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

Laxton's Fortune apple


One of a number of new varieties developed by the Laxton Brothers Nursery in the UK in the early 1900s and grown commercially on a small scale. It remains a popular garden variety in the UK, but is a noted biennial bearer.  It is a useful substitute for Cox's Orange Pippin (one of its parents), having some of the aromatic flavour of that variety but much easier to grow.

Whilst most apple varieties are not self-fertile (they cannot pollinate themselves and need a nearby apple tree of a different variety to set fruit) it is interesting that there is a streak of self-fertility running through Cox's Orange Pippin and its offspring, and Laxton's Fortune is partially self-fertile.  This means it will probably set light crops even if there is no pollination partner nearby - but cropping will be better with another variety to cross-pollinate the blossom.

Fortune is often referred to as Laxton's Fortune - do not confuse with the 1995 variety also called Fortune, released by Cornell University in the USA, a cross of Empire and Schoharie Spy.



Laxton's Fortune identification photos from official fruit collections

ARS GRIN

©Copyright
ARS GRIN

UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Laxton's Fortune identification photos from website visitors

  • Laxton's Fortune apple (UK)Laxton's Fortune apple (UK)

  • Laxton's Fortune, growing in Harrow, UK, and estimated to be 70 years oldLaxton's Fortune, growing in Harrow, UK, and estimated to be 70 years old

    Copyright: Zed Zapasnik

Visitor reviews

  • 16 Sep 2017  Melanie Fuller,  HARROGATE, United Kingdom
    We have a Laxton's Fortune in our garden in Harrogate. It has fruited really well this year. We had it identified last year by RHS Harlow Carr who were offering a free apple identification day. Delicious juicy red apples with red flashes inside.
  • 31 Aug 2017  Ken Parkes,  CUMBRIA, United Kingdom
    I planted two as cordons three years ago. One has succumbed to canker this year, the other has collapsed under its fruit load. I removed all but four apples and we have been eating them for three weeks now, they seem to be happy in a cool kitchen. The stock is M106 and I intend to replant in out orchard this winter and grow as a tree. Best flavour we have after a shy Ashmead's Kernel
  • 13 Oct 2012  Apple Lover,  LONDON, United Kingdom
    I've got a 3 year old Laxton's Fortune tree. I love the apples. True they don't keep, but they are so sweet, aromatic and juicy. Mine look spectacular too, deep scarlet.
  • 29 Feb 2012  Kerry Hansen,  United States
    I am getting ready to graft this variety on a tree that I am changing it's varieties.
  • 23 Sep 2010  Nigel Evans,  OXFORD, United Kingdom
    The earlier comments say it all: Fortune is the best tasting of all dessert varieties, and it is commercially a non-starter because it bruises so easily. But if you have a tree, or know of an orchard, then now (late Sep) is the time to get busy. Boxford Farms (Suffolk) used to grow them in substantial quantities, but I expect they may have been grubbed in favour of something saleable.
  • 26 Oct 2009  Sheila Pearston,  OUTSIDE WOBURN, BEDFORDSHIRE, United Kingdom
    My neighbour has an apple that could be a Laxton Fortune but I have never eaten that particular apple to be able to comment. The tree was mature when I moved in 23 years ago so it is obviously an old variety. This apple is red with yellowish / green streaks travelling from top to bottom. The flesh is soft and an almost yellow colour; the flavour is just devine - it has be likened to strawberries but I cannot see the connection. The flesh is not red but it has red "flashes". When I first ate one I thought my gums were bleeding. I would dearly love to purchase one of these trees so if anyone knows of a grower in the UK that sells them I would appreciate it. Failing the purchase of a tree I will try to graft a cutting onto existing apple stock but this is not my ideal solution. S E Pearston
  • 23 Sep 2009  Andrea Gaul,  WEST MELTON CANTERBURY, New Zealand
    There is a number of small heritage fruit tree nurseries near Christchurch in NZ. We got a Laxtons Fortune apple along with russets and other heritage fruits. Plus Oh Joy - a Damson that I haven't seen since I left Dorset in 1984. The orchard is only 3 years old so I can't wait for the little trees to grow big enough to start producing.
  • 22 Sep 2009  C Williams,  NORFOLK, United Kingdom
    We inherited a Laxton's Fortune with a house we bought in Bedfordshire in 1978. It was still going strong when we moved away in 2005. The apples were identified for us by a wholesale greengrocer relation as 'Laxton's Fortune by a Bedfordshire grower'. It can sometimes be found on sale as an organic fruit. Lovely crispy, juicy apple, it tended to bruise as it was being eaten - even straight from the tree - and it was always a race to harvest the ripe fruit before the starlings found them! We're now in the process of sourcing a dwarf variety for our Norfolk garden.
  • 17 Aug 2009  Steve Neal,  SOMERSET, United Kingdom
    I remember eating a Laxton Fortune in 1975, grown by Pank of Sussex, I believe. Best apple I've ever tasted. Does anyone know if the orchard still exists?
  • 23 Jul 2009  Mrs Dorothy J Cox,  POOLE DORSET UK, United Kingdom
    I used to work with Fortunes and they are my favourites next to Beauty of Bath, but can never find either of them in the shops. Do you know where I can get any in the Poole district?

