KIKU® is a red sport of Fuji. Sports are natural mutations which occasionally arise when a new shoot starts to grow from the main stem or branch of a tree. This happens in many types of plants, and can affect the blossom, leaves or fruit, which may look somewhat different on that branch from the rest of the tree. Apple growers favour sports which cause the fruit to be better coloured than the original variety, and the most famous sport is probably Red Delicious, a redder-colored mutation of the original Delicious apple. Sports usually differ only in visual appearance, and the flavour and growing characteristics are generally the same or very similar to the original variety.
Kiku was discovered in 1990 by Luis Braun, an Italian fruit grower who was touring an orchard of Fuji apples in Japan, and noticed a branch on one tree had different-looking apples. He went on to propagate examples in Italy and eventually created the KIKU® trademark.
USDA identification images for Kiku
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.
This variety is a sport (natural genetic mutation) of: Fuji
Parents and other ancestors of this variety
- 31 Aug 2023 Glen FillippBest apple I've ever eaten. Best taste best meat best peel. But we haven't seen any in over a year
- 23 Jan 2021 BrendaGA, United StatesYes, I love apples but last year I had the experience of buying Some apples called Kiku wow !!! once I bit into the apple 🍎 my taste buds began to 💃 ,,,, the favor was so sweet, juicy and satisfying,,,,,,I love these apples 🍎,,,,,,These are the only apples I purchase an have in my house 🏡 Kiku are the Sweetest Apples on the planet 🌎 I shop At Kroger grocery in ATL GA......... Bc
- 29 Feb 2020 Alexandra RekersKY, United StatesThe Kiku is the best apple I’ve EVER eaten. It’s sweet, crispy, juicy, and just plain delicious! They are only available for a month or two the beginning of the year so I buy several dozen so I can enjoy them for months to come. I’ve learned if I store the Kiku apples in a cool location that they will keep up to a year - when I don’t eat them all before then 😁
- 24 Mar 2019 SharonIL, United StatesThis apple is better than a Honeycrisp. Super juicy and firm. Lots of flavor. My favorite apple now.
- 13 Mar 2019 GenaAZ, United StatesThis is a great apple to eat as a snack, used to be a honeycrisp fan and this is equal flavor, and characteristics. Love it!
- 10 Mar 2019 MomoPA, United StatesTo me the best apple I've ever tasted was the Honeycrisp. That was until I tried the Kiku. I've never been a big fan of Fuji apples but the Kiku is absolutely phenomenal! They are sweet but not overpowering, juicy, and have no tartness to them like the Honeycrisp. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite between the Kiku and the Honeycrisp but all other Apples cannot compare to these two in my opinion.
- 21 Feb 2018 KendraOHIO, United StatesI wasn't the biggest apple eater before. I love all things sweet so this apple was WONDERFUL. I'm in love!
- 04 Dec 2016 MooreOHIO, United StatesThis month a new apple, Kiku showed up at the local IGA. Very large pretty apple. Reminds us of Fuji and just about as sweet. We were not wowed by it like we are with Pink Lady or Honeycrisp. It was also more expensive- $2. a lbs. which meant our three apples were $4.92. Way too much for regular apple eating.
- 01 Mar 2016 Anne DrakeUnited StatesJuiciest, crispest, and sweetest apple I've ever eaten (and that includes Jazz, Fuji, and Honeycrisp). And they're long lasting too, which is good because I've been carting them x-country from Colorado!
- 29 Feb 2016 SamanthaOREGON, United StatesI love these! The Kiku reminds me of a Fuji with a sweeter, softer skin, and a juicier texture. Where Fuji apples are occasionally chalky, the Kiku is consistently crisp. The ones I've seen are generally larger than most Fuji apples, and they have a lovely streaked skin.
- 01 Feb 2016 SophieCALIFORNIA, United StatesWas very "eh" about apples in general until I tried a kiku. All I can say is now I am a BIG FAN. Would recommend trying with peanut butter, I like Jiffy :]
- 01 Feb 2016 DonUnited StatesWorld class eating apple. I found this in Kroger. These particular Kiku's were Giants- nearly twice as big as the Fuji's. Sweet, crunchy almost a meal in itself. I hope I can find more.
- 11 Aug 2015 Joyce SulahianFL, United StatesPublix supermarket in Florida carried this apple, recommended to me by the fruit/produce manager. The most delicious eating apple I ever had. Not to be missed. Enjoy wherever and whenever you can.
- 17 Sep 2014 Bianca NewmeyerMI, United StatesKiku was a new variety to me, I saw it in my local Kroger store and decided to try it. I had never experienced " love at first bite" until now. The sweetest apple I have ever eaten, right amount of cruch and the texture, perfect. I returned to purchase more, but to my dismay, they were out and don't know when they will get next supply.
- 12 Jul 2014 Charlie HolmesTX, United StatesNum num num num num num num num num (ad infinitum)
- 05 Jun 2014 Elio EnidiasCA, United StatesLucky grocery store had these so I decided to try one. They were the most expensive apple on the rack. The appearance is similar to an unripe Gravenstein; heavily striped. The taste was rather unremarkable. Similar to a Fuji with perhaps a more pronounced and sour skin. Not a terrible eating apple but not one I will go out of my way to get.
- 14 Aug 2013 SonyaAK, United StatesI was a non-apple-eater until I tried this apple about 3 months ago. I was instantly addicted and has no idea an apple could taste that good. Now that I have been properly introduced to the world of apples, I try new varieties all the time, holding the Kiku apple as the standard by which all apples are judged. I even "liked" Kiku Apples on Facebook.
