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

Jonagold apple

Jonagold is high quality American apple, developed in the 1940s. As its name suggests, this is a cross between a Jonathan and a Golden Delicious. It is quite widely grown, and unusually for a Golden Delicious cross, is not limited to the warm apple regions, although it is not often found in the UK.

Jonagold is a large apple, and makes a substantial snack. If you are struggling to eat your 5 portions of fruit and veg per day, this can help!  The large size is a good clue that this is a triploid apple variety, with 3 sets of genes.  As a result it is a poor pollinator of other apple varieties, and needs two different nearby compatible pollinating apple varieties.  Golden Delicious is well-known as a good pollinator of other apple varieties, but cannot pollinate Jonagold.

The colouring is yellow of Golden Delicious, with large flushes of red. This is a crisp apple to bite into, with gleaming white flesh. The flavour is sweet but with a lot of balancing acidity - a very pleasant apple.

Jonagold's other parent, Jonathan, is an old American variety which was discovered in the 1820s.

In the UK Jonagold sometimes appears in supermarkets in the spring packaged as "value" apples, often from Holland, and at a very low price.  We are trying to find out more about these apples, but it seems that they are mainly "second" quality apples which are nearing the end of their storage life and are surplus to other uses.

Jonagold is widely-grown by commercial growers, and there are a number of more highly-coloured sports.  Jonagored is probably the most widely known of these.  Others include: Decosta, Primo, Rubinstar, Red Jonaprince.

Jonagold identification photos

UK National Fruit Collection
UK National Fruit Collection
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  • Jonagold
    Copyright: Orange Pippin

