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

Lord Lambourne apple


Lord Lambourne was introduced in 1907 and is very much in the tradition of classic English high-quality dessert apples. It has the pleasing uniform shape - round, and not too flattened - and typical orange flush over green, with a hint of russet. On biting into a Lord Lambourne the first thing that strikes you is the juice and acidity. The flesh is creamy-white and quite crisp, and the flavour is pleasantly strong.

It is a fair bet that such a high-quality aromatic apple will have Cox's Orange Pippin somewhere in its ancestry but the link is not certain. The immediate parentage is James Grieve and Worcester Pearmain, and the parentage of James Grieve is not known although Cox is a contender. If so, then the aromatic flavour of Cox is rather more apparent in Lord Lambourne than in James Grieve, although the James Grieve acidity is still prominent.

Lord Lambourne has two siblings which share the same parentage - Katy and Elton Beauty.  However Lord Lambourne is the odd one out of the three, since Katy and Elton Beauty both have the sharp zing of James Grieve and the up-front summery strawberry flavours of Worcester Pearmain.  Lord Lambourne offers quite a different taste experience, with more depth and subtlety.

Another interesting comparison is with Topaz, a very modern variety and distantly related to Lord Lambourne. Topaz arrives much later in the season but like Lord Lambourne it has some of the classic English aromatic flavour, overlaid with plenty of juicy acidity. Despite being developed nearly a century apart, both these varieties are (arguably) much better apples than their common ancestor James Grieve.

Like many of the James Grieve offspring, Lord Lambourne is an easy apple variety to grow in the garden, and produces good crops.  It is also (like Katy) fairly easy to find in the UK at farmers markets, and occasionally in supermarkets.

Lord Lambourne is, along with Ellisons Orange, one of the earliest of the aromatic English-style apples, and whilst it does not have the complexity of the later-arriving varieties it is nonetheless a pleasing apple in its own right.



