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

King David apple

King David is one of the lesser-known apples that were promoted by the famous Stark Brothers nursery at the end of the 19th century.  The tree was discovered as a chance seedling and the parentage is not clear but most authorities agree that Jonathan is one of the parents, and it has the aromatic qualities associated with that variety.  The other parent is believed to be Winesap or Arkansas Black, and visually it has a resemblance to the latter.

King David is well-suited to the warmer southern states, and has good resistance to fireblight, a bacterial disease which is endemic to the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

King David identification photos

UK National Fruit Collection
UK National Fruit Collection
©Crown Copyright more >

  • King David
    Copyright: Orange Pippin

  • King David tree
    Copyright: M. Gallagher

Visitor reviews

  • 21 Oct 2017  Mike,  OR, United States
    I am delighted to have finally found the name of this apple, which I first tasted from Black Diamond Orchards in Ithica, NY many years ago, but had forgotten the name of. Got one recently at a market here in Portland OR and instantly recognized it on first bite. Visually it's like a large AK Black, but much more aromatic and a bit sharper in acid. In my opinion, a more complex balance than any of its parents. What makes this variety most unique to me though is the heady, aromatic ("foxy") flavor of Muscat grape on the finish. I've never tasted that in an apple before or since. It's like those Japanese gummies. For that reason alone this is getting a place in my small garden. I can only imagine the cider and preserves this would make.
  • 23 Oct 2015  Robert Vaughan,  CA, United States
    We planted a King David approximately 4 years ago and grew it espalier style on my fence, which runs north to south. This year we had approximately 30 apples with each weighing approximately 1lb. The taste is great and no insects have hurt the apples, even without any pesticide spraying. It is sweet and spicy and our favorite apple.
  • 01 Oct 2015  Gary,  MISSOURI, United States
    I went to Bucks orchard last year and he told me he only had two trees of King David apples,so I bought peck and loved them!
  • 24 Sep 2015  Tim In Albion,  MENDOCINO COUNTY, CA, United States
    My favorite of the 50+ varieties I grow. Intense sweet/tart flavor, fair keeper, but its most remarkable charactieristic is the flavor it contributes to cider. More of the apple flavor persists through fermentation than with any other apple I've tried, including many English and French cider cultivars. It also contributes a nice soft astringency, so apparently it develops tannins in my cool-summer climate. Wonderful!
  • 07 Sep 2015  P. Seburn,  NW VA, United States
    Got first good crop this year on m111, perhaps, 50lbs - took about 7 rs. Wonderful winesappy intense sweet tart taste, firm white flesh, most beautiful red apples when fully ripe.
  • 04 Jun 2015  Doug,  WA / USA, United States
    Have six King Davids, all producing perfectly. Taste is the finest blend of sweet and sour in the Universe. Bought 4 for a backpack trip ten years ago and consumed all four in 20 minutes. Went and bought trees.
  • 12 Jul 2014  David,  NC, United States
    I planted this tree to honor my collies who passed away 7 years ago. It had not produced much, but after extream cold this spring, much to my surprise, it is full. Sadie loved apples, and I would sit on my porch and cut 3 apples up and she would eat every bite. Sitting on the porch now and looking at the tree and missing Sadie and Shadow.
  • 25 Jan 2014  Leona Tichenor,  United States
    Tasted King David as a child in an orchard in Bullitt County, KY and loved it.
  • 17 Sep 2013  Amanda,  WISCONSIN, United States
    I bought two of these trees 9 years ago. One was girdled by wildlife during the winter and the one that remains hasn't really done much. I see I'm on the edge of the zones for it really and we can get late frosts. This year my other trees are prolific but this tree has nothing but an abundance of sucker branches. I'm hoping to make some adjustments to get it producing.
  • 19 Oct 2011  Dave Liezen,  WASHINGTON, United States
    Went to Feil Pioneer Fruit Stand just north of Wenatchee last Saturday and bought some of these apples - enough for us to try and for some other people. Unbelievable flavors: rich, sweet, spicy, and my wife likens it to caramel, too. Yep, want this growing out back.
  • 19 Sep 2011  Dave Liezen,  WASHINGTON, United States
    The article I'd mentioned earlier sounded so compelling, and I see records from Maine that indicate King David might do fine here, so I hope to graft some scions onto some root stock already in the ground spring of '12 and see how they do. Will keep you posted.
  • 31 Aug 2011  P. Seburn,  NW VA, United States
    Hi Dave - (was just in your beautiful state last week!) My tree is not flowering yet (maybe 3 yrs old?), but getting quite large. Hopefully flowers next year.
  • 10 Aug 2011  Dave Liezen,  WASHINGTON, United States
    Patrick: I live in Spokane, WA, zone 5-6 and am considering this cv. When does your tree bloom? This site states it blooms in group 3, in The Best Apples To Buy And Grow it is said to bloom late, contemporaneous with Arkansas Black, which I would put at group 5 or 6. Thanks, Dave Liezen
  • 13 Jan 2011  P. Seburn,  NW VA, United States
    This is an excellent tasting and beautiful apple, with winesap overtones. I have one growing and it seems to be very grower friendly and disease resistant so far (fireblight can be an issue here).

