Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Malus domestica ‘Royal Russet’

Fruit; large, roundish, somewhat flattened. Skin; covered with rough brown russet on a yellowish-green ground colour, brownish next the sun. Flesh; greenish-yellow, tender, crisp, brisk, juicy, sugary. [HP].



Horticultural & Botanical History

Described and figured in the Pomological Magazine. ‘The French synonym of this valuable variety is, no doubt, accurate; and it is not improbable that the Passe pomme de Canada of the same nation is another name. Trees from the French Royal Gardens have proved so; and the only doubt upon the subject is caused by the name Passe, which usually designates fruit that passes away sooner than that with which it is compared.’ [PM t.125/1830].

Mentioned as early as 1597, and possibly Shakespeare’s ‘Leather coat’ in King Henry IV. Produces a large vigorous tree and a free bearer. ‘A most excellent culinary apple of the first quality. Ripe November to May, although it is apt to shrink and become dry on storage. [HP].



History at Camden Park

Listed as ‘Royal Russet, apple no.63’ in a hand written list of apples in an 1850 catalogue held at Camden Park [CPA]. Most of the plants hand-written in this catalogue subsequently appeared in the 1857 catalogue. That the apples did not is probably an oversight.




Published Apr 16, 2