Lord Lambourne identification photos

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

  • Lord Lambourne apples
    Copyright: Orange Pippin

Visitor reviews

  • 05 Oct 2016  Dave Liezen,  WASHINGTON, United States
    Love this apple - it just can't deal with arid conditions well. Must strip it of fruit in order for the li'l tree to grow, which I finally did this season. I must find a friend or family member on the soggy side of Washington state to give it to, so I can still enjoy it some years. Great apple; prodigious blooming and easy-care tree, but for the cracked fruit.
  • 13 Sep 2015  Dave Liezen,  WASHINGTON, United States
    This has been a record hot and dry summer. The LL apple on the sunny side of the tree took a beating, two large cracks. Yesterday (Sept. 11) I picked it and checked for sugar level: 29 Brix! I checked twice more to be sure. Quite dry due to the cracks, in contrast to last year, and with surprising complexity. The other apples are fine despite the weather.
  • 13 May 2015  Dave Liezen,  WASHINGTON, United States
    This one generates comments, huh? I had the first taste of LL last fall, just three apples on a midget tree. Decided it will never be big enough standing on Bud9, so dug it up and re-planted it by burying the graft union. It should grow to be a compact standard and yield a crop worth waiting for!
  • 01 May 2015  Edward,  NSW, Australia
    Great tasting apple. Very similar to Cox's Orange Pippin but earlier by about 3 weeks. Highly recommended. I grow it in Katoomba, NSW, Australia.
  • 15 Nov 2014  Helen Fieldsend,  MARKET RASEN, United Kingdom
    My favourite Apple ever,you may remember quarkhill fruit farm back along I was born and brought up there and came to yours on occasion with my dad(les gill) this has always been our family's favourite
  • 17 Sep 2014  Jessic,  LONDON, United Kingdom
    Picked mine off a small tree at Wisley and was blown away by the taste - slightly acidic, but a lovely background sweetness too. Crispy and crunchy too. Nice skin. Perfect for kids as not too enormous. When I have a large garden in my next dream home, I'll be planting some Lord Lambournes, I think.
  • 27 Mar 2014  Patrick Deasey,  VIC, Australia
    I have this in Mt Macedon, Victoria, Australia. Great variety. Good yearly cropper, not too acidic. keeps better once picked than Cox's. Great smaller apple for kids to eat. One of my top varieties. if I only had room for say 3 trees, this would be one of them.
  • 10 Nov 2012  Dave Liezen,  WASHINGTON, United States
    About a month after my last note on this apple, flower buds appeared on the one-year-old LL! Definitely a partial tip bearer; so pinched 'em off after the bloom and it has grown to about 3 feet tall. Have since seen two references implicating fungicides exacerbating cracks in apples. Since I keep leaf litter cleaned up, this should be a minor issue.
  • 10 Sep 2012  Sue Dutton,  KENT, United Kingdom
    I have a Lord Lambourne apple tree with about a ton of apples - are they any good for cider making?
  • 05 Mar 2012  Dave Liezen,  WASHINGTON, United States
    Bought a bench graft from Greenmantle in CA last year - on Bud9. Li'l guy is doing fine. Am a bit concerned about the comment from CA about dryness and cracking. My climate is rather hot and dry in late summer. Still hopeful.
  • 12 Oct 2011  Sarah,  BC, Canada
    Never even heard of this apple until my brother introduced me to it. They grow it at his work for testing, and the excess goes to staff and their families. I love both Granny Smith, and Fuji, but I have now found my favorite! Nice acidic bite, but not too tart. Gets sweeter the longer you leave it out, even cut and peeled. Makes amazingly sweet unsweetened applesauce. Dried - they are like candy. They seems to be a very reliable, and heavy producer. I defiantly am going to have to find, or graft one. I love this apple!
  • 16 Oct 2010  Mo,  CHESHIRE, United Kingdom
    Ours is at it's best in October. Sweeter than James G, the flavour develops after picking. Definate Cox taste. Same texture as James G, softer than Kidds Orange, which follows it.
  • 31 Aug 2009  Kevin Hauser,  CALIFORNIA, United States
    In our hot, dry climate Lord Lamborne is very productive, but has terrible problems with cracking the last two years. It is on timed drip irrigation and we have no rain through the summer, so I don't think its from uneven watering. Perhaps this is just a reaction to our climate, and if so, I'm sad to have to pull it out.
  • 04 May 2009  Steve Wilde,  ESSEX, United Kingdom
    Try Morrisons Supermarket, £4.99 at the moment.
  • 19 Oct 2008  Timothy Anthony Collins,  GREAT DUNMOW, ENGLAND, United Kingdom
    I have a bizarre situation at work in White Roding. 4 years ago, I discovered that my employer has a Lord Lambourne apple growing on her grounds. This was because I found its fruit, which I had formally identified. Since that time, we have had no fruit from this tree whatsoever. This may have coincided with the death of a new fruit tree which was planted around the time we discovered the Lord Lambourne tree, but which subsequently perished. Please can you help. Which apple varieties are good pollinators of 'Lord Lambourne'? Which pollination group do they belong to?
  • 13 Oct 2008  Lyn B,  SURREY, United Kingdom
    Having a Lord Lambourne apple tree, I agree with tasting notes, excellent eater and they also make very good dessert cooking apples.
  • 30 Sep 2008  Karim Ahmed,  BRIGHTON, SUSSEX, United Kingdom
    I just bought some from a green grocer in Shoreham-by-sea. Lovely, acidic, juicy number with a crispy flesh.
  • 28 Sep 2008  Helen,  TEME VALLEY, United Kingdom
    I have recently been supplied with this variety of apple by my local organic fruit and vegetable box company, Flights Orchard Organics. They are absolutely delicious. For me, it's just as important to have the right texture as well as taste. Lord Lambourne's are crisp with a sweet/tart flavour. They remind me of Cox's apples and are the perfect eating apple.
  • 21 Jul 2008  Shirley Nelson,  GRESHAM, OR , United States
    I first tasted this apple back in 1956 from a very old tree in my mother-in-law's back yard in Stevenson, WA. I was blown away by it's juicy spirit. Sadly, the tree has disappeared with the decades, but it's strong memory lingers.
  • 10 Oct 2007  Cliff Waddington,  SOUTH BUCKS, United Kingdom
    lord lambourne (1 tree) is loaded this year. delightful eater - but how does one store the huge surplus ?
  • 08 Oct 2007  Gaye Barber,  BINGLEY, United Kingdom
    My father who lives in York has grown a Lord Lambourne apple tree trained along a wall in his garden and the fruit is absolutely delicious! Lots of juice, satisfyingly crisp to bit into and a superb flavour - not at all tart. I'd thoroughly recommend it! (I've never seen it for sale in any supermarket.)
  • 28 Sep 2007  Michelle Stratford,  LEICESTERSHIRE UK, United Kingdom
    If Nancy Brown lives near Thurmaston could I be really cheeky and pick one of her apples? I am trying to decide on a variety to invest in and would love to try a Lord Lambourne before committing!
  • 21 Sep 2007  Nancy Brown,  LEICESTERSHIRE UK, United Kingdom
    I have a tree in my garden, planted about 18 years ago. I think it is the best tasting apple around.
  • 03 Aug 2007  Tom,  United Kingdom
    I just had 2 trees identified as Lord Lambourne. I agree with your tasting notes. They keep nicely but best time to eat is straight from tree Sept (if you can leave them that long).
  • 03 Aug 2007  Tom,  United Kingdom
    I thought there might be some Cox in there, and i think your description is right on the nail. A Cox-like flavour plus bite and size of the Granny Smith, is what I`d thought.