Visitor reviews

  • 30 Jan 2021  Bob,  WA, United States
    I find what others say here to be true to my experience with Jonagold. excellent flavour. About 60% scab resistance in a wet scab prone area. A great all around apple. It can keep well if kept cold enough and ventilated. I might add that home growers might have more problems with corkspot and bitterpit than with other types if their soil is low in calcium.
  • 04 Nov 2020  Viola,  STOCKHOLM, Sweden
    I tasted this variant and it’s not the best but not the worst. To my surprise, it was very, VERY squishy and soft. I continued to eat and it got softer and sweeter. I took a peek at the flesh and there were big brown parts. I don’t know if I just got a bad one or if this is how they’re supposed to be. 4/10 will probably eat again.
  • 24 Oct 2020  Betty West,  OHIO, United States
    Best apples I have had. Can’t find them in Dayton. I got these at the food bank I love them
  • 07 Oct 2019  Jeff Larke,  LOLLAND, Denmark
    Smashing for juice, which given their size and the fact that supermarkets in the UK dont like to buy big apples, is what they usually end up getting picked for. A shame.
  • 09 Oct 2018  Frank,  CORNWALL, United Kingdom
    Best flavoured apple I have grown so far. Yes it has scab here in Cornwall, but who cares, it tastes amazing. though prone to canker, only had one case on one branch in the last 9 years, so not that bad I thought. If i'd ever move, I would plant it again.
  • 07 Nov 2015  Gary,  CALIFORNIA ,, United States
    I just Reid these for the first time today got them at the local girders store Super King for 89 cents a pound. They were amazing crisp ,juicy, and full of flavor! The best apple I have ever tasted in all my years! The people who complained these apples were soggy and tasteless are nuts ! They must haves not had a Janigold because these are amazing!
  • 05 Sep 2015  Rose,  NC, United States
    I normally buy Gala apples at the grocery store and love them. Today I went to our local Farmer's Market to see if the apples were in yet. There were no Gala apples so I asked the vendor to recommend one of his eating apples that were sweet and soft and not so crisp. He pointed me toward the Jonagold. I had never even heard of these apples. I have to admit, these apples are very good! Everything he said they were. I will definitely be buying more of these delicious apples!!!!
  • 21 Aug 2015  Dr. Sloan,  OR, United States
    This is my favorite eating apple when it is fresh and my biggest disappointment when it has been offered after long storage in the grocery. I imagine that most of the negative comments are due to the cheap mistreated version of this great apple.
  • 25 Jul 2015  Richard,  NORTH CAROLINA, United States
    I first discovered this apple while on a tour/field trip in my Fruit crops course at Co. State Univ. The orchard was at a fairly high elevation near Cedaredge/Paonia area. Picked right off the tree in September, and it was the best apple I had ever tasted, crisp, juicy, sweet (not too sweet), with a little tartness. I asked the grower why they were not more of them in the stores, and his answer was that they are not good keepers, and best if eaten within a month after picking. So I bought my own tree and have had heavy crops of large delicious apples for the last 15 years. We do not spray, so we get a little spotting and such minor imperfections on the outside, but just bite into one and you have a little bit of heaven. Western states which have hot dry days and cool nights, do develop a little more flavor, but for Western NC, it is an awfully good apple.
  • 18 May 2015  Jacqueline,  ONTARIO, Canada
    Jonagold, where have you been all my life? I recently bought a bunch of these apples at the supermarket as they were on sale and the cheapest. I took a chance and am hooked! Beautiful, large, and ever so tasty & crispy. My other favourite apples are Mutsu and Empires and this is comparable.
  • 15 Nov 2014  Ann Binder,  United States
    My favorite, favorite apple. crisp, juicy, firm, with some sweetness but not as much as honeycrips. Comparable to empires or mutsus in texture but sweeter. Cameo is very similar.
  • 21 Oct 2014  Angela Richard,  NY, United States
    It sounds from the comments like this is not worth it from a supermarket. But, if you can find a farm with them, I think they are fantastic. I picked some this weekend, and they are honey sweet, with a little bit of a bite. They are huge!! I can barely finish one. I highly recommend this apple if you like Honeycrisps, but wish they were sweeter. Mine were crisp, more sweet than tart, and just plain tasty. I wish they kept longer so I could have picked more!
