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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 images

ARS GRIN
©Copyright ARS GRIN

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

USDA identification images for Laxton's Fortune

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


    See also

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

    Visitor reviews

    • 28 Aug 2021  MARYLAND, United States
      Have grown LF for about 10 years now (on a Geneva 30, semi-dwarf rootstock) and the tree has cropped the last 5 or so. A bit whippy, definitely little resistance to Fireblight, Scab or Cedar-Apple rust, but it survives anyway. Apples are modest sized, sweet, slightly aromatic, nicely flavored but with a bit of a chewy texture as grown in Maryland (much hotter than Britain).
    • 16 Sep 2017  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  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  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  United States
      I am getting ready to graft this variety on a tree that I am changing it's varieties.
    • 23 Sep 2010  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  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  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  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  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  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

    New Zealand

    • Giles in HAMILTON, WAIKATO

    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2020 season

    • 7th April  2020  - tree owned by Zed in Harrow, United Kingdom
    • 7th April  2020  - tree owned by Zed in Harrow, United Kingdom

    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

    2020 season

    • 4th week August  2020  - tree owned by Zed in Harrow, United Kingdom
    • 4th week August  2020  - tree owned by Zed in Harrow, United Kingdom

    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
    • Introduced: 1904
    • Developed by: Laxton Brothers Nursery

    Using

    • Picking season: Mid
    • Cropping: Good
    • Keeping (of fruit): 2-3 weeks
    • Flavor style (apples): Aromatic
    • Food uses: Eating fresh

    Growing

    • Self-fertility: Partially self-fertile
    • Flowering group: 3
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Bearing regularity: Biennial tendency

    Climate

    • Cold hardiness (RHS): H6 (to -20C)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cold (< 20C / 67F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)

    Identification

    • Country of origin: United Kingdom
    • Period of origin: 1900 - 1949
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
    • Fruit colour: Green / Red

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Laxton's Fortune:

    United Kingdom


    Canada




    References

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

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