Malus ‘Rubinette’

It’s that time of year again–UBC Botanical Garden’s biggest event of the year will occur this weekend, the UBC Apple Festival. This year, we’ll have 20 000 kilograms (44 000 lbs.) of apples available for sale, from approximately seventy different cultivars. One particular highlight of this year’s Apple Festival will be the announcement of the cultivar name for Malus SPA493, as this hybrid transitions from breeding and testing to becoming the newest apple cultivar in Canadian commercial production.

Malus ‘Rubinette’ will also be available for both tasting and purchase. This cultivar was developed by Walter Hauenstein of Switzerland. It was first introduced in 1964 and has since become a commercial crop in Switzerland. Hauenstein bred Malus ‘Rubinette’ from a cross of Malus ‘Golden Delicious’ and Malus ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’. I photographed this particular apple because of the attractive striping, but that isn’t necessarily a consistent feature of the cultivar–colouration can be splotchy or uniform. However, what it might lack in consistent beauty, it makes up for with intense flavour. The folks at call it “Probably the best-tasting apple in the world“.

Malus 'Rubinette'

22 responses to “Malus ‘Rubinette’”

  1. Appluvr

    Beautiful fruit! It’s difficult, however, to imagine any apple that can beat ‘Honey Crisp’ for flavor and crunch. Our semidwarf was loaded this year and when I saw the price they were fetching in the local grocery store, I was wishing I had a backyard full of those trees! They are truly sublime. Happy to have some left in the refrigerator.

  2. Daniel Mosquin

    ‘Honeycrisp’ is my favourite (sometimes-)commercially-available apple.

  3. Susan

    What??? Tastier than a Macintosh??? A Mac right off the tree??? Not.

  4. Karen Newbern

    Honeycrisp are great, but terribly overpriced. I MUCH prefer Macintosh over any other apple!

  5. Sharon Crockett

    Wish we had those apples this year….Here in Michigan, we lost 90% of our apple crop with the late freeze this past spring!

  6. Daniel Mosquin

    I’d certainly be open to trying a ‘McIntosh’ right off the tree someday. I definitely enjoy some of the cultivars that have ‘McIntosh’ as the parent, like ‘Fameuse’ and ‘Liberty’.

  7. elizabeth a airhart

    apple time means baked apples and fresh warm apple sauce
    i hope your festival is a happy time for all
    the weather this year in the in the usa has
    difficult to say the least i live fl but born
    up north thank you daniel

  8. Ron

    Has anyone ever tried a Macoun apple? Far better than the Macintosh.

  9. Wendy Newman

    Does anyone know where you could purchase a Rubinette tree for the home orchard.

  10. Corrie

    There truly isn’t a better out there (that I have tasted, including the mac) that is better than the “Honey Crisp”. It doesn’t get mushy in pies and apple crisp (my personal favorite). It is always juicy and very crisp with tons of flavor!!!!!!

  11. Daniel Mosquin

    Wendy, there will be some at the Apple Festival, so they should be findable within the provincial trade.
    Ron, ‘Macoun’ is one of the parents of ‘Honeycrisp’.

  12. Dr R K S Rathore

    Dear Mr Daniel’
    Will you please find out the fungus growing at the tip of the pedicel of the fruit you have photographed ? There are patches or white spots on the body of this apple also. So be careful about the fungus invading the fruit also. Thank you for arousing the interest of people in apple cultivars.
    RKS Rathore

  13. Daniel Mosquin

    There’s no fungus on the fruit, or rather, what you are pointing out isn’t fungus (I’ll grant that there are likely fungal spores, since there are fungal spores nearly everywhere).
    The spots on the fruits are lenticels. In order for the growing fruit to build so much mass, it has a need for gas exchange which surpasses what can be supplied internally — so lenticels are formed in order to promote gas exchange to the underlying tissues.
    As for the hairs on the tip of the pedicel, that is also typical of many apples (see this site re: hairy pedicels). A few other photographs of the hairy pedicels: here and here.

  14. michael aman

    My sentimental favorite is Early MacIntosh from trees my great-grandfather planted in 1900 here in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. Still producing at 112 years old. They make dark pink best tasting applesauce and pies.

  15. Dr R K S Rathore

    Thanks for clearing the doubt about probability of fungus on the pedicel & body of Apple fruit.

  16. Alexander Jablanczy

    I am thrilled that so many varieties of apples are still available.
    However it s been years since I have seen russet apples.

  17. Susan

    Well, yes, Macs don’t keep well, get mushy fairly soon, but they have the most distinctive perfume of any apple I know. I could easily pick one out of crowd of sliced-up mali. If you can’t eat them quickly enough (while they are still crisp), they make the best apple sauce. They are the fragrance of autumn to me.

  18. Kate Clover

    From Minnesota– My preference is Haralson: crisp, tangy, a good keeper for pies, cooking, eating. Yes, a good old fashioned Mac is good off the tree , but there are better keepers.

  19. Iris Lefleur

    How can anything beat the taste of a Macoun?
    Here in Vermont we lost our crop too b/c of late frost combined with the overload of last year. The orchards did okay and produced the most amazing Macouns I`ve ever tasted.

  20. elizabeth a airhart

    we all seem to have a common background of haveing
    someone in the family makeing warm pink applesauce
    please does anyone know what kind of apples are used in candy
    apples on a stick the red hard kind thank you

  21. Wendy Cutler

    I was told it’s been announced on CBC, so the secret is out: Malus SPA493 has been named ‘Salish’. “Born in BC”, “Raised in the Okanagan” (according to the postcard given out at the festival), it will be available at several retailers this autumn. It was crunchy and juicy, and my friends and I had a spectrum of opinions on the taste (very tasty, not very tasty, getting tastier as it was eaten). I preferred the ‘Aurora Golden Gala’ that I tasted while I was eating the ‘Salish’. That’s one that I had for the first time at the festival some years ago, maybe the same year I had ‘Honeycrisp’ for the first time.
    They had bags of ‘Rubinette’ available for sale at the festival. Very tasty, nice and crunchy.

  22. Gabrielle

    Chiming in a little late but I have to cast my vote for early Macoun as Best Apple Ever!

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