- 03 Jul 2013 Chaz DittellFL, United StatesReminds me of Fuji, but whereas Fuji has a slightly sour "undertaste," Kiku doesn't -- so it tastes sweeter. Also Kiku is smaller than Fuji, so I can easily eat 2 when I would normally eat 1 apple. All in all, a truly enjoyable taste. Currently at Publix in bags of a dozen.
- 09 Jun 2013 HenryIL, United StatesFugi has been my favorite for sometime but Kiku and Ambrosia will make their mark in how growers plant trees in the future. Long growing season for Kiku, will it adapt in Michigan weather?
- 02 May 2013 gHUGHES, United StatesFirst experience... where have you been? Only one orchard in US?
- 05 Apr 2013 eFLORIDA, United StatesI used to work for an apple packer and have tasted just about every apple variety that is commercially grown today. Just tried my first Kiku apple and was pleasantly surprised. The texture and juiciness were similar to Fuji and Gala, but I picked up on a hint of grape-y or fruity flavor that made me want to keep eating it, just to be sure it was there. My chemistry training indicates that this is probably due to some level of methyl anthranylate in the fruit, a compound more common in grapes and strawberries. I haven't tasted this in Fuji, but perhaps it is part of the genetic mutation. Whatever it is, I am glad for another great variety for people to look for and enjoy.
- 23 Mar 2013 Richard BohnWA, United StatesKiku ~ love at first bite ~ ? ~
- 15 Mar 2013 Cousin JuliusMA, United StatesMeh. They're ok. No honeycrisp, that's for sure.
- 04 Mar 2013 ChristianKENTUCKY, United StatesMy local Whole Foods Market has started selling these, and from the first time I ate one they quickly become my favorite. They're sweet but not too sweet, big, crisp, and without a doubt they're the juiciest apples I've ever had. When you cut them open, they're basically ooze liquid. And their core is so moist, it has like this slimy covering that really holds the juice in. All in all, I highly recommend this apple.
- 04 Mar 2013 Marc AubeONTARIO, CanadaJust bought my first few KIKU apples after noticing them as a new item at out grocery store. I'm an occasional apple eater but not anymore....as long as they are available on the shelf, I'll be a regular eater. My wife even loves them and by heart she's a MacIntosher....not sure she will be for long.
- 02 Mar 2013 SuzanneTEXAS, United StatesMy husband and I are always looking for great apples. We like to try new varieties when we see them. This apple is at the top of our list after trying for the first time yesterday. Sweet and crisp. I hope to see it in our market for years to come. It will make a great addition to our growing list of tasty treats.
- 06 Feb 2013 Aaron tUnited StatesTastes like a Macintosh to me. Yellow delicious are sweeter by far. I would say I had a poor yeild, but these are trade marked and supposedly follow strict rules. I would say all in all... It's an apple, nothing special.
- 30 Jan 2013 Henry BrayMISSOURI, United StatesThis apple was on sale at my local grocery store, so even though I had never heard of it, I decided to buy a couple. After being in the fridge at work for a couple days I took one out to try it. It was so good I had to share a slice with one of my co-workers who also eats apples. This will be my top pick for as long as I can find them at the store.
- 16 Jan 2013 KieranUnited StatesKiku apples blow my mind. I eat 2-3 a day.
- 10 Dec 2012 AliceFLORIDA, United StatesI found Kiku apples in a Publix grocery store. I had never heard of them, but I found them sweet, but not too sweet, and crisp -- utterly delicious, They are all I want now.
- 08 Feb 2012 GordonSC, United StatesI AGREE WITH THE TASTE COMMENTS ABOVE. IT IS A CRISP AND SWEET APPLE. MAYBE THE SWEETEST. I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO GET THE TREES TO GROW MY OWN. DOES ANYONE KNOW? IF SO =, GO TO MY GARDEN BLOG AT WWW.SEAISLANDGARDEN.COM AND LET ME KNOW.
- 22 Jan 2012 TeriPA, United StatesI originally thought I was buying Fuji apples. When at the register they rang up as Kiku. I never heard of this apple and since I was in a hurry, I didnt exchanged them. This apple taste so good I decided to look it up and see where it came from. Best apple ever. Very sweet,juicy and crisp.
- 15 Jan 2012 Chris MilesPA, United StatesThis variety just hit our Downtown Whole Foods Store and all we can say is keep 'em coming! This apple beats our previous favorite, Fuji- Understandable, as it's a sport from the Fuji anyhow. Obviously we'll keep mixing it up for variety's sake but so far we just can't get enough of Kiku's lovely color, great texture and sweet taste.
- 08 Jan 2012 PatMD, United StatesI discovered kiku apples at Whole Foods about a month ago. It is the best apple I have ever tasted! It is the sweetest apple I have ever tasted! I have yet to get one that wasn't sweet or crispy and I have bought at least 100+ of them. I will never buy another variety of apple as long as I can find a kiku apple!
- 27 Jan 2011 R.MICHIGAN, United StatesJust tried my first two Kiku apples. They are very aromatic, with an almost floral scent. Very sweet, crisp, juicy--sweeter and juicier than Fuji. Great apple for fresh eating.
We don't have any registered trees for this variety yet. If you have a Kiku tree you can register it here.
- Species: Malus domestica - Apple
- Parentage: Fuji
- Originates from: Italy
- Developed by: Luis Braun
- Fruit colour: Red
- Country of origin: Italy
- Picking season: Very late
- Keeping (of fruit): 3 months or more
- Flavour style (apples): Sweeter
- Cropping: Heavy
- Food uses: Eating fresh
- Flowering group: 4
- Ploidy: Diploid
- Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
- Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
- Climate suitability: Warm climates
Where to buy fresh fruit
The following orchards grow Kiku:
- Old Ciderpress Farm, Westmoreland