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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.

USDA identification images for Merton Knave

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

    • 25 Aug 2022 
      Grafted scion 18months ago and had first apple today. Delicious.

    Tree register

    We don't have any registered trees for this variety yet. If you have a Merton Knave tree you can register it here.


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • 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
    • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1980-080


    • Country of origin: United Kingdom
    • Fruit colour: Red


    • Keeping (of fruit): 1-3 days
    • Flavour quality: Average
    • Flavour style (apples): Sweet/Sharp
    • Vitamin C content: Low
    • Food uses: Eating fresh


    • Flowering group: 4
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Vigour: Slightly small
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile


    • Climate suitability: Temperate climates

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Merton Knave:

    United Kingdom


    • Fruit Expert
      Author: Hessayon

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