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Howgate Wonder apple

Howgate Wonder

A very large apple that can be quite sweet and pleasant when eaten fresh but basically it is a cooking apple.  However, we note that many visitors to this website disagree and think it is a good eating variety too!  Partially self-fertile like one of its parents, Newton Wonder.

Howgate Wonder apple identification images

All images copyright Orange Pippin unless otherwise stated.

  • Howgate Wonder
  • Howgate Wonder
  • Howgate Wonder

USDA identification images for Howgate Wonder

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

    Visitor reviews

    • 15 Apr 2024 
      Howgate Wonder. My father planted one in the late 70's, I have 2 in the garden and have planted 2 as part of a local community orchard. A friend is a relative of the nurseryman who created the variety. We leave the apples on the tree until new year, as although they do keep amazingly they are at their best when eaten from the tree, If you expect them to stew like bramley's you will be disappointed. As a baked apple they have few if any peers. In my opinion best eaten from the tree, great in a salad. Have added them in cider, but only if we have too many.
    • 04 Oct 2023  COUNTY MAYO, Ireland
      I echo previous comments that this apple is a duel purpose apple having eaten them fresh from the tree. They are sweet, large and have a nice flavour. My tree is small at the moment but still produced large fruits. Would recommend this variety if you want a large apple.
    • 22 Mar 2023 
      Howgate wonder keeps very well through winter and keeps strong flavour for cooking.
    • 12 Nov 2022 
      I have grown H.W. for nearly 70 years. I regard it as a culinary variety which can keep in natural storage into May, by which time it is sweet enough to eat. A regular cropper with no health problems, it hangs on the tree very late, copes with Autumn gales and is still not easy to pick off the twig.
    • 19 Jan 2020  SURREY, United Kingdom
      We were given a tree some years ago. It’s excellent. Neighbours always comment on it as it still has large fruit which goes red way into December. Can eat both cooked and uncooked.
    • 15 Oct 2017  WEST YORKSHIRE, United Kingdom
      I have a tree in the garden of my victorian house. My neighbour at the back, who was a centigenarian, told me that he and his friend, as a pair of 7 year olds, helped plant this tree. It is over a hundred years old and this year had a huge crop with branches hanging very low laden with the huge fruits. Most of the apples went for juicing for an Apple Day celebration run by the next village Incredible Edible group. I mainly bake or make chutneys with mine but I will try and eat some after hearing everyones comments! The fruit doesn't need much sugar and doesn't go to mush. The juice was mixed with juice from some sweeter apples and tastes delicious. I think I might look how to make cider for next year!
    • 11 Mar 2014  STOCKPORT, United Kingdom
      I first saw this apple as a student - it was so large I couldn't resist buying one which served as lunch for myself and two friends. Years later I found some at my local fruit shop but have never managed to get them since. Although not quite as tasty as some other varieties it can be eaten or cooked and needs little sugar. It doesn't fall as readily as Bramley when cooked so makes lovely pies and flans without soggy bottoms.
    • 15 Nov 2012  YORKSHIRE, United Kingdom
      Howgate Wonder is not a cooking apple. A big apple does not a cooker make. It is however a good desert apple and left unthinned won't be too big. A bit like Granny Smiths but less acid and unlike Granny Smiths will grow in the UK. Full of juce an apple for children.
    • 06 Aug 2011  HAMPSHIRE, United Kingdom
      I have had my tree for about 10 years, it fruits heavily every other year, this year is the quiet one, just has 4 huge apples on it. Very versatile apple, like the way it does not go mushy when cooked.
    • 29 Jul 2011  United Kingdom
      Eric and Vernon, this tree is sold over the net by R V Rogers.(UK). I had some gooseberries from them last year; very sturdy plants.
    • 26 Jan 2011  DORSET, United Kingdom
      My grandfather purshased a Howgate Wonder just after the WW2 and it was amazing. I would like to get one but they seem difficult to obtain. any stockists near Bournemouth?
    • 12 Oct 2010  STAFFORDSHIRE, United Kingdom
      My Mum has always praised these apples as she grew up with a Howgate Wonder apple tree in her garden. Last year I tried them for the first time and they are fantastic! My Mum was over the moon as she had looked out for this variety before and not been able to get any but on that particular day she was very lucky. She happened to be in our local farm shop and a man came in with a huge sack of these Howgate Wonder asking if the farm shop wanted to buy them, they didn't. My Mum happened to over hear and managed to buy them for herself. She was so happy and cooked them up to make pies with etc and we managed to freeze a load to use throughout the year. In my opinion these apples far exceed the watery mush that Bramley seem to turn into when cooked. Howgate wonder hold their shape and form, there taste is multi dimensional with sweetness and tartness at a perfect balance. I recommend these to all!
