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

Merton Knave apple

Merton Knave is one of a series of apple varieties developed by the John Innes institute based at Merton in the middle of the 20th century.  (This same institute was also involved in the development of the "Malling-Merton" MM106 rootstock).  The apples ripen towards the end of August and are an attractive red colour.  The flesh is white but like some other early varieties (notably Discovery) the red skin can sometimes bleed into to the flesh.

Although developed to offer commercial potential for the important early-season English apple market, it did not succeed in displacing Discovery and Worcester Pearmain.

Merton Knave identification photos

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UK National Fruit Collection
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  • Merton Knave
    Copyright: Orange Pippin

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  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Laxton's Early Crimson x Epicure
  • Originates from: London, England, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1948 - released 1975
  • Developed by: M.B. Crane, John Innes Institute
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1553
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1980-080


  • Fruit colour: Red


  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Flavour quality: Average
  • Flavour style: Sweet/Sharp
  • Harvest period: Early-Mid season
  • Use / keeping: 1-3 days
  • Vitamin C content: Low


  • Flowering period: Mid-Late season
  • Flowering group: 4
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Slightly small


  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates

Also known as

  • Merton Ace

Parents and other ancestors of this variety

Where to buy fresh fruit

United Kingdom


  • Fruit Expert
    Author: Hessayon

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