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

Elstar apple

Malus domestica

Elstar is another successful offspring of Golden Delicious, developed in the Netherlands in the 1950s. It is a popular easy-eating dessert apple, widely grown in Europe but less well-known in the UK or North America.  There are a number of commercial sports, including Elista and Valstar.

The skin is marbled, often with a soft sheen to it. It also lacks the perfect smoothness of many modern varieties.

The underlying colour is golden yellow but overlaid with deep red.

There is also a "sport" known as Red Elstar, where the red colour usually covers the entire surface with only the occasional peep of yellow.

The flavor can be more intense than is often the case with other Golden Delicious offspring.  It retains the appealing sweetness - usually described as 'honeyed' in most apple text books - but with a good balance of acidity.

Elstar is definitely a crunchy apple, but not as crisp or hard as some - definitely the softer side of crunchy, so a good choice if you have fragile teeth. The flesh is lemon-white.

In most Golden Delicious offspring it is the other parent which provides the essential counter-balance to offset the sweet blandness of Golden Delicious. In the case of Elstar this is Ingrid Marie, a variety which originates from Denmark. Although not a widely-known apple, it lends a bit of extra flavor to the mix - inherited from its own parent, Cox's Orange Pippin

Elstar identification images

ARS GRIN
©Copyright ARS GRIN

  • Elstar apples

USDA identification images for Elstar

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


    Offspring of this variety


    Visitor reviews

    • 09 Mar 2021  WEST YORKSHIRE, United Kingdom
      Noticed that Home Bargains were selling two year old trees of this variety earlier today (March 2021) as pre packs for £5.99. They also had Jonagold, Cox's and Comice pears for the same price. Hope this helps UK readers currently looking for trees.
    • 12 Oct 2019  ANTRIM, United Kingdom
      One of those varieties you have to leave on the tree as long as possible as the last couple will be the sweetest. Big apples.
    • 27 Apr 2014  COLORADO, United States
      about 15 years ago i ate an elstar apple and its one of those times in my life that sticks in my head. i thought it was the best apple ive ever eaten. never able to find another, or tree to plant.
    • 12 Apr 2014  ALBERTA, Canada
      These are the best pie apples ever.
    • 20 Sep 2013  Ireland
      I agree with Jordan. I tried a couple of trees of this variety. I found the apples to be rather bland, insipid and lacking in character. I grafted them over with better varieties - Adam's Pearmain and Sunset.
    • 30 May 2012  United Kingdom
      Compared to some of the apples out there, the taste of this apple - at least the one I tasted - is very much mediocre. Very juicy. Sweet compared to older eating apples, but not compared to something like Royal Gala or Discovery. Discovery itself isn't the deepest taste, but even compared to discovery the taste of Elstar is poor as a dessert apple. Noticed a russet-like taste, changing towards the end of eating the apple into a more pear like flavour. Would be much nicer just to eat a pear; even though I tend to prefer apples to pears. Certainly wouldn't plant it as a dessert apple. I envisage that it would make a good juice, but perhaps blended with a stronger tasting apple to give it some depth, which Elstar lacks. Main advantage would be for bulking up - if tree has gold yields.
    • 30 Mar 2012  ENGLAND, United Kingdom
      I bought one of these trees for my garden and it's budding at the moment. I searched in the shops for the variety and bought some and found that they taste very nice, they're a bit like a better Cox's (many of those from the supermarkets are somewhat bland).
    • 05 Feb 2012  BRITISH COLUMBIA, Canada
      Excellent flavor both fresh and cooked. Seems to store quite well - the apples picked four months ago are still firm and sweet, and good eating. If I could have only one apple tree, this would be my first choice.
    • 11 Jun 2010  N.IRELAND, United Kingdom
      Just bought one of these today in a pot. It has about 30 little fruits on it. A good start. I chose this variety as label says..Good pollinator...I have a 'self pollinator' which seems to need a mate. We'll see what happens.
    • 24 Apr 2010  CO.ANTRIM, United Kingdom
      100% agreement. Happy tree and delicious fruit even in Co.Antrim, not known as one of our apple counties
    • 20 Apr 2010  Ireland
      I agree with Niamh, - a brilliant apple, & grows easily here in Ireland.
    • 05 Nov 2009  IL, United States
      I bought one of these for my mom about 5-6 years ago from Trees of Antiquity in CA. It bore very well this year in Zone 5 - rural IL - and we love the sweetness of the apples. So much better than anything you can buy in the store. If you're looking for a great apple, Trees of Antiquity still stock them and I've had very good experience with the quality of their products, delivery, etc.
    • 14 Oct 2009  IRELAND, Ireland
      I love this variety. They are so hardy, they can be grown in Ireland organically. That's no mean feat with our weather. Ireland and Holland are the main suppliers of this variety.
    • 05 Oct 2009  ONTARIO, Canada
      I recently discovered elstar apples grown here in Ontario, Canada, at my local supermarket, and it has become my instant favourite apple
    • 06 Feb 2009 
      I love this elstar apples. I regularly ate this apple. They are delicious, especially straight out of the fridge. It is true, they have the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity and a lovely flavour and crispness.
    • 12 Oct 2008  COLBERT, SPOKANE,WASHINGTON USA, United States
      I was introduced to the Elstar several years ago at a small orchard on Greenbluff in Washington state. It is now my favorite apple for eating and cooking.
    • 09 Oct 2008  KENT, United Kingdom
      Sainsburys have Elstar on their basics range currently, and what a superb apple to discover at such a low price! Tastes of Honey, Sherbet Fizz, Crunch, Sharpness - in a very nice overall balance.
    • 04 Oct 2008  NEWTON ABBOT, DEVON, United Kingdom
      This apple seems to do well in our damp West country air. Our young tree has cropped well with large crisp juicy fruit. Delicious.
    • 02 Oct 2008  SWANSEA, WALES, United Kingdom
      I saw these apples for the first time last week and they were so cheap I only bought a few, thinking they wouldn't be very good. How wrong I was. They are delicious, especially straight out of the fridge. They have the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity and a lovely flavour and crispness.
    • 15 Aug 2008  HAVANT, United Kingdom
      Just tasted the first fruit from my own tree (amongst others such as cox, egremont russet..) and delighted to say it was a wonderful surprise - the appearance is delightful with blemish-free regular shaped fruit, good for exhibition. The flavour is tangy, juicy and sweet. The tree seems a heavy cropper from an as yet small size.
    • 20 Jan 2008  VIRGINIA, United States
      I regularly ate this apple while living in Cologne, Germany. It was a favorite of mine and I am searching for a supplier in the US for a tree.
    • 08 Oct 2007  WASHINGTON. UK, United Kingdom
      Just purchased an Elstar apple on coronet miniature rootstock, and fully agree with your comments. Ive tasted and enjoyed Ingred Marie and Golden Delicious and now Ive the best of both on one tree.

