Why you should be excited

Mother is an old American apple –- once an admired favourite –- with an exotic perfumed and spicy flavour.

The story of Mother

Just like there are good years and bad years for wine grapes, so it is true of apples, which aren’t the generic and consistent ‘product’ their mass marketing pretends.

A good example of this is Mother, also known as American Mother, an apple that thrills people in good years and turns them off in bad.

Described as having a unique and aromatic sweet flavour in 'up' years, it’s trashed as ‘flat and musty’ in lesser years. Which puts the average apple eater in a bit of a quandary: how to know what to expect of a variety such as Mother in any particular year?

Our advice: have a taste and judge the latest vintage for yourself.

Mother Facts

Its origins

Discovered in Bolton, Massachusetts, USA; first recorded in 1844.

Flavour, aroma, texture

The soft, juicy, aromatic flesh can have an exotic, sweet, perfumed, spicy flavour in good years.


Flushed with deep red and with red striping, this medium-sized apple is sometimes lopsided in shape.

When they’re available

Mid-season (usually in late-September).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Quality for cider

Useful in heritage-style ciders.

Keeping ability

Good (up to 3 months when kept refrigerated).