Sandy LimSay hello to the Redlove apple

There’s a new apple in the Aussie backyard. With their firm crimson skin and unique red flesh, these “revolutionary” beauties from Switzerland have already taken root across Europe, the UK and North America. And now, in 2017, they’re available for the first time throughout Australia.

Redlove apples on the tree. Photo used with permission from Lenswood Co-op.

 

Redloves are a relatively new series of hybrids, descended from a wild red-fleshed apple native to Kazakhstan. But fruit breeder Markus Kobelt, of Swiss nursery, Lubera, found these apples too sour to enjoy on their own, and set out on a 20-year journey of experimental cross-breeding to create

“the first good-tasting, red-fleshed apple”

That said, Lubera only consider the Redloves apples on the outside. The bright pink flesh, curious internal markings and unusual flavour suggest these might be “a new type of fruit just as distinguishable from the apple as nectarines and peaches”.

What’s inside certainly counts. Redloves are said to boast an abundance of anthocyanin and around 30% more antioxidants than the average apple. What’s more, they don’t turn brown when cut (probably due to all those antioxidants) and retain their colour when cooked. This makes them the perfect apple for those dressed-to-impress desserts.

Red on the outside, red on the inside. Photo used with permission from Redlove Apple Australia.

 

Redlove apples stay red when cooked. Photo used with permission from Redlove Apple Australia.

 

Redlove serving suggestions. Photo used with permission from Redlove Apple Australia.

 

Wow – a rich Redlove cocktail. Photo used with permission from Redlove Apple Australia.

 

WA’s Redlove supply is cultivated at Domus Nursery, a little wholesaler up in the Perth hills. They say their biggest challenge was in dealing with how vigorously their plants performed over the growing season. Where new plant releases tend to hit the eastern states first, Domus’ stock was ready for sale a month ahead of schedule. This meant an early February release in WA, earning Redloves the unofficial nickname of “the Valentine apple”.

Behind the scenes: Budded wood, ready to grow. Photo used with permission from Domus Nursery.

 

Domus’ success with this species in WA bodes well for other regions of the country. They expect gardeners in the tropical zones (Broome, Darwin, FNQ, etc.) will struggle, but planted in full sun with a regular water supply, Redloves should do just fine in areas further south and away from the coast. Domus’ main recommendation for home gardeners is to protect the plants from winds to prevent excessive transpiration.

On the growing front, these plants are scab-resistant with minimal pest- and disease-related issues. Redloves are a dwarf species, reaching only 2-3m in height, making them suitable for pots, balcony gardens and espalier. If potting, use an Australian premium standard potting mix plus a slow-release fertiliser in Spring. Domus recommend also pruning the growing tip to encourage branching.

Redlove flowers and foliage. Photo used with permission from Domus Nursery.

 

Intense pink flowers on the Redlove apple. Photo used with permission from Redlove Apple Australia.

 

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Sandy Lim

About Sandy Lim

I'm a maker of things, online and off. It's all for the love of the craft, and a desire to make something that people can feel good about engaging with, whether it's a website, walk in the park, hat or herb garden. I'm interested in projects that are fun to work on, have lots to learn about, and contribute positively to the community.

13 thoughts on “Say hello to the Redlove apple

  1. Would this Redlove Apple tree require minimum chill hours to fruit?
    I live in the hinterland of Tweed Heads on a hill of 260 meters high.
    Night temp drops between 5-15C degree in the winter time.
    I wonder whether it would be worthwhile to grow a few trees in my garde.?

  2. When is the best time to repot (espalier) and cut the growing tip of this dwarf tree? Gift received 14 May; it is almost 2 meters in height with one main trunk. Perth Hills area. Thank you.

    • Hey Charisse! Your tree should be going dormant now. The nursery suggests denuding all the leaves (any that fail to fall) and repotting in early spring. You can trim and train your redlove any time of year, but the new spring shoots will be softer and easier to work with.

  3. Hi,

    We’ve been given two redlove’s for christmas, will we need to get a pink lady/granny smith to ensure they fruit? Or just hope someone has one near by?

    Cheers.

    • Hiya Duncan,

      We bought a Redlove last year, we don’t have any other apples in our garden but have 1 little apple on our tree so someone in the neighbour hood must have a pollinator . You could always give it a year to see if it fruits if it does bonus! you won’t have to buy a pink lady or Granny Smith someone has an apple tree near you.

    • Hi Duncan — Patricia nailed it. The nursery says one of their customers got fruit off a solitary tree (could it have been Patricia?). A pink lady/granny smith would ensure pollination, but you could always chance it with just one tree.

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