Why you should be excited

Spencer is a tasty apple from British Columbia that’s a cross between McIntosh and Golden Delicious.

The story of Spencer

The ‘co-op’ apple breeders of Purdue, Rutgers and Illinois Universities have their ‘PRI’ naming ritual (Pristine, Priam, Prima and Priscilla among their successes).

And then there are the breeders at the former government agricultural station in Summerland, British Columbia, with their ‘S’ apples. Think Spartan, Sinta, Shamrock and Silken.

Plus, of course, Spencer, an apple introduced in 1959 that has won lots of compliments, but never really caught on commercially or with hobby growers. Which is a shame, as this October apple is crisp, juicy and distinctively sweet, deserving far more attention than it’s ever received.

Three cheers for those Summerland breeders!

Spencer Facts

Its origins

Bred in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada; 1959 introduction.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Firm, crisp, juicy and noticeably honey-sweet. Many people appreciate its balance of just enough acidity to go with all the sugar.


A large apple with crimson flush over its yellow-green background.

When they’re available

Mid-season (usually in early October).

Quality for fresh eating

Very good.

Quality for cooking


Keeping ability

Good (3 or 4 months when kept refrigerated).