Why you should be excited

Oliver is a 19th century U.S. apple that's brilliant red-skinned, with eye-catching dots and very nice to eat.

The story of Oliver

Back in the day when people took an interest in such things as fruit exhibits at World's Fairs, Oliver grabbed the attention of folks at Chicago's World Columbian Exposition.

It did this because it's a real eye-catcher: round, glossy, brilliant red, covered with many yellowish dots. And Oliver had more in its favour than appearance, as it's also got nicely crisp and juicy flesh, pleasant subacid flavour and good keeping ability.

With all that going for it, why has Oliver not been a more famous variety?

We don't know the answer, but we do know this is just one of dozens of varieties that similarly deserve a whole lot more attention than they get.

Oliver Facts

Its origins

Grown from seed near Lincoln, Arkansas, USA, early 1800s.

Flavour, aroma, texture

The yellowish flesh is fine-grained, crisp, juicy and mildly subacid.


A glossy apple that is brilliant red in skin colour, highlighted by stripes of various shades of red and numerous light-coloured dots.

When they’re available

Late season (usually in late October).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Quality for cider

Undoubtedly used a lot for cider back in the day, but we can't find any references reporting on its quality.

Keeping ability

Good (2 or 3 months when kept refrigerated).