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

Lady Apple

Lady Apple

Lady is an old French variety, which remains popular in Europe and North America.  The fruits are small but with a good aromatic flavor.  

Lady Apple is also widely known (particularly in Europe) as Api, after the Forest of Api in Bretagne in western France where it is thought to have been discovered.  Some believe this is the same variety as an apple known in Roman times as Appia, but modern authorities question this.  However it is certainly a very old variety.

Throughout its history this variety has been used for decoration and adornment.  It was popularly used by ladies to mask unpleasant odours.

Lady Apple apple identification images

All images copyright Orange Pippin unless otherwise stated.

  • Lady (Api)
  • Lady (Api)
  • Lady (Api)

USDA identification images for Lady Apple

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.

    Visitor reviews

    • 23 Nov 2023 
      We had an old apple tree tested to see what variety it was and it came back as a McIntosh, parents not discoverable, but grandparent was a Lady or Api. Your photo of the Lady (Api)looks exactly like our apples. And they are small and sweet and when ripe make excellent apple sauce that is pink and no sugar needed.
    • 19 Sep 2018  NY, United States
      We have several old apple trees on our property we purchased and noticed this apple fragrant small almost white with red swipes best apple i have ever eaten must save this old beauty
    • 05 Oct 2016  WASHINGTON, United States
      Bought a bag full of these last year - second time in my life - and kept 'em until Christmas. Imagine my surprise to find almond dominating the aroma! Still hard, juicy and...not enough of them. Got to get this growing nearer to home!
    • 12 Nov 2015  MASSACHUSETTS, United States
      Lip smacking candy sweetness in every tiny crunchy bite. Like Pixie Crunch, these small apples will be a hit in lunchboxes for young school children.
    • 31 Jan 2014  CO, United States
      Freshly picked or fresh out of the box, these apples are amazing. They have a candy-like sweetness that tastes almost floral at times. Great fresh eating apple. The flesh will go soft fairly fast (especially if purchased after they have been shipped all the way from Washington), so eat them quickly! One of my favorite apples I can find in natural foods stores here in CO.
    • 30 Mar 2012  NORTH CAROLINA, United States
      Tiny Lady apple are indeed juicy and sweet flavored apple. However, as noted in some apple catalogs, the peel has more flavor than the apple. Lady apples do well on dwarf stock for container orchardists.
    • 23 Oct 2011  WISCONSIN, United States
      These tiny apples have a great chewy bite and are loaded with juice and sweet flavor. A truly great little snack!
    • 18 Oct 2011  CARDIFF, United States
      A work colleague picked this variety up from a friend's house in Monmouth and he was amazed by the flavour!

    Tree register

    United States

    United Kingdom



    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2016 season

    • 15th May  2016  - tree owned by Brian in Green Bay, United States

    2015 season

    • 10th May  2015  - tree owned by Brian in Green Bay, United States

    2013 season

    • May  2013  - tree owned by Mrs Che in Bingley, United Kingdom

    2012 season

    • April  2012  - tree owned by Mrs Che in Bingley, United Kingdom

    2011 season

    • 23rd April  2011  - tree owned by Mrs Che in Bingley, United Kingdom

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

    Harvest records for this variety

    2012 season

    • 4th week October  2012  - tree owned by Dan in Camano Island, United States


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Originates from: Bretagne, France
    • Introduced: 1628
    • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1982-288


    • Country of origin: France
    • Period of origin: 1600 - 1649
    • Fruit colour: Orange / Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
    • Popularity: Rarely grown
    • Annual cycle: Deciduous


    • Picking season: Late
    • Keeping (of fruit): 1-2 months
    • Flavour quality: Very good
    • Flavour style (apples): Aromatic
    • Cropping: Heavy
    • Fruit persistence: Persistent
    • Food uses: Eating fresh
    • Food uses: Juice
    • Food uses: Hard cider
    • Picking period: early October
    • Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators


    • Gardening skill: Average
    • Flowering group: 3
    • Pollinating others: Average
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Vigour: Slightly small
    • Precocity: Slow to start bearing
    • Bearing regularity: Biennial tendency
    • Growth habit: Upright
    • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
    • Attractive features: Attractive fruit
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile


    • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)

    Other qualities

    • Disease resistance: Average
    • Scab (Apple and Pear): Some susceptibility

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer Lady Apple apple trees for sale:

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Lady Apple:

    United States


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