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Fameuse apple tree

Snow Apple / Fameuse

Fameuse is one of the oldest apples originating in Canada, with a history dating back to the early 18th century in Quebec, and probably much older.

It is also known as the Snow Apple, and as the name suggests, is a hardy variety, and very well-suited to the north country.

Fameuse has distinctive bright white soft flesh, with a sweet wine-like flavor. It is the probable parent of McIntosh, and the crimson skin, white flesh, and sweet flavor are characteristics of most of its descendants.

Fameuse apple trees for sale

  • Medium 1-year bare-root tree $33.75
    Mature height: 8ft-12ft after 10 years
    G.935 rootstock

How to grow

As its alternative name "Snow apple" suggests, Fameuse is a good choice for all northern states. It is usually cold hardy to zone 4. Perhaps surprisingly, it also performs fairly well in warmer climates, including southern California.

It is susceptible to scab but very resistant to most other apple diseases.

The main horticultural challenge is its tendency to lapse into biennial bearing - fruiting in alternate years. This can sometimes be prevented by heavy thinning of the fruitlets in the "on" year.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

Historical details

Fameuse is strongly associated with the French-speaking province of Quebec, and it is thought it was raised from seedlings brought over by early French settlers to Canada. It is known to have been planted in the USA by the 1730s.

Whilst it is an interesting variety in its own right, Fameuse is perhaps best known as the probable parent of the popular McIntosh apple variety. It is therefore at the head of one of the most important apple pedigrees, with dozens of descendants, many of them commercially important varieties.

Fameuse is widely known in English-speaking areas as the Snow Apple, reflecting its ability to thrive in northern climates.

Fameuse characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Pollination group2
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • PloidyDiploid
  • Bearing regularityBiennial tendency
  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
  • Picking seasonLate
  • UsesEating freshJuice
  • CroppingHeavy
  • Keeping (of fruit)1-2 months
  • Flavor style (apples)Vinous
  • General resistanceGood
  • FireblightSome resistance
  • CankerSome resistance
  • ScabVery susceptible
  • MildewVery resistant
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)(4) -30F / -34C
  • Summer maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
  • Country of originCanada
  • Period of origin1650 - 1699
  • Fruit colorCrimson