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

Meridian apple


Meridian is another great example of modern English apple development from the famous East Malling Research Station. It was developed during the 1970s and released in 2000. It has all the characteristics which we like about modern apples: clean-looking and tasting, easy-going, consistent quality, and gives you an instant hit of juice and flavour.

Meridian is a cross between another modern variety, Falstaff, and Cox's Orange Pippin. Students of apple geneology will note that Falstaff is itself related to Cox so you might expect this to be a very complex and aromatic apple. However Falstaff is in some respects more like its other parent, James Grieve, and Meridian seems to have also inherited these characteristics - notably its juiciness. The juice bursts out of every pore when you bite into it. The flavour is well-balanced but not especially complex.

We have been told that the Cox-like characteristics are more apparent if the apple is left on the tree longer. It seems that Meridian is a particularly difficult variety in which to guage ripeness, and at one time was going to be marketed as an early Cox-style variety. We think it is fair to say that Meridian is reminscent of Cox's Orange Pippin but we don't think it has the same depth of flavour. The flavour is more delicate, rather like a tarte aux citron, there is a hint of lemon or melon.  This delicacy is no bad thing, and Meridian is one of the best modern UK-developed apple varieties.

Meridian apple identification images

All images copyright Orange Pippin unless otherwise stated.

  • Meridian
  • Meridian

USDA identification images for Meridian

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.

    Parents and other ancestors of this variety

    Visitor reviews

    • 07 Oct 2017  CAMBRIDGESHIRE, United Kingdom
      a wonderful apple, great taste, good keeping, looks like a proper apple. I have 1 in my orchard, don't understand why it's not available commercially.
    • 26 Oct 2011  CAMBRIDGESHIRE, United Kingdom
      Kave Most apples bought in shops are pathetic, under-ripe specimens. The commercial growers all rush to get their crop to market first to get the best price. In the stampede to be first to market, the fruit is picked under-ripe and never develops its full flavour; often being sharp/bitter, hard, juicy and flavourless when it should be sweet and aromatic. Home-grown fruit bears no resemblance in appearance or taste compared to shop-bought. Cox's Orange Pippin, for example, has "Orange" in its name for a reason. The shop specimens of Cox would better be described as Cox's Green Crabapple. Likewise: a shop Bramley is green, acid and flavourless, whereas a home-grown, fully-ripe Bramley (if, like Cox, it is not damaged by scab!) should be yellowish-green with considerable orange-red striping and will be much more flavoursome. No wonder fruit consumption is relatively low, with such poor offerings in the shops.
    • 25 Oct 2011  United Kingdom
      WARNING. It was a terrible experience. It's a rip off! They are HALF apple (not whole apple). The apple is very basic. And it's overpriced. Don't bother to buy!
    • 14 Sep 2010  CAMBRIDGESHIRE, United Kingdom
      One of the better flavoured modern varieties. I've been growing one as a cordon for some years and have often considered upgrading to a half-standard tree, on account of good flavour and reasonable (but admittedly not strong) pest/disease resistance.
    • 18 Feb 2008  LONDON, United Kingdom
      I bought these apples at Waitrose in their "regional produce" section. I don't know whether they have exclusive right or whether enough of these apples for national distribution. They are a lovely apple.
    • 04 Nov 2007  EAST MALLING, United Kingdom
      I tasted the apple 2 years ago and have never found it in the shops. Does someone have exclusivity and if so who? Why not sell it at the Research Station?

    Tree register

    United Kingdom


    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2013 season

    • 16th May  2013  - tree owned by Richard in York, United Kingdom

    2010 season

    • 30th April  2010  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom

    2009 season

    • 18th April  2009  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom

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

    Harvest records for this variety

    2009 season

    • 3rd week September  2009  - tree owned by Rosemary in New Milton, United Kingdom
    • September  2009  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Parentage: Cox's Orange Pippin x Falstaff
    • Originates from: England, United Kingdom
    • Introduced: 1999


    • Country of origin: United Kingdom
    • Period of origin: 2000
    • Fruit colour: Orange / Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
    • Popularity: Under-rated
    • Annual cycle: Deciduous


    • Picking season: Mid
    • Keeping (of fruit): 2-3 weeks
    • Flavour quality: Very good
    • Flavour style (apples): Sharper
    • Discoloration of fruit: Oxidising
    • Cropping: Heavy
    • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening
    • Food uses: Eating fresh
    • Food uses: Juice
    • Picking period: mid-September
    • Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators


    • Gardening skill: Beginner
    • Flowering group: 3
    • Pollinating others: Average
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Vigour: Average vigour
    • Bearing regularity: Regular
    • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
    • Organic culture: Suitable
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile


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

    Other qualities

    • Disease resistance: Good
    • Scab (Apple and Pear): Some resistance
    • Powdery mildew: Some resistance
    • Woolly aphid: Some susceptibility

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer Meridian apple trees for sale:

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Meridian:

    United Kingdom

    Varieties you viewed