A good modern variety from the Czech Republic. Like most new varieties it is a well-shaped, good-size apple, with a very attractive appearance. The colour is deep-red over a golden yellow background. The flesh is a creamy-yellow colour and is open-textured, fairly crisp, and snaps cleanly when you bite into it. The flavour is sweet, but with good acidity - probably the nearest comparison is with Elstar.
The parentage of Rajka is complicated, but the similarity to Elstar gives a clue that Golden Delicious must be in there somewhere. One of Rajka's immediate parents is Sampion, also raised in the Czech Republic and this in turn is a cross between Golden Delicious and Lord Lambourne. Lord Lambourne is a James-Grieve style apple, and the combination of the sweetness of Golden Delicious with the juicy acidity of James Grieve is the key to the flavour of Rajka.
Intriguingly, in a good summer Rajka can have a hint of the elusive strawberry-apple flavour which almost always indicates Worcester Pearmain - one of the parents of Lord Lambourne.
Rajka has been bred specifically as a disease resistant variety. This means that it can be grown with minimal use of chemical pesticides, which benefits the environment and the consumer, and makes it an increasingly popular garden variety.
Rajka apple identification images
All images copyright Orange Pippin unless otherwise stated.
USDA identification images for Rajka
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.
Offspring of this variety
- Topaz - Rajka and Topaz were both developed at the Institute of Experimental Botany, Czech Republic
- 01 Oct 2020 FrankCORNWALL, United KingdomThis is a new review to replace my previous one please. I have grown Rajka for numerous years in my garden, and it is always the most succesful cropper in my orchard. I have 8 different trees and this one is by far the best cropper. It flowers quite early here in Cornwall and it grows beautiful red apples. It is a very good garden variety and it is very disease resistant. We live in a damp climate and I have had not scab or such problems on this tree ever. The flavour is good, it might not be the most interesting tasting apple out there, but the tree is such a good all rounder that I think it is absolutely worth growing. The apple flavour changes slightly over time, it sweetens more later in the season and frankly after having tried many varieties, this is definately one I would plant again if I'd move homes, simply because it is consistant and stunning to look at too.
- 09 Oct 2018 FrankCORNWALL, United KingdomThis apple is a stunner in the orchard. Looks beautiful on the tree, gorgeous colour and scent. Disease resistant in our damp climate, so growing well. Good garden variety. Flavour is okay, reminds me a bit of a well flavoured supermarket apple, but it is not exceptional. I guess it is a good all rounder, but if you grow for special flavours, it wouldn't be my choice. If I move, I won't plant it again, just buy a bag of gala or something equivalent from the supermarket and grow something a bit less ordinary. But as said, grows well, looks good, tastes fine, no disease issues at all. Birds do like it too though and pecked on half of my crop. oh well.
- 06 Nov 2016 Christopher HerbstCA / HUMBOLDT COUNTY, United StatesI tasted my first Rajka apples this year. I tasted two from a young tree in my trial orchard here in Northwestern California (coastal Humboldt County). I wasn't expecting much due to the previous review but I was happily surprised. The apples were relatively small and fully ripe. They had a wonderfully rich blend of flavors - not simple at all. Definitely worth growing (based on my sample size of two). Will update here in future seasons.
- 17 Oct 2012 AlisonLANCASTER, United KingdomMy first year of growing this apple tree: the apples are large and very perfect looking. They are perfectly crisp and juicy and the flavour is a nice mixture of sweet and acidic, but not that complex/aromatic.
- 22 May 2008 Bilal AchakPAKISTAN PROVENCE BALOUCHISTAN, PakistanIts very beautiful rajka apple i like it but i didn;t taste it .i have been czeck republic .i was there in frauge i am landlord in my country i also have apples and grapes can i gets its roots .i am intrestesd to export my country apples Its very delicious. Bilal
- Florian Deisenhofer in Brush Prairie, CLARK COUNTY WA
- Jan Gelders in Zelem, LIMBURG
- Richard in Krakow,
Spring blossom records for this variety
- 21st April 2019 - tree owned by Richard in York, United Kingdom
- 29th April 2018 - tree owned by Richard in York, United Kingdom
- 18th April 2017 - tree owned by Richard in York, United Kingdom
- 28th April 2015 - tree owned by Richard in York, United Kingdom
- 28th April 2012 - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
Harvest records for this variety
- 3rd week October 2012 - tree owned by Alison in Lancaster, United Kingdom
- Species: Malus domestica - Apple
- Parentage: Golden Delicious, Lord Lambourne
- Originates from: Czech Republic
- Introduced: 1990s
- Developed by: Institute of Experimental Botany
- Country of origin: Czech Republic
- Period of origin: 1950 - 1999
- Fruit colour: Red
- Flower colour: Pink - light
- Leaf colour: Green
- Popularity: Under-rated
- Annual cycle: Deciduous
- Picking season: Mid
- Keeping (of fruit): 2-3 weeks
- Flavour quality: Average
- Flavour style (apples): Sweet/Sharp
- Discoloration of fruit: Oxidising
- Cropping: Good
- Fruit persistence: Ripens over a period
- Fruit persistence: Persistent
- Food uses: Eating fresh
- Food uses: Juice
- Picking period: early October
- 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)
- Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
- Summer average maximum temperatures: Cold (< 20C / 67F)
- Disease resistance: Good
- Scab (Apple and Pear): Very resistant
- Powdery mildew: Some resistance
Where to buy trees
The following tree nurseries offer Rajka apple trees for sale:
Where to buy fresh fruit
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