from: Cumbria, England, United Kingdom
    • Introduced: 1835
    • Developed by: Mr Wilson, the Duke of Devonshire's gardener.
    • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 2000-032
    • Some historical details taken with kind permission from 'The New Book of Apples' by Joan Morgan and Alison Richards , illustrated by Elisabeth Dowle, published by Ebury Press, 2002.


    • Annual cycle: Deciduous


    • Picking period: mid-October
    • Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators


    • Pollinating others: Average
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Bearing regularity: Regular


    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cold (< 20C / 67F)

    Other qualities

    • Scab (Apple and Pear): Very resistant

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Duke of Devonshire:



    • Apples of England (1948)
      Author: Taylor

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