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Origin and History

An ancient dessert and cider apple of French origin, believed to have been brought to England by a Jesuit priest during the reign of 'Bloody' Queen Mary (1550s), although it was first documented in 1696 in London. The name means ‘unsurpassed.’


In the 18th century it was grown in pots to decorate fruit gardens, terraces and parterres, as the deep-pink blossom was so attractive.


The Pomological Magazine claimed 'Perhaps the most general favourite with persons of every taste, on account of its peculiar, agreeable, brisk flavour, and the length of time it keeps.'


Nonpareil is thought to be a parent of the old English variety, Ashmead’s Kernel.


Nonpareil apple

The elegant fruit is small to medium in size, with green skin and broken russeting, often taking on a rusty-red tint. The flesh is firm with an intense flavour. 

Picking, Storing and Using

The fruit hangs on the tree for a long time and will store until February.

Nonpareil blossom

Growth, Flowering and


The tree usually crops well but needs a sunny spot for the fruit to colour and sweetness to develop; without sufficient sun it can taste bland. Good pollinators include Annie Elizabeth, Lord Burghley and Monarch.

         Copyright © Karen Meadows 2018 

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