Tree register

United States

United Kingdom

Australia

Spring blossom records for this variety

2013 season

  • 17th May  2013  - tree owned by Celia in Manchester, United Kingdom

2012 season

  • 8th April  2012  - tree owned by Zed in Harrow, United Kingdom

2011 season

  • 15th April  2011  - tree owned by Robert in Muswell Hill, United Kingdom
  • 5th April  2011  - tree owned by Zed in Harrow, United Kingdom

2010 season

  • 8th May  2010  - tree owned by John in Reading, United Kingdom

2009 season

  • 18th April  2009  - tree owned by Robert in Muswell Hill, United Kingdom

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


Harvest records for this variety

2017 season

  • 2nd week September  2017  - tree owned by Melanie in Harrogate, United Kingdom

2016 season

  • 4th week September  2016  - tree owned by Mariska in Aberdeen, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week September  2016  - tree owned by Richard in Southampton, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • August  2013  - tree owned by Dave in Santa Barbara, United States

2011 season

  • 1st week September  2011  - tree owned by Helen in Southampton, United Kingdom
  • 1st week August  2011  - tree owned by Zed in Harrow, United Kingdom

2010 season

  • 2nd week September  2010  - tree owned by Steve in Poole, United Kingdom
  • 1st week September  2010  - tree owned by Zed in Harrow, United Kingdom

2009 season

  • 3rd week September  2009  - tree owned by Clare in Bodorgan, United Kingdom
  • 1st week September  2009  - tree owned by Jean in Martock, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week August  2009  - tree owned by Paul in West Bridgford, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week August  2009  - tree owned by Zed in Harrow, United Kingdom

Origins

  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Cox's Orange Pippin x Wealthy
  • Originates from: Bedford, England, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1904
  • Developed by: Laxton Brothers Nursery
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1183
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1974-343

Identification

  • Fruit colour: Red / Orange flush
  • Bultitude apple group: 7. Flushed / striped, some russeting, sweet

Using

  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Juice
  • Flavour quality: Good
  • Flavour style: Sweeter
  • Vitamin C content: Medium

Growing

  • Cropping: Good
  • Flowering period: Mid season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Slightly small
  • Bearing regularity: Biennial tendency
  • Gardening skill: Some skill needed
  • Fruit bearing: Partial tip-bearer
  • General disease resistance: Good

Climate

  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates

Other qualities

  • Awards: RHS AGM 1993

Also known as

  • Fortune

Parents and other ancestors of this variety


See also:

  • Fortune - Shares the same name, but a different variety altogether.
  • Fortune - An American variety, with the same name, but not related.

Diseases

  • Canker  - Some susceptibility
  • Scab  - Some resistance


Where to buy fresh fruit

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References

  • Apples of England (1948)
    Author: Taylor
  • Fruit Expert
    Author: Hessayon


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