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Rome Beauty apple

Rome Beauty is a popular American good cooking apple, which retains its shape when cooked.  It can also be eaten fresh, but the flavor is nothing special - this is an apple for cooking with.

Rome Beauty is of the few heirloom US varieties that is now widely-grown outside the USA - it can be found in many of the warmer apple-growing regions. Unlike most apple varieties, it has a very low chilling requirement which means it can be grown in areas which do not have cold winters.

Although not perhaps the greatest apple when it comes to flavor, Rome Beauty is well-regarded by apple breeders. It is an attractive apple with a good clean appearance, little troubled by disease, and a very reliable and heavy cropper.  These qualities have led to it being incorporated in numerous breeding programs.

USDA identification images for Rome Beauty

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.

  • USDA watercolor image of Malus domestica: Rome Beauty
  • USDA watercolor image of Malus domestica: Rome Beauty
  • USDA watercolor image of Malus domestica: Rome Beauty
  • USDA watercolor image of Malus domestica: Rome Beauty
  • USDA watercolor image of Malus domestica: Rome Beauty

Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

Offspring of this variety

Sports of this variety

Sports are natural genetic mutations of the original variety.

Visitor reviews

  • 01 Feb 2024 
    Best apple for baking whole :-) Cored and stuffed with blackberry jam and baked in a bed of sago (Bird's Nests)
  • 13 Oct 2023 
    I’ve been making cider (Late October- Early November) from Rome Beauty. Very nice flavors. I’m seeing SG of about 1.43 to 1.45 from the raw/unfiltered juice.
  • 06 Jan 2020  ID, United States
    Romes are my favorite apple for cooking. I first purchased them in the grocery store in Hawaii, because they were brought in from New Zealand. They are good to eat only right after they are picked, but will get dry and mealy soon after. As a cooking apple, their flavor is like roses and they are solid and non-juicy, so pies and baked goods don't become soggy. I especially like the ones that have a lot of red veining inside; they will turn a pie pink. They are fairly easy to grow, or must be since they grow here, and nothing else does. They are a late bloomer, which makes them one of the only trees in my orchard to ever produce fruit. I have had frosts as late as June 6th out here on the prairie. Unfortunately, they seem to only have a crop every other year. They will keep in a cool garage until March. They tend to over set, and so, to get large apples, they must be thinned A LOT. I would suspect leaving just the king apple would be the bestplan, but I usually leave the king, and another. They red up nicely if allowed to stay on the tree into late October. They seem to tolerate light fall frosts well. I had one tree with a lot of red-tinted fruit, but it was the one that died back. I would like to try other late blooming apples, but none of the trees I planted other than the Romes survived out here on the Idaho prairie.
  • 16 Mar 2019  OH, United States
    Molly from Oregon - are you sure that the "big old tree in your backyard" is actually a Jonathan tree? My dad planted three apple trees in his front yard 45 years ago, and today he isn't sure which variety he bought. He thinks "maybe Jonathan", and they are quite tart and firm, and excellent in pies (so, consistent with other Jonathan reviews), but I can't review ours as Jonathan apples because they don't grow with supermarket label stickers attached... If anyone near 44077 in about early September wants to try to ID ours by flavor/texture/color/size etc.., send me a note to steve66.oh(at)
  • 28 Feb 2018  INDIANA, United States
    I love Rome apples first bought them when living in Tennessee then moved to Indiana and can't find them in the southern part of the state . They are not a hard apple but not a to soft apple sweet with a little tartness me they are perfect.
  • 16 Nov 2017  WY, United States
    In my opinion, Red Romes are everything a pie apple should be. Unfortunately, they are becoming increasingly hard to find.
  • 01 Sep 2015  OHIO, United States
    To the person who has a tree with bees and apple worms: The worms are your typical 'apple worm' and is fine to eat around, it's just a pain to cut out the parts they got (actually they won't hurt you if you do eat one, it's just the 'ick' factor). A totally chemical free way to deal with them is to bag the apples as soon as you can. Also time consuming but you should end up with perfect apples, if you use non-transparent bags the apples may fail to color up though.
  • 20 Nov 2014  OR WASHINGTON, United States
    I love Rome Beauty apples for eating. The only thng I find is that sometimes they're a little mealy but I thought that might be a nutrient deficiency. I'm in the process of turning my residential yard into a dwarf apple, peach and apricot orchard with blueberries on the side. If anyone knows of a good source for dwarf Rome Beauty, Winter Banana apple trees and other dwarf trees, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks, Glenn
  • 09 Dec 2010  CALIFORNIA, United States
    Does this rome beauty apple have at least some red flesh inside. Many of the rome apples I buy in Los Angeles have much red flesh.
  • 08 Jun 2010  TN, United States
    I love Roman Beauty apples.I think their great to eat when ripe.And great for cooking Apple Pies and other backed apple good's.
  • 09 Sep 2009  WESTMONT,IL, United States
    i found apples exactly as you described on a county strip by the railroad tracks. I picked two bushels and was quite disappointed in eating them, but I hear they make good applesauce. I also juiced them to make cider. Real cider takes several weeks, so I can't tell you how it tastes yet but don't worry about the worms. Just slice up the apples to make apple sauce or apple butter and cut out the yucky parts. I have see lots of worm evidence, but no actual worms. :)
  • 18 May 2009  OREGON, United States
    There is an enormous old apple tree in my backyard with the most beautiful, bright-red apples one could imagine. While attractive, they are surely the worst apples I have ever eaten. Mealy, bland, and infested with little worms- yuck. I'm afraid to even use them for cooking since they seem to be infested. Too bad. There is a honeybee hive in the tree so spraying is not an option.

Tree register

United States


New Zealand

Spring blossom records for this variety

2015 season

  • 15th October  2015  - tree owned by Neville in Tea Tree Gully, Australia

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

Harvest records for this variety

2013 season

  • 4th week May  2013  - tree owned by Katrina in Nelson, New Zealand

2012 season

  • 1st week October  2012  - tree owned by Lloyd in Beaverton, United States

2009 season

  • 3rd week October  2009  - tree owned by Zman in Braintree, United States


  • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
  • Originates from: Ohio, United States
  • Introduced: 1816
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1943-007
  • We are grateful to Brogdale Farm - home of the UK National Fruit Collection - for providing samples of this variety.
  • Some historical details taken with kind permission from 'The New Book of Apples' by Joan Morgan and Alison Richards , illustrated by Elisabeth Dowle, published by Ebury Press, 2002.


  • Country of origin: United States
  • Fruit colour: Red
  • Fruit size: Average
  • Fruit size: Large
  • Fruit shape: Round
  • Fruit shape: Conical
  • Fruit size: Very large
  • Fruit size: Variable


  • Picking season: Late
  • Flavour quality: Good
  • Flavour style (apples): Sweet/Sharp
  • Flavour style (apples): Aromatic
  • Cooking result: Keeps shape
  • Food uses: Culinary
  • Food uses: Drying


  • Flowering group: 5
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Fruit bearing: Partial tip-bearer
  • Fruit bearing: Tip-bearer
  • Self-fertility: Self-fertile


  • Chill requirement: Low-chill
  • Climate suitability: Warm climates

Where to buy fresh fruit

The following orchards grow Rome Beauty:

United States




  • Cedar-Apple Rust  
    Author: Stephen Vann, University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture (FSA7538)
    Rated as highly susceptible - control always needed where CAR is prevalent.
  • Apples of England (1948)
    Author: Taylor

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