Apple Varieties and Their Uses

The cool, crisp nights and warm, sunny, dry days of fall are not only pleasant and enjoyable for many outdoor activities, they are also ideal for apples to ripen.

apples on a treeUnlike the limited selection found on produce shelves most of the year, the apples that can be grown in the home garden and those grown at orchards across the state are highly varied.  Each variety has a slightly different flavor, texture, fruit color, and use. Take advantage of this selection and grow your own, or buy some local Iowa-grown apples.

Below is a list of the characteristics and uses of some apple varieties that may grow well in your yard or can be found in Iowa orchards and markets.

While flavor, color, and use are important considerations for selecting an apple variety for your yard, so too is its disease resistance.  By selecting disease-resistant apples, you can greatly reduce the amount of management and spraying that would be required to have a high-quality crop.  Find a list of good disease-resistant apples for Iowa in this article: What are some disease resistant apple cultivars to grow in Iowa?

Characteristics of Apple Varieties

VarietyMaturityColorTextureFlavorStorage LifeUsesBloom Time
ChieftainLate Sept. - early Oct.Bright redCrispSlightly tartGoodCooking, freshMid-season
CortlandMid - late Sept.RedCrispSlightly tartGoodCooking, freshMid-season
Crimson Crisp™ Mid Sept.Bright red CrispSlightly tartModerateCooking, freshLate, Mid-Season
DaytonLate AugGlossy redCrispSweetShortCooking, freshMid-season
EnterpriseMid OctBurgundy redCrispTartGoodCooking, freshLate 
FlorinaMid- late Sept.Yellow washed with Purple-redTenderSweetModerateFreshMid-season
FreedomMid Sept.RedTenderSlightly tartGoodFresh, sauceMid-season
GalaLate Aug. - early Sept.Crimson red with golden udertonesCrispSlightly sweetShortCookingMid-season
GalarinaMid- late Sept. Variable reddish coloring over green-yellowCrispSlightly tartGoodFreshMid-season
Golden DeliciousLate Sept. - early Oct.Golden yellowTenderSweetExcellentCooking, freshLate, Mid-Season
GoldrushLate OctYellow  CrispTartExcellentCooking, freshLate
HaralredLate Sept. - early Oct.RedCrispTartGoodCookingMid-season
HaralsonMid - late Sept.RedCrispTartExcellentCooking, freshMid-season
HoneycrispMid Sept.Yellow with red blushesCrispSweetGoodCooking, freshMid-season
HoneygoldMid - late Sept.Golden yellowCrispSlightly sweetGoodCooking, freshMid-season
JonadelMid - late Sept.Yellow base washed with redTenderSlightly sweetGoodCooking, freshEarly
JonafreeMid - late Sept.RedTenderSlightly tartGoodCooking, freshMid-season
JonagoldLate Sept -early Oct.Yellow with red blushesTenderSlightly tartGoodCooking, freshMid-season
JonathanMid - late Sept.Yellow mostly covered by crimson redTenderSlightly tartModerateCooking, freshMid-season
LibertyLate Sept. - early Oct.Bright redCrispSlightly tartGoodFreshEarly
MacfreeEarly Sept.Green Yellow washed with medium redCrispSlightly tartGoodFreshEarly
McIntoshEarly to mid-Sept.Dark redTenderSlightly tartModerateCooking, freshEarly
MutsuMid - late Oct.Green Yellow with light coppery blushCrispSlightly tartExcellentCooking, freshMid-season
NovamacEarly Sept.RedCrispSweetGoodCooking, freshEarly
NovaSpyMid - late Sept.RedCrispSweetGoodCooking, freshMid-season
PaularedMid - late Aug.RedCrispSlightly tartShortFreshEarly
Pixie Crunch™ Mid Sept.Greenish yellow mostly covered by purplish redCrispSlightly tartGoodCooking, freshMid-season
Pristine™ Early Aug.Lemon YellowCrispSlightly tartGoodCooking, freshMid-season
Red DeliciousLate Sept. - early Oct.RedCrispSweetExcellentCooking, freshMid-season
RedfreeEarly Aug.Yellow mostly covered by redCrispSlightly tartModerateCooking, freshMid-season
Rome BeautyLate Sept.Deep redTenderSlightly tartExcellentCookingLate
RubyRushLate Sept.RedCrispSlightly tartExcellentCooking, freshLate, Mid-Season
Scarlett O-Hara™ Late Sept.Yellow with red blushesCrispSlightly tartExcellentFreshMid-season
Sir PrizeMid - late Sept.YellowCrispSweetGoodFreshMid-season
SpartanMid - late Sept.Bright Red with patches of green/yellowTenderSlightly tartGoodCooking, freshMid-season
Sundance™ Early Oct.Greenish Yellow  CrsipSlightly tartExcellentFreshMid-season
WealthyLate Aug. - early Sept.Reddish pinkTenderSlightly tartShortCooking, freshEarly
William’s Pride Early Aug.Purple-redCrispSlightly tartModerateCooking, freshEarly
Zestar!Early Aug.Red and greenish-yellowCrispSweetGoodCooking, freshEarly

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Last reviewed:
December 2023