  • 21 Jun 2014  Byron Wiese,  IA, United States
    I agree with nearly every comment here. I have bought the best and not so best tasting apple every at the SAME STORE. Different batches...all depends on when their picked so I'm buying my OWN tree. The triple chromosome pollination factor worries me a bit but I figure it's worth a try.
  • 01 Apr 2014  Mary,  IA, United States
    I've only tried the ones at the grocery store which were grown in Michagan. They were crisp and juicy, and a little on the tart side. I prefer those traits in an apple, but these really lacked in flavor, so I probably won't buy them again.
  • 20 Mar 2014  Patrick,  MARYLAND, United States
    Jonagold is one of those apples that can taste either extraordinary or no-so-special. It depends on where you get them. I've yet to taste a supermarket Jonagold that warranted the price. Sorry but they had little flavor. Now the ones I've bought from family owned orchards up in the Mount Airy/Frederick area were phenomenal: crisp, juicy, dense, and good strong apple flavor complemented by a subtle pear-drop sweetness inherited from Golden Delicious. The overall tasting experience is a mouthful of fruity goodness. Now is it as good as Jonathan? Hard question because it will depend on what you are looking for in an apple. Jonathan's have an intense apply flavor combined with a rich spiciness that is lacking in Jonagold. B-U-T Jonagold has more complex fruity flavors. Personally I prefer Jonathan, but I usually buy both when given a chance. Both do well as cooking applies but I prefer Jonathan for pies. For the home gardener Jonathan is also better because the size of the tree is more manageable and it is partially self-fertile. Jonagold will require a pollinator.
  • 11 Mar 2014  Elio Enidias,  CA, United States
    Blech! I got two of these from Lucky supermarket. They were terrible. Soggy and tasteless. And yes, they were really waxy. They weren't cheap either.
  • 08 Dec 2013  Chris,  CO, United States
    Cottony and unremarkable. One bite and I'm done. They're on sale everywhere, ALL THE TIME - the mark of a variety ruined by volume apple growers who need red, easy to ship apples.
  • 18 Nov 2013  Jon,  BEIJING, United Kingdom
    Recently I found that Jonagold (or ??? in Chinese) are grown here in the northeast of China. No cheaper though than other common varieties such as Fuji or Gala. They are fairly large, yellow with red stipes, quite attactive fruit. Flavour is bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter. The skin has a nice stong apple smell, but an unpleasant waxy coating. Is the waxiness common?
  • 21 Oct 2013  Tara,  OHIO, United States
    Purchased these at Richard Bros near Jackson Ohio. Extremely large and juicy this year. We usually prefer golden delicious, but as we were late visiting, this was a super replacement. They are thin skinned and quite juicy, and we agree with the tasting notes. Our were 50/50 blend of yellow and red.
  • 18 Oct 2013  Jason,  NJ, United States
    Got couple from an Asian grocery store who gets them from NY orchard. Very crisp and nicely flavored. I liked the balance of sweetness and tartness as I usually had it as dessert after meals. I am not sure if its due to their large size, but I felt that the apple was juicier and overall just better when served in slices rather than eaten whole. I hope to go back and get couple more if they're still there.
  • 23 Sep 2013  Lizabeth P.,  NY, United States
    My new addiction!! I just discovered these apples while apple picking, and OMG - the best ever! A wonderful infusion of sweet and tart. Perfectly crunchy! They filled the majority of my sack! I brought a few to work, now all my co-workers want IN!!
  • 03 Jul 2013  Colin Richards,  DEVON, United Kingdom
    Grown & eaten fresh off the tree this apple is super.Supermarket apples are nowhere near as nice,hence these mixed reviews.Being a triploid the large size puts off many potential buyers.Need regular spraying programme in wet climate here in SouthWest,otherwise blackspot infected
  • 28 Jan 2013  Christopher O.,  WISCONSIN, United States
    When this apple is good, it's one of my favorites, as good as any apple I've tasted anywhere, but sometimes it's mediocre, mostly thanks to when they're picked and how they're stored and displayed by the wholesalers and grocers, I'm guessing. They also seem to come in different strains. One is larger with a more golden and a little rougher peel, not quite russeted, which goes mealy a little quicker than the other strain which has a smoother peel and is slightly smaller, crisper,redder, and has a better balanced flavor. In Frank Browning's book "Apples" written in 1999, Jonagold was the most planted apple variety in Europe at the time it was written, which probably explains the low prices some of you have seen over there.
