Pinkish Lady

OK, the color isn’t that great; this is Cripp’s Pink, which when grown to the high standards (much higher than this sad example) set by the Pink Lady Growers Association can be marketed under the trademark name of Pink Lady™.  The patent expired last year so I can propagate it under the cultivar name Cripp’s Pink, but I still can’t call it Pink Lady. 

Despite the lackluster color it was still scrumptios; crisp, juicy, sweet, appley.  They even hold up well to the heat of Las Vegas, where it’s suceptibility to fire blight isn’t much of a problem in the hot, dry air. 

Down Under they’ve developed a naturally dwarfing strain that’s grown on it’s own roots marketed as Pinkabelle™  Don’t look for it anytime soon in the nursery, as it’s still undergoing testing in the USA and won’t be released for at least 5 years (I tried to be a tester, but never heard back).  It’s causing quite a stir in its native Australia, especially with growers in warmer districts. 


9 Responses

  1. Hi Kevin,

    I’m trialing a Pinkabelle in my garden and the results have been interesting to date. After planting last winter it flowered very early, around the third week of August (our last frosts are usually mid October). I had Anna, and a dwarf Granny Smith called Lechrechaun, out at the same time, so the Pinkabelle set a few pieces of fruit.They were knocked off in a storm before we had a chance to pick, but the tree looked promising.

    This year, it flowered heavily in the second week of September, and still has some spot fowering happening at the moment. Pollination was excellent, so I’ve been thinning each cluster to a single apple. Not quite sure when it will be ready to pick though – I’m guessing considerably earlier than Cripp’s Pink.

    Also, it doesn’t appear to be as dwarfing as the marketing suggests. We did have a very wet summer last year in my part of the world (Hampton, SE Qld about 2hrs north of Stanthorpe), and it is already taller than me. I’m 6’1″. The dwarf Granny, planted at the same time, is half the Pinkabelle’s height. Could be a labelling mistake?

    In case you are interested, I’ve got about 30 other varieties growing around the place, including a range of English and American heirlooms, and run a hobby bare root nursery in winter. To date my best performers have been Lord Lambourne, McIntosh, and Pine Golden Pippin.



    • It’s supposed to be 2 weeks earlier than pink lady, But I find it 2 weeks later than PL>

  2. That is really interesting. This was the first year that my PinkLady put on apples. As you know, the first year’s apples from a pink lady are not very good. Can’t wait till next year.

    Do you get any chill hours at all there at your nursery?


  3. We get about 250 chill hours, interspersed with weeks of 80 degree weather, so I don’t really pay attention to the chilling hour listing on a variety. The tree grows vigorously and leafs out fully, and never really does lose its leaves entirely over the winter. The new leaves just push the old ones out and it flowers and fruits just fine, like Granny Smith does.

  4. Hello Kevin!
    I live in Victorville and have been bitten by the gardening bug! I have 6 stone fruit trees and have been looking into possibly growing apple and pomegranate trees. I was wondering if you had any good recommendations for apple trees in my climate. I was going to go with whatever trees lowes sold but I have been wanting more of an heirloom type that isn’t from a big box store, or something that is not too common. Got any good suggestions? Thanks! Jessica.

    • Sure Jessica; Victorville used to be covered with apple orchards prior to 1934 (ever wonder why it’s called “Apple Valley”? You can see our favorites list at, although you can grow just about any apple you want. Rome Beauty was the most common apple grown there.

  5. Most growers here use sports of cripps pink, eg rosy glow, ruby red etc they colour up a lot better within the foliage. we have to leave a lot of foliage here in western australia as the summers are so hot and long otherwise the fruit gets sunburnt. Try 45 degrees celcius for a week, !

    The pinkabelle is just a spur form usually on MM106 here, sometimes MM109. It runts out pretty quickly most growers find it too small.

    The leprachaun granny smith is just a normal granny on M26.

    • Thanks Damo; how is the quality of the red sports compared to the original Cripp’s Pink? I had wondered about the leprachaun Granny Smith, so thanks for clearing that up; it’s reliable and of good quality here, riping from now to after Thanksgiving (late November).

      • The red sports let growers pick at an earlier stage and cool store them via the 1-MCP coating and can then store for 2 years. A normal PL will need to be picked later to get the colour and will only store 9 months even with 1_MCP.

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