Bloody Ploughman


Why you should be excited

Bloody Ploughman is a richly red-skinned old Scottish apple that comes with a great -- if unlikely -- story.

The story of Bloody Ploughman

What are the odds that this deeply red-skinned apple got its name not from its skin colour but instead from a fellow -- a Scottish ploughman -- who stole the apple containing its seed?

It's unlikely, but the tale is fun anyway.

Apparently, this Scottish ploughman stole a sack of apples from an estate, got shot by the resident gameskeeper as he fled and fell dead. Rushing to his side, the ploughman's newly-widowed wife tossed the apples away in her grief.

Flash forward several years, and one of the seeds in one of those apples has sprouted and grown into a tree, eventually bearing this blood-red-skinned apple variety.

Apparently, someone who remembered all of these events from years before -- and made the connection between them and this new apple variety -- gave Bloody Ploughman its name.

Far-fetched? Perhaps. But we love a good story. And a good apple.

Bloody Ploughman Facts

Its origins

Discovered in Scotland, unknown year; first exhibited in 1883.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Crisp and juicy with a sweet, light flavour.


Blood-red skin and heavily ribbed. When ripe, the flesh inside can be stained pink.

When they’re available

Mid-season (usually in mid-September).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Quality for cider

Has been used a fair bit in cider, adding both acid and a pink tinge to blends.

Keeping ability

Good (2 months or slightly longer when kept refrigerated).