  • 22 Jan 2013  Susan,  NEVADA, United States
    I was very proud to hear this delicious apple that so many people love was created at Cornell University.
  • 09 Jan 2013  Bo and Brent,  NY, United States
    Bo - tastes like a direct cross between a Red Delicious and a Golden Delicious. I think it misses the mark as it lacks the honey flavor of a golden delicious delicious and the crispness of a red delicious. Brent- A big apple with a somewhat crisp finish. Not as sweet as some dessert apples.
  • 05 Jan 2013  Gordon Thompson,  ONTARIO, Canada
    Actually the most delicious apple when picked fresh from the tree (Ontario, Canada). I am surprised by the lack of flavour reported by some reviewers, my guess is either the apples weren't fresh or the soil/climate is it ideal for flavour outside NE North America.
  • 21 Nov 2012  Aaron r Ely,  WV, United States
    Totally love this apple! One of the bigger dessert apples.
  • 15 Jun 2012  Matt,  TEXAS, United States
    The Jonagold is my current addiction. When they are in season, there is nothing I'd rather eat. They are sweet, have a hint of tart, are crispy and firm. I am in search of an opposite season apple because during the 6 months I cannot find Jonagold, my apple consumption drops off precipitously.
  • 08 Mar 2012  Philip Robinson,  DERBYSHIRE, United Kingdom
    Well I agree its not the best tasting apple, but its fantastic value for money especially considering the large quality fruits. At my supermarket they are 5 times cheaper than Jazz or Fuji (my favourites). They are juicy and I like the texture - but poor flavour.
  • 15 Feb 2012  Jessica,  GEORGIA, United States
    I must be honest, I didn't like this apple. The taste was wonderful, but the texture of the flesh threw me. I like my apples very VERY crisp, and it just didn't live up to my standards. A very good apple taste-wise though.
  • 18 Oct 2011  Kenz,  IDAHO, United States
    I recently found Jonagolds at a regional grocery store and bought them because they were big, and they had a special. Little did I know that I was about to bite into the best apple I've ever had. Great to eat with peanut butter (chunky!) and great plain too. I love the taste where it's not too tart but not too sweet. The only problem is, most stores don't carry them!
  • 03 Jul 2011  Jic,  SURREY, United Kingdom
    The absolute worst apple variety available on the mass market. They always look beautiful, but taste of nothing. I'd rather go without apples than eat Jonagolds.
  • 13 Jan 2011  P. Seburn,  NW VA, United States
    Our local Costco sells them from PA. Apples from the US northeast are the best d/t the climate and limestone soil imparting excellent flavor. Jonagolds are a perfect combo of tart/sweet and firm but juicy. There only weakness is they soften a little faster if not refigerated. I've a tree growing them -but I think someone took the first dozen or so. Not surprised.
  • 12 Nov 2010  M. Reed,  TX, United States
    Our botany class has an apple tasting each semester. For fall 2010, this was the clear winner--crisp, juicy, sweet and tart. Seldom disappoints!
  • 06 Oct 2010  Dave,  WASHINGTON, United States
    An excellent apple. I grow several strains. For baking by far the best is Jonaprince. It's flavor is tops!
  • 26 Apr 2010  Ursula Hawkins,  ONTARIO, Canada
    I am planning of planting a new apple tree to replace one that I have lost. I have heard a lot of good things about the Jonagold Apple. I am looking for an apple that is good eating as well as a good cooking apple. Am I on the right track? I would be interested in your comments.
  • 16 Apr 2010  David Hunt,  BEDS, United Kingdom
    Regarding the cheapness in supermarkets, I offer two possible explanations: 1. They are often irregular in shape and size. This devalues them in the eyes of the big retailers. 2. I've noticed that the supermarkets where I shop only put out one small box at a time. This makes me wonder if retailers are using it as a loss leader to reduce their average per/kilo price of apples.
  • 15 Nov 2009  Niamh,  IRELAND, Ireland
    Very commanly found grown in Ireland, often organically. Therefore it must be a fairly hardy apple. Some Irish-centric info can be found here....
  • 30 Oct 2009  Geoff Driscoll,  SUTTON SURREY, United Kingdom
