Illustration of Cox Orange apples; by Stefanie Kreuzer, b13 GmbH (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Cox Orange

The apple cultivar Cox's Orange Pippin (short British name is “Cox”) was first grown by Richard Cox, a retired horticulturist and brewer, in 1830 in Buckinghamshire, England.

The cultivar Ribston Pippin seems a likely candidate to be the cultivar's parentage, although that is yet to be confirmed.

Charles Turner started selling the fruit in the 1850s and companies started growing them commercially in the 1860s.

The medium-sized apple with its red-orange colour and deep red mottle on yellow background is very popular due to its wonderful flavour.

The crisp and white-yellow flesh is very juicy, aromatic and subacid. Some say there are hints of anise and cherry which become less intense as the apple ages.

The Cox is the ideal apple to be eaten out of hand or sliced but also widely used in the production of cider, blended with other varieties.

Fun fact: If you shake a ripe Cox you should be hearing a rattling sound from the seeds as they are only loosely attached to the flesh.

Hand holding apple; Photo by StockSnap, Saulo Zayas
© StockSnap, Saulo Zayas

The apple tree is anually productive and grows moderately. Since it is susceptible to diseases like canker, mildew and scab, it is mostly grown in countries with a similar climate to that of England, such as the Netherlands and Belgium. In the UK it accounts for more than 50% of the acreage of dessert apples.

The trees like well-aerated and wet soil as well as humid summers with low heat.


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