Black Oxford

Why you should be excited

Black Oxford is probably the darkest-skinned apple you will ever see and a darn good heritage apple, too.

The story of Black Oxford

Some apple varieties named back in the day give the impression that their namers were perhaps a touch fanciful. Is Westfield Seek-No-Further really so delicious that you need not try any other new apple varieties for as long as you live? Perhaps not. Is Pitmaston Pineapple really reminiscent of that fruit? Maybe and maybe not.

But is the 18th century Maine-discovered Black Oxford really black? Well, darn close. You'll likely never see a darker-skinned apple than this one (although, in our orchard, Winekist very nearly matches it).

And on top of that novelty, this is an excellent apple with classic 'heritage apple' eating quality. Good for both fresh eating and cooking, Black Oxford deserves the attention its appearance earns it.

Black Oxford Facts

Its origins

Discovered in Paris, Maine, USA, around 1790.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Dense, crisp and juicy, with a nice balance of sugar and acid.


Round and squat with deep red (almost black) skin colour.

When they’re available

Late season (usually in early October).

Quality for fresh eating

Very good.

Quality for cooking


Quality for cider

Used a lot in cider, both yesteryear and currently.

Keeping ability

Good (2 or 3 months when kept refrigerated).