    Tree register

    United States

    United Kingdom

    Belgium

    Denmark

    France

    Germany

    Ireland

    Netherlands

    Canada

    Poland

    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2020 season

    2019 season

    • 5th May  2019  - tree owned by johncole4321@yahoo.co.uk in Ramsgate, United Kingdom
    • 25th April  2019  - tree owned by Richard in York, United Kingdom
    • 18th April  2019  - tree owned by Helen in Liverpool, United Kingdom

    2018 season

    • 8th May  2018  - tree owned by Paul in Preston, United Kingdom
    • 25th April  2018  - tree owned by Cheuk in Amsterdam, Netherlands

    2017 season

    • 25th April  2017  - tree owned by Cheuk in Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • 20th April  2017  - tree owned by Richard in York, United Kingdom

    2016 season

    • 29th April  2016  - tree owned by Cheuk in Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • 4th March  2016  - tree owned by johncole4321@yahoo.co.uk in Ramsgate, United Kingdom

    2015 season

    • 4th May  2015  - tree owned by johncole4321@yahoo.co.uk in Ramsgate, United Kingdom
    • 30th April  2015  - tree owned by Jason in Bristol, United Kingdom

    2014 season

    • 29th April  2014  - tree owned by Frank in Aghadowey, United Kingdom
    • 15th April  2014  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States
    • April  2014  - tree owned by Robert in Cardiff, United Kingdom

    2013 season

    • 31st May  2013  - tree owned by Frank in Aghadowey, United Kingdom
    • 12th May  2013  - tree owned by Richard in York, United Kingdom
    • 9th May  2013  - tree owned by Kevin in Kilwinning, United Kingdom
    • May  2013  - tree owned by William in Monkstown, Ireland
    • 24th April  2013  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States