Tree register

United States

United Kingdom

France

Germany

Ireland

Canada

Australia

Norway

Spring blossom records for this variety

2018 season

  • 6th May  2018  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

2017 season

  • 24th October  2017  - tree owned by Neville in Tea Tree Gully, Australia
  • 25th April  2017  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

2016 season

  • 11th November  2016  - tree owned by Neville in Tea Tree Gully, Australia
  • 13th May  2016  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
  • April  2016  - tree owned by Mike in Launceston, United Kingdom

2015 season

  • 10th October  2015  - tree owned by Neville in Tea Tree Gully, Australia
  • 4th May  2015  - tree owned by Pete in St Neots, United Kingdom
  • 1st May  2015  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

2014 season

  • 24th May  2014  - tree owned by D. in Toronto, Canada
  • 15th May  2014  - tree owned by Danny in Lochore, United Kingdom
  • 2nd May  2014  - tree owned by Dave in Spokane, United States
  • 1st May  2014  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
  • 28th April  2014  - tree owned by Pete in St Neots, United Kingdom
  • April  2014  - tree owned by Amanda in Cahors, France

2013 season

  • 1st June  2013  - tree owned by Robert in Ayr, United Kingdom
  • 27th May  2013  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
  • 24th May  2013  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 12th May  2013  - tree owned by Jean in Martock, United Kingdom
  • 8th May  2013  - tree owned by Dave in Spokane, United States
  • 7th May  2013  - tree owned by Pete in St Neots, United Kingdom

2012 season

  • 20th May  2012  - tree owned by Robert in Ayr, United Kingdom
  • 17th May  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom
  • 10th May  2012  - tree owned by Dave in Spokane, United States
  • 2nd May  2012  - tree owned by Pete in St Neots, United Kingdom
  • May  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in London, United Kingdom

2011 season

  • May  2011  - tree owned by Pete in St Neots, United Kingdom
  • 27th April  2011  - tree owned by Peter in Northwich, United Kingdom
  • 25th April  2011  - tree owned by Malcolm in Loughborough, United Kingdom
  • 22nd April  2011  - tree owned by Martin in Colchester, United Kingdom
  • 18th April  2011  - tree owned by Ron in East Grinstead, United Kingdom
  • 16th April  2011  - tree owned by Alan in Chippenham, United Kingdom
  • 12th April  2011  - tree owned by Robert in Ayr, United Kingdom
  • April  2011  - tree owned by Roy in North Shields, United Kingdom
  • March  2011  - tree owned by Trevor in Chatham, United Kingdom

2010 season

  • 3rd May  2010  - tree owned by Robert@Ankeow.Freeserve.Co.Uk in Newquay, United Kingdom
  • 29th April  2010  - tree owned by Elizabeth in Evesham, United Kingdom
  • 26th April  2010  - tree owned by Marian in Street, United Kingdom

2009 season

  • 18th April  2009  - tree owned by N. in Haverhill, United Kingdom
  • 18th April  2009  - tree owned by James in Dublin, Ireland
  • April  2009  - tree owned by Malcolm in Loughborough, United Kingdom

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


Harvest records for this variety

2017 season

  • 2nd week September  2017  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

2016 season

  • 3rd week September  2016  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

2015 season

  • 3rd week September  2015  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

2014 season

  • 4th week September  2014  - tree owned by Dave in Spokane, United States
  • 2nd week September  2014  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week September  2014  - tree owned by Janet in Wisbech, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week March  2014  - tree owned by Patrick in Mt Macedon, Australia
  • 3rd week March  2014  - tree owned by Patrick in Mt Macedon, Australia

2013 season

  • 4th week September  2013  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week September  2013  - tree owned by Janet in Wisbech, United Kingdom
  • August  2013  - tree owned by Pete in St Neots, United Kingdom

2012 season

  • 2nd week October  2012  - tree owned by Jean in Martock, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week September  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in London, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week September  2012  - tree owned by Andrew in St Saviour, United Kingdom

2011 season

  • 2nd week September  2011  - tree owned by Gemma in Ilford, United Kingdom
  • September  2011  - tree owned by Trevor in Chatham, United Kingdom

2009 season

  • 3rd week October  2009  - tree owned by Pat in Friockheim, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week September  2009  - tree owned by James in Dublin, Ireland
  • September  2009  - tree owned by N. in Haverhill, United Kingdom
  • August  2009  - tree owned by Malcolm in Loughborough, United Kingdom

Origins

  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: James Grieve x Worcester Pearmain
  • Originates from: England, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1907
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1041
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1979-173

Identification

  • Bultitude apple group: 7. Flushed / striped, some russeting, sweet

Using

  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Juice
  • Flavour quality: Good
  • Flavour style: Aromatic
  • Harvest period: Mid season
  • Use / keeping: 2-3 weeks

Growing

  • Cropping: Good
  • Flowering group: 2
  • Fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Average growth
  • Gardening skill: Very easy
  • Fruit bearing: Partial tip-bearer
  • General disease resistance: Average

Climate

  • Climate suitability: Warm climates
  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
  • Climate suitability: Tolerates cold winters Blossom has some frost-resistance
  • Blossom frost-resistance: Some resistance

Other qualities

  • Awards: RHS AGM 1993

Parents and other ancestors of this variety


Offspring of this variety

  • Rajka (distant descendant)
  • Topaz (distant descendant)

Siblings of this variety (same parentage)


Diseases

  • Canker  - Some resistance
  • Scab  - Very resistant


Where to buy trees

The following fruit tree nurseries offer Lord Lambourne apple trees for sale:


Where to buy fresh fruit

United Kingdommap >


Canadamap >




References

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


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