Rare Apple Varieties

Updated April 11, 2017

Many varieties of apple have become extremely rare, as they are no longer cultivated by farmers. Mass production of apples for consumption has led to a reduction in the number of varieties being offered to supermarkets and retailers. Rare apple varieties may be found growing on wild trees on abandoned properties, wilderness areas and old forests and fields.

Cole's Quince

Also known as quince or pear apple, the Cole's Quince is a rare variety of apple. The fruit are large and yellow in colour, with a red-coloured flesh. Originating in Maine in the early 19th century, Cole's Quinces can be used for cooking or eating. The apples harvested in July are best for cooking, while those harvested between late August and late September are ideal for eating uncooked.

Beauty of Bath

Named after the English city of Bath, this apple originated in Britain in the 19th century. The fruit is deep red and streaked with russet colour. Beauty of Bath is an apple which ripens relatively early in the year, but has a short harvesting season. The apple is intended for eating rather than cooking, and is believed to have become rare because its flavour is not very good.

Breedon Pippin

Originating in England in the very early 19th century, the Breedon Pippin was originally raised by a Berkshire parson. An eating apple rather than a cooking variety, the Breedon Pippin typically has a dark, dull yellow skin with tinges of reddish orange and brown russet. The flesh of the apple is yellow in colour, and the taste is comparable to that of a pineapple. The Breedon Pippin matures relatively late in the season, and is a popular choice of dessert apple.


A cooking apple originating in England in the 1600s, the Catshead variety is a cooking apple with a tart flavour. The apple is a bright green colour, and has a characteristically lumpy shape. English settlers planted Catshead apples in Virginia, and the apple variety is still sometimes found growing in southern American states. It is very rarely found growing in contemporary England.

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Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.