    2012 season

    • 12th May  2012  - tree owned by Frank in Aghadowey, United Kingdom
    • 8th May  2012  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
    • 2nd May  2012  - tree owned by Brian in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    • 2nd May  2012  - tree owned by Alan in Newport-On-Tay, United Kingdom
    • 1st May  2012  - tree owned by David in Braintree, United Kingdom
    • 1st May  2012  - tree owned by Karel in Alem, Netherlands
    • 26th April  2012  - tree owned by Dan in Uxbridge, United Kingdom
    • April  2012  - tree owned by Mel in Carmarthen, United Kingdom

    2011 season

    • 8th May  2011  - tree owned by Dan in Uxbridge, United Kingdom
    • 21st April  2011  - tree owned by johncole4321@yahoo.co.uk in Ramsgate, United Kingdom
    • 19th April  2011  - tree owned by Karel in Alem, Netherlands
    • 15th April  2011  - tree owned by Brian in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    • 10th April  2011  - tree owned by Brian in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    • April  2011  - tree owned by Mel in Carmarthen, United Kingdom

    2010 season

    • 12th May  2010  - tree owned by Brian in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    • 9th May  2010  - tree owned by johncole4321@yahoo.co.uk in Ramsgate, United Kingdom
    • 9th May  2010  - tree owned by Christine in Goole, United Kingdom
    • 6th April  2010  - tree owned by Nikolai in Dublin, Ireland
    • April  2010  - tree owned by Mel in Carmarthen, United Kingdom

    2009 season

    • 18th June  2009  - tree owned by Gary in Lancaster, United Kingdom
    • 4th May  2009  - tree owned by Ted in Portland, United States
    • May  2009  - tree owned by Anne in Ballycastle, United Kingdom
    • 12th April  2009  - tree owned by Nikolai in Dublin, Ireland
    • April  2009  - tree owned by Christine in Goole, United Kingdom

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


    Harvest records for this variety

    2019 season

    2017 season

    • 2nd week October  2017  - tree owned by John in Congleton, United Kingdom
    • 3rd week September  2017  - tree owned by Cheuk in Amsterdam, Netherlands

    2016 season

    • 2nd week September  2016  - tree owned by Cheuk in Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • September  2016  - tree owned by Erika in Mytholmroyd, United Kingdom

    2015 season

    2014 season

    • 2nd week September  2014  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States

    2013 season

    • 4th week October  2013  - tree owned by William in Monkstown, Ireland
    • 4th week September  2013  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States

    2012 season

    • 1st week October  2012  - tree owned by Brian in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

    2011 season

    • 1st week October  2011  - tree owned by Brian in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    • 1st week October  2011  - tree owned by Brian in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    • October  2011  - tree owned by Mel in Carmarthen, United Kingdom

    2010 season

    • 1st week November  2010  - tree owned by Brian in , United Kingdom
    • 2nd week October  2010  - tree owned by Brian in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    • 1st week October  2010  - tree owned by Nikolai in Dublin, Ireland
    • October  2010  - tree owned by Mel in Carmarthen, United Kingdom
    • 2nd week September  2010  - tree owned by johncole4321@yahoo.co.uk in Ramsgate, United Kingdom

    2009 season

    • 3rd week October  2009  - tree owned by Gary in Lancaster, United Kingdom
    • 2nd week October  2009  - tree owned by Nikolai in Dublin, Ireland
    • 2nd week October  2009  - tree owned by Anne in Ballycastle, United Kingdom
    • 2nd week September  2009  - tree owned by Ted in Portland, United States

    Origins

    • Species: Malus domestica
    • Parentage: Golden Delicious x Ingrid Marie
    • Introduced: 1972

    Using

    • Picking season: Late
    • Cropping: Heavy
    • Keeping (of fruit): 1-2 months
    • Flavor style (apples): Sweet/Sharp
    • Food uses: Eating fresh
    • Discoloration of fruit: No discoloration (Good for drying)

    Growing

    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
    • Flowering group: 3
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Bearing regularity: Biennial tendency Slight.

    Climate

    • Cold hardiness (USDA): (5) -20F / -29C
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)

    Identification

    • Country of origin: Netherlands
    • Period of origin: 1950 - 1999
    • Fruit colour: Orange flush

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer Elstar apple trees for sale:


    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Elstar:

    United States


    United Kingdom


    France


    Netherlands


    Canada


    Switzerland




    References

    • Apples for the 21st Century
      Author: Manhart
    • Fruit Expert
      Author: Hessayon


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