    At a farmers' market they selling a multitude of different apples and as I eat an apple every day I was drawn to the one I'd never heard of. I bought a bag of Jonagold. A taste bomb, it is crisp, juicy a big. The best ever.
  • 23 Sep 2009  Linda,  ENGLAND, United Kingdom
    By far the best tasting apple I have ever tried, very similar to the apples I used to eat off my nans tree about 45 years ago I never knew what sort they were and have never found any as nice since until now these taste exactly the same, gorgeous.
  • 01 Sep 2009  Miles Mellonie,  SALE, MANCHESTER, United Kingdom
    This is an important improvement to apple growing quality
  • 08 Jul 2009  John Burgess,  WINSFORD, CHESHIRE, United Kingdom
    What does Rob Barlow use to pollenate his Jonagold?
  • 17 Jun 2009  Rob Barlow,  DAVENHAM CHESHIRE ENGLAND, United Kingdom
    I note the comment " Not grown in UK -- often 2 I have been growing these apples for quite a few years now -- quite succesfully A realy good apple but did not know it was a USA developed
  • 11 Mar 2009  Ray Hobby,  TATURA.VICTORIA.AUSTRALIA, Australia
    I have bought these apples down at Geeveston,a cold area in southern Tasmania.I love anything and everything apple and thes are without doubt the best apples I have ever eaten.
  • 23 Dec 2008  Miranda Phillips,  ST IVES, CORNWALL, United Kingdom
    I'm passionate about apples, and on holiday this October in Macedonia I saw huge crops of Jonagold, Golden Delicious and (a few) Jonathans and Galas being gathered in. I had no idea that Macedonia was a major producer, as the only Jonagold I've seen in the UK have been Dutch, but apparently Macedonia exports mainly to the Gulf States ! I bought Jonagold for the first time as I'll always try a variety I've not seen before - and they were (still are) amazingly cheap. I like them a lot, I enjoy their crisp, slightly orangey sharp/sweetness, their juiciness and the fact that they are good "keepers". Other favourites Egremont russet, crisp cox (there are always some disappointingly soft ones), new season Discovery, James Grieve, Kidd's Orange.
  • 14 Dec 2008  Terry,  SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, United States
    I have never liked apples or even apple pie because I didn't like the taste or the peeling of an apple, then I tried a Gala Apple because of thin skin it was a winner with me. One day while shopping for some apples, I saw a JonaGold and decided to try it. The color was striking and the taste was out of this world, it is by far the best tasting apple ever. I eat one everyday and will be sad when the season is gone I have become addicted to them. The price is a dollar or two cheaper than the rest, but I like that. An apple that is the best tasting ever at an affordable price is a WINNER.
  • 12 Nov 2008  Goran,  BULGARIA, Bulgaria
    The best tasting apples. Very crisp and aromatic. You can notice the fragrance right away when you cut them! There are a sport of Jonagold - "Decoster", with a litle more acidic taste - superior!
  • 11 Jul 2008  Mike Field,  DURHAM UK, United Kingdom
    Half the price of other varieties. Firm, slightly acidic flesh. Best peeled and sliced into segments with a touch of sugar, rather than eaten whole (and I'm not a sweet-tooth). Big enough to make a good baked apple by the looks of it.
  • 24 Jun 2008  Mary,  BOSTON, United States
    Fear not, folks: this variety has been sold Stateside for decades with very few problems and has origins in one of the oldest apple growing regions in the nation. My guess is the ones you are eating are direct from the farm, so you should be fine.
  • 29 May 2008  Sarah Coyle,  TILLATOBA, MS, United States
    Undoubtedly the best tasting apple I have ever tried! My only problem is they are difficult to find in my area. If you like a crisp firm apple the is slightly sweet and tangy at the same time, try these!!
  • 13 May 2008  John,  MELBOURNE, Australia
    It is cheap also in Australia. about $1-2 difference with other varieties. Makes me worry
  • 19 Apr 2008  Kate,  KENT, United Kingdom
    I've had similar concerns to those of Cliff, does anyone know why they are so cheap?
  • 20 Jan 2008  Cliff,  DORSET, ENGLAND, United Kingdom
    I agree with your tasting notes but what worries me is why they are so extremely cheap in s/markets, viz. 27p per kg against 63p per kg + for most other varities. Are they stock-piled somewhere in the EU? Are they as safe to eat? Are they subject more to pests & subsequently sprayed heavily? I would be grateful for your comments. Thanks.
  • 17 Sep 2007  Laura,  CORNELL UNIVERSITY, United States
    This apple variety was created at Cornell University.