    • 01 Oct 2010  HAMPSHIRE, United Kingdom
      Sadly we had to move from the wonderful Fens some 3 years ago and are now unable to obtain Howgate Wonder easily. We always were able to buy them from the Royal Sandringham orchards where we used to pick various other varieties. I had a super apple rack and stored a lot of fruit. However, one year mice got into the rack and ate many of the Howgates plus the Cox`s and left the Bramleys. Orchard Manager at Sandringham said that even the mice knew a good apple! We ate them both raw and cooked and I never added sugar. They made wonderful flans as they never lost their shape, unlike Bramleys which tend to collapse. I think they probably stock Howgate Wonder at the Windsor farm shop as I recall they sent them down from Sandringham when it first opened at Windsor. Carl at King`s Lynn is a lucky man having Howgates virtually on his doorstep!
    • 30 Sep 2010  PEMBROKESHIRE, United Kingdom
      This variety is fun to grow as the apples are so huge! In my previous garden in Berkshire I grew one as a rather untidy fan trained tree which worked well. I do agree that it is not the tastiest when cooked.
    • 29 Sep 2010  United Kingdom
      My father gave me a Howgate Wonder 15 years ago. I live in an area where we have late frosts and a short growing season. It has consistently given excellent crops of huge apples that last all winter. Wonderful tree.
    • 13 Dec 2009  PETERBOROUGH, United Kingdom
      Howgate apples are huge, delicious and must not be allowed to die out. I went out today to try to get some in the Wisbech area - where I believe they are grown - but was told that the apples are being left on the trees -or to fall - as no one wants them. that is because you can not get them in shops. Just one large apple will make a great family apple crumble with very little sugar.
    • 18 Nov 2009  SUFFOLK, United Kingdom
      I have an old tree in my garden. It is a reliable very heavy cropper. Mainly used as cooker, apple pies, apple sauce, etc. and excellent for cider!
    • 18 Oct 2009  HARLOW, United Kingdom
      I have, what I believe to be, a Howgate Wonder in my garden. I would like to have that confirmed. The fruit is very large - the largest I have picked weighed over 3lbs last year. Where can I post some pictures to check if I am right?
    • 16 Oct 2009  KING'S LYNN, United Kingdom
      Just bought a bag giant apple today seller said they were Howgate and suggested I removed core, filled with Mincemeat and Microwave for 10mins. I have never seen a larger apple, are these the largest in UK? Carl
    • 25 Jul 2009  YORK, United Kingdom
      This apple needs to be reasonably ripe before cooking otherwise it will remain hard. See Jim Prentice 29/7/2008. Pick October will keep to April.
    • 24 Feb 2009  NORWICH NORFOLK, United Kingdom
      Feb. I have just bought my first Howgate Wonders and following advice not to add sugar just currants I baked it for 10 mins in a microwave and with a little icecream it was delicious, though skins a bit tough which I ate anyway. If i had space I would certainly buy a tree.
    • 20 Nov 2008  GRANTHAM, LINCOLNSHIRE. ENGLAND, United Kingdom
      One of my clients gave me some of these apples off his tree today. Although the skins are blotchy and the fruits vary a lot in size the fruit itself is quite good once the skin is removed. Not as sharp as i expected but tasty and still juicy bearing in mind it is mid november.
    • 18 Oct 2008  STOCKPORT, CHESHIRE,UK, United Kingdom
      What I like most about the Howgate Wonder is that it doesn't need any added sugar if you do choose to cook it.
    • 14 Oct 2008  WEST DORSET, United Kingdom
      Have just picked a 1lb 12 3/4oz apple - delicious to eat with or without Cheddar cheese!!
    • 12 Oct 2008  OXON, United Kingdom
      I regretted planting this one as the cooked flavour is not up to much unless flavoured with currants or berries, used it mainly in mincemeat. Maybe its better eaten raw...
    • 28 Sep 2008  BLETCHLEY MILTON KEYNES, United Kingdom
      I discovered this apple about 35 years ago. Every year the manager of the friut shop would ring to tell me they were in.I never found that apple again after the shop closed down, until today when my brother informed me that he has a tree at his farm.I have just eaten one again after about thirty years of being Howgateless.They are the best!There is no apple better in my opinion.
    • 04 Aug 2008  LONDON, United Kingdom
      I agree - why cook it! It's a great eating apple!
    • 29 Jul 2008  LANCASHIRE, United Kingdom
      Many years ago I purchased a Howgate Wonder on the advice of a nursery man but soon found that the apples remained hard even when cooked for a considerable period of time. It was replaced with a Bramley Seedling that in my opinion is a much better cooking apple.
    • 19 Feb 2008  OXFORDSHIRE, United Kingdom
      Quite agree with Clarissa - very nice raw!
    • 10 Dec 2007  WEST VIRGINIA, United States
      Is it possible to import apple scion wood from England? Vernon Kerns
    • 14 Oct 2007  LINCOLNSHIRE, United Kingdom
      Why spoil this delicious apple by cooking it? It is one of the best flavoured eating apples around, and a very good keeper as well. This year the skins are a bit scabby, but still taste lovely.