Tree register

United States



  • Hayden in Winslow, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
  • Leanne in Crabtree, TAS

Spring blossom records for this variety

2019 season

  • 2nd May  2019  - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States

2018 season

  • 15th May  2018  - tree owned by Jim in Mequon, United States
  • 27th April  2018  - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States

2017 season

  • April  2017  - tree owned by Phil in Laguna Niguel, United States
  • April  2017  - tree owned by Jim in Mequon, United States

2016 season

  • July  2016  - tree owned by Phil in Laguna Niguel, United States

2012 season

  • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by James in Estacada, United States
  • 7th May  2012  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
  • 25th March  2012  - tree owned by Mark in Harvest, United States

2011 season

  • May  2011  - tree owned by Kris in Holden, United States
  • 4th April  2011  - tree owned by Mark in Harvest, United States

2010 season

  • May  2010  - tree owned by Kris in Holden, United States
  • 11th April  2010  - tree owned by Mark in Harvest, United States

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

Harvest records for this variety

2018 season

  • 4th week October  2018  - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States
  • 2nd week October  2018  - tree owned by Jim in Mequon, United States

2017 season

  • October  2017  - tree owned by Phil in Laguna Niguel, United States

2016 season

  • November  2016  - tree owned by Phil in Laguna Niguel, United States

2015 season

  • October  2015  - tree owned by Roger in Madison Heights, United States

2011 season

  • 2nd week September  2011  - tree owned by Kris in Holden, United States
  • 4th week August  2011  - tree owned by Mark in Harvest, United States

2010 season

  • 3rd week September  2010  - tree owned by Kris in Holden, United States
  • 2nd week September  2010  - tree owned by Mark in Harvest, United States


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Jonathan and Winesap or Arkansas Black
  • Originates from: Washington County, Arkansas, United States
  • Introduced: 1893
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1558
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1943-006


  • Fruit colour: Red
  • Flesh colour: Yellow to Very Yellow
  • Flesh colour: White to Cream, pale yellow
  • Fruit size: Small
  • Fruit size: Very large
  • Fruit size: Variable
  • Fruit size: Medium
  • Fruit size: Large
  • Fruit shape: Flat-round
  • Fruit shape: Short-round-conical
  • Fruit shape: Round
  • Fruit shape: Round-conical
  • Fruit shape: Conical
  • Fruit shape: Oblong-conical
  • Fruit shape: Oblong


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


  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Flowering period: Mid season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Large
  • Precocity: Precocious
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
  • General disease resistance: Good
  • Period of origin: 1850 - 1899


  • Climate suitability: Warm climates
  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates

Parents and other ancestors of this variety

  • Jonathan (parent)
  • Winesap (parent) - Probable parent (or Arkansas Black, one of its offspring)

See also:


  • Scab  - Some resistance
  • Bitter pit  - Some susceptibility
  • Fireblight  - Very resistant
  • Cedar apple rust  - Some resistance

Where to buy fresh fruit

United Statesmap >

©2019 Orange Pippin Ltd. All rights reserved.

You may not reproduce any of the content of this website without our express permission.
We do not accept any liability for loss or damage incurred as a result of any errors in the content of this website.