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

Vista Bella apple

Vista Bella is a very early season dessert apple.  It ripens in mid-July in southern England, making it probably the earliest apple of the season.

Vista Bella was developed at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, in the 1950s.  It is grown commercially on a small-scale, particularly in the USA.  The name "Vista Bella" comes from the Guatamalan highlands where it is also grown.

Vista Bella is a medium-sized apple, with a light yellow-green skin, flushed deep red where exposed to the sun.  The color frequently changes to a solid crimson when ripe or over-ripe in good sunlight.  For such an early variety the flavour is remarkably good, with a distinctly fruity taste reminiscent of slightly under-ripe raspberries.  The flesh is light and juicy, and this apple is very easy and enjoyable to eat.  If you have been surviving on old supermarket apples stored from the previous season, then Vista Bella is a revelation, with its full-on taste of the summer.

However, there are some caveats.  Like all early apples Vista Bella does not keep.  If you are buying from a farm shop make sure you find out what day the apples have been picked, since anything more than a few days old will not be worth having.  The excellent flavour and crispness decays very rapidly after picking - to the point where that 9-month old supermarket Golden Delicious will be far nicer!  Store them in the fridge, not the fruit bowl, and serve them whilst still cool.

Given these limitations, growing your own Vista Bella is probably the best way to ensure you can get some of these lovely apples.  Trees are available from specialist nurseries, and you should be successful although this apple variety is susceptible to canker - but as Hessayon so aptly states in his book "The Fruit Expert", being able to pick bright red apples in July is worth a few problems.

USDA identification images for Vista Bella

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

    Tree register

    United States

    United Kingdom




    • a Bear in TOOLANGI, VIC
    • Hayden in Winslow, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
    • Jenny in Melbourne, VICTORIA,
    • Lydia Kokotos in Lower Wattle Grove, TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA


    • Ann in Manturovo, KOSTROMA OBLAST

    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2015 season

    • 24th May  2015  - tree owned by Lance in Canyon City, United States

    2014 season

    • 1st June  2014  - tree owned by Lance in Canyon City, United States

    2013 season

    • 14th May  2013  - tree owned by Richard in York, United Kingdom

    2011 season

    • 26th June  2011  - tree owned by Lance in Canyon City, United States

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

    Harvest records for this variety

    2011 season

    • 3rd week September  2011  - tree owned by Lance in Canyon City, United States


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Parentage: Julyred, Starr and others
    • Originates from: New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, United States
    • Introduced: 1956
    • Developed by: New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
    • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1971-048
    • 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
    • Period of origin: 1950 - 1999
    • Fruit colour: Red / Green


    • Picking season: Early
    • Keeping (of fruit): 1-3 days
    • Flavour quality: Good
    • Cropping: Heavy
    • Food uses: Eating fresh


    • Gardening skill: Average
    • Flowering group: 2
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Precocity: Precocious
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile

    Other qualities

    • Disease resistance: Average

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Vista Bella:

    United States



    • Fruit Expert
      Author: Hessayon

    Varieties you viewed