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King of the Pippins apple trees

King of the Pippins

King of the Pippins is a widely-grown apple from the Victorian period. It is very typical of the "reinette" style apple, with its flushed orange skin and firm rather than crisp flesh - quite different to the modern supermarket apple.

King of the Pippins is a versatile apple, which is probably the main reason for its success. Although usually considered a dessert variety, it can also be used for cooking - particularly French-style patisseries, since the slices keep their shape when cooked. It is a good juicing apple too, the juice has a good robust flavour and can also be used in cider blends.

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King of the Pippins apple trees for sale


  • BR11-year bare-root tree MM106 rootstock £19.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • BR22-year (1.75m) bare-root tree M25 rootstock £34.95
    Very large tree (4m-7m after 10 years)

How to grow

King of the Pippins is a good and reliable cropper. It grows in a compact neat fashion. Disease resistance is fairly good.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.


The origins of King of the Pippins are not certain, but it was first recorded around 1800 in London, where it was introduced by a nurseryman, Kirke of Brompton. It almost certainly comes from France where it is known as Reine des Reinettes, but there are many other synonyms for this variety.

King of the Pippins characteristics


  • CroppingGood
  • Picking seasonLate
  • Keeping (of fruit)3 months or more
  • Flavour qualityGood
  • WildlifeRHS perfect for pollinators
  • Flavour style (apples)Sweet/Sharp
  • Food usesEating freshCulinaryJuiceHard ciderDual purpose
  • Cooking resultKeeps shape


  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityPartially self-fertile
  • Flowering group4
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • PloidyDiploid
  • VigourSlightly small
  • Bearing regularityRegular
  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer


  • Disease resistanceAverage
  • ScabSome susceptibility


  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climates
  • Summer average maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)


  • Country of originFrance
  • Period of origin1800 - 1849
  • Flower colourPink - light
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Fruit colourOrange flush
  • AwardsRHS Award of Garden Merit