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James Grieve

Origin and History

James Grieve was the manager of Dickson’s Nurseries in Edinburgh. He raised this mid-season, dual-purpose apple in 1893, probably from Pott’s Seedling. It is considered by some to be best as a dessert apple when grown in the south of the UK and an eating apple when grown in the north. James Grieve received an RHS Award of Merit in 1897 and an RHS First Class certificate in 1906. It is no longer grown commercially owing to its tendency to bruise.


Picking, Storing and Using

Fruiting can vary quite widely depending on geography, but as a rough guide it is usually ready in mid-September. When picked a couple of weeks before fully ripe it makes a good cooking apple, slightly sweeter than a Bramley. Windfalls bruise badly but sound fruit will store until November. James Grieve makes superb juice.

Growth, Flowering and Pollination

James Grieve is renowned for its hardiness and this is the main reason for its historic popularity. It has particularly pretty blossom and is a fairly reliable cropper. The tree itself is spreading and round-headed. Cox’s Orange Pippin and Lord Lambourne are good pollinators.

Copyright © Karen Meadows 2018 

The fruit is medium-sized and greenish-yellow, turning to yellow with an orange flush and bright red stripes when grown in a sunny position; in a shady spot it barely colours. The flesh is crisp and juicy, with a pleasant flavour and unusual texture, closer to that of a pear. 

James Grieve apple
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