James Grieve

Why you should be excited

James Grieve is a respected Scottish apple that works well for fresh-eating and even better for cooking.

The story of James Grieve

What does it tell you when an apple variety is used extensively in breeding? Perhaps that it's got at least a few attributes that breeders want to bring out in the varieties they intend to help nature to create?

And what does it tell you when numerous children of a variety themselves become respected apples? Perhaps that the breeders succeeded?

In the case of James Grieve, the characteristic that breeders have likely been looking to replicate is this variety's good flavour with a nice kick of acid. That makes this a respected multi-purpose variety and it also led to James Grieve's children, such as Greensleeves, Lord Lambourne, Katy and Falstaff achieving their own success. Not to mention grandchildren such as Topaz.

So perhaps it's time to get acquainted with James Grieve...

James Grieve Facts

Its origins

Raised from a seed in Scotland, late 19th century.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Juicy and tart when first harvested, with somewhat soft flesh. When cooked, it keeps its shape.


This attractive, relatively stout-shaped apple has a red flush over a green background.

When they’re available

Mid-season (usually in mid-September).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking

Very good.

Quality for cider

Not particularly considered a cider apple, although it can add some useful acid to cider blends.

Keeping ability

So-so (1 or 2 months when kept refrigerated).