    Tree register

    United States

    United Kingdom



    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2023 season

    • 12th May  2023  - tree owned by Stuart in Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
    • 20th April  2023  - tree owned by James in Westport, Ireland

    2022 season

    • 7th May  2022  - tree owned by James in Glynn, Ireland
    • 4th May  2022  - tree owned by Stuart in Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom

    2014 season

    • 14th May  2014  - tree owned by Neale in Methilhill, United Kingdom

    2012 season

    • 29th April  2012  - tree owned by Geoff in York, United Kingdom

    2011 season

    • 25th April  2011  - tree owned by David in Kilham, United Kingdom
    • 22nd April  2011  - tree owned by Dr in Petersfield, United Kingdom
    • 21st April  2011  - tree owned by Geoff in York, United Kingdom

    2010 season

    • 11th May  2010  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom
    • 7th May  2010  - tree owned by Geoff in York, United Kingdom
    • 6th May  2010  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom
    • May  2010  - tree owned by Mr in Southampton, United Kingdom
    • 5th April  2010  - tree owned by Lesley in Marple, United Kingdom

    2009 season

    • 1st May  2009  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom
    • May  2009  - tree owned by Mr in Southampton, United Kingdom
    • 26th April  2009  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom

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

    Harvest records for this variety

    2023 season

    • 1st week October  2023  - tree owned by James in Westport, Ireland

    2011 season

    • 3rd week October  2011  - tree owned by David in Kilham, United Kingdom
    • 2nd week October  2011  - tree owned by Geoff in York, United Kingdom
    • September  2011  - tree owned by Barry in Norwich, United Kingdom

    2010 season

    • 3rd week October  2010  - tree owned by David in Kilham, United Kingdom
    • 3rd week October  2010  - tree owned by Geoff in York, United Kingdom
    • 3rd week September  2010  - tree owned by Mr in Southampton, United Kingdom
    • 2nd week September  2010  - tree owned by Dr in Petersfield, United Kingdom
    • September  2010  - tree owned by Barry in Norwich, United Kingdom

    2009 season

    • 2nd week October  2009  - tree owned by Geoff in York, United Kingdom
    • October  2009  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom
    • October  2009  - tree owned by Barry in Norwich, United Kingdom
    • 2nd week September  2009  - tree owned by David in Kilham, United Kingdom
    • September  2009  - tree owned by Mr in Southampton, United Kingdom


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Parentage: Blenheim Orange x Newton Wonder
    • Originates from: England, United Kingdom
    • Introduced: 1915
    • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1962-016


    • Awards: RHS AGM (current)
    • Country of origin: United Kingdom
    • Period of origin: 1900 - 1949
    • Leaf colour: Green
    • Popularity: Best sellers
    • Annual cycle: Deciduous


    • Picking season: Late
    • Keeping (of fruit): 3 months or more
    • Flavour quality: Average
    • Flavour style (apples): Sharper
    • Cooking result: Textured puree
    • Discoloration of fruit: Oxidising
    • Cropping: Heavy
    • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening
    • Fruit persistence: Persistent
    • Food uses: Culinary
    • Food uses: Juice
    • Food uses: Traditional cooker
    • Picking period: early October
    • Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators


    • Gardening skill: Average
    • Flowering group: 3
    • Vigour: Vigorous
    • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
    • Organic culture: Suitable
    • Self-fertility: Partially self-fertile


    • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Cold hardiness (RHS): H6 (to -20C)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cold (< 20C / 67F)

    Other qualities

    • Disease resistance: Good
    • Bitter pit: Very resistant

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer Howgate Wonder apple trees for sale:

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Howgate Wonder:

    United Kingdom


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

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