There’s a new apple in the Aussie backyard. With their firm crimson skin and unique red flesh, these “revolutionary” beauties from Switzerland have already taken root across Europe, the UK and North America. And now, in 2017, they’re available for the first time throughout Australia writes Sandy Lim.
Redloves are a relatively new series of hybrids, descended from a wild red-fleshed apple native to Kazakhstan. But fruit breeder Markus Kobelt, of Swiss nursery, Lubera, found these apples too sour to enjoy on their own, and set out on a 20-year journey of experimental cross-breeding to create
“the first good-tasting, red-fleshed apple”
That said, Lubera only consider the Redloves apples on the outside. The bright pink flesh, curious internal markings and unusual flavour suggest these might be “a new type of fruit just as distinguishable from the apple as nectarines and peaches”.
What’s inside certainly counts. Redloves are said to boast an abundance of anthocyanin and around 30% more antioxidants than the average apple. What’s more, they don’t turn brown when cut (probably due to all those antioxidants) and retain their colour when cooked. This makes them the perfect apple for those dressed-to-impress desserts.
WA’s Redlove supply is cultivated at Domus Nursery, a little wholesaler up in the Perth hills. They say their biggest challenge was in dealing with how vigorously their plants performed over the growing season. Where new plant releases tend to hit the eastern states first, Domus’ stock was ready for sale a month ahead of schedule. This meant an early February release in WA, earning Redloves the unofficial nickname of “the Valentine apple”.
Domus’ success with this species in WA bodes well for other regions of the country. They expect gardeners in the tropical zones (Broome, Darwin, FNQ, etc.) will struggle, but planted in full sun with a regular water supply, Redloves should do just fine in areas further south and away from the coast. Domus’ main recommendation for home gardeners is to protect the plants from winds to prevent excessive transpiration.
On the growing front, these plants are scab-resistant with minimal pest- and disease-related issues. Redloves are a dwarf species, reaching only 2-3m in height, making them suitable for pots, balcony gardens and espalier. If potting, use an Australian premium standard potting mix plus a slow-release fertiliser in Spring. Domus recommend also pruning the growing tip to encourage branching.
This articles was originally published on Garden Drum and is republished here under Creative Commons.