Tree register

United States

United Kingdom






New Zealand



Spring blossom records for this variety

2019 season

  • 29th April  2019  - tree owned by Ryan in Vineyard, United States

2018 season

  • 4th May  2018  - tree owned by Cheuk in Amsterdam, Netherlands

2017 season

  • 25th April  2017  - tree owned by Cheuk in Amsterdam, Netherlands

2016 season

  • 2nd May  2016  - tree owned by Erika in Mytholmroyd, United Kingdom

2015 season

  • April  2015  - tree owned by Jamie in Runcorn, United Kingdom

2014 season

  • 12th May  2014  - tree owned by Dennis in Great Meadows, United States
  • 6th May  2014  - tree owned by Danny in Lochore, United Kingdom
  • April  2014  - tree owned by Nicola in Howden, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • 14th May  2013  - tree owned by K. in Warsash, United Kingdom
  • 30th April  2013  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States

2012 season

  • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by James in Estacada, United States
  • 4th May  2012  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
  • 2nd May  2012  - tree owned by Steve in Ferndale, United States
  • 2nd May  2012  - tree owned by Karel in Alem, Netherlands
  • 29th April  2012  - tree owned by Mrs Tri in Redditch, United Kingdom
  • 27th April  2012  - tree owned by Simon in Duleek, Ireland
  • 11th April  2012  - tree owned by Gary in Pleasant Hill, United States
  • 21st March  2012  - tree owned by Randy in Baxley, United States

2011 season

  • May  2011  - tree owned by v in Lucknow, Canada
  • 25th April  2011  - tree owned by Barbara in Gt. Yarmouth, United Kingdom
  • 21st April  2011  - tree owned by Karel in Alem, Netherlands

2009 season

  • 4th April  2009  - tree owned by Mrs Tri in Redditch, United Kingdom

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

Harvest records for this variety

2019 season

  • 1st week September  2019  - tree owned by Dennis in Bradford, United States

2016 season

  • November  2016  - tree owned by Elaine in Mold, United Kingdom
  • October  2016  - tree owned by Erika in Mytholmroyd, United Kingdom

2015 season

  • September  2015  - tree owned by Jamie in Runcorn, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week August  2015  - tree owned by Phillip in Sand Springs, United States

2013 season

  • 3rd week September  2013  - tree owned by Mrs. in Newport, United States
  • 1st week September  2013  - tree owned by in Thawville, United States
  • 3rd week March  2013  - tree owned by Katrina in Nelson, New Zealand

2012 season

  • 1st week November  2012  - tree owned by James in Estacada, United States
  • 1st week October  2012  - tree owned by Steve in Ferndale, United States
  • 1st week October  2012  - tree owned by Lloyd in Beaverton, United States

2011 season

  • 1st week October  2011  - tree owned by v in Lucknow, Canada

2010 season

  • 2nd week November  2010  - tree owned by Brian in , United Kingdom
  • 3rd week September  2010  - tree owned by Ute in Kilfenora, Ireland

2009 season

  • 2nd week September  2009  - tree owned by Mrs Tri in Redditch, United Kingdom


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Golden Delicious x Jonathan
  • Originates from: Geneva, New York, United States
  • Introduced: 1943
  • Developed by: New York State Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1033
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1982-291


  • Flesh colour: White to Cream, pale yellow
  • Fruit size: Very large
  • Fruit size: Medium
  • Fruit size: Large
  • Fruit size: Variable
  • Fruit shape: Round
  • Fruit shape: Round-conical
  • Fruit shape: Conical
  • Fruit shape: Oblong-conical
  • Bultitude apple group: 6. Red flushed, smooth, sweet


  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Uses: Juice
  • Uses: Hard cider
  • Uses: Drying
  • Flavour quality: Very good
  • Flavour quality: Exceptional
  • Flavour style: Sweet/Sharp
  • Flavour style: Aromatic
  • Flavour style: Honeyed / Scented
  • Flavour style: Sharp / refreshing
  • Harvest period: Late season
  • Use / keeping: 1-2 months


  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Flowering period: Mid-Late season
  • Flowering group: 4
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Triploid
  • Pollinating others: Poor
  • Vigour: Large
  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
  • General disease resistance: Poor
  • Period of origin: 1900 - 1949

Other qualities

  • Awards: RHS AGM

Parents and other ancestors of this variety

Offspring of this variety

Sports (natural genetic mutations) of this variety


  • Canker  - Some susceptibility
  • Scab  - Some susceptibility
  • Fireblight  - Some susceptibility
  • Cedar apple rust  - Some susceptibility

Where to buy trees

The following tree nurseries offer Jonagold apple trees for sale:

Where to buy fresh fruit

United States

United Kingdom







  • Cedar-Apple Rust  
    Author: Stephen Vann, University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture (FSA7538)
    Rated as susceptible - control usually needed where CAR is prevalent.
  • Apples for the 21st Century
    Author: Manhart
  • Fruit Expert
    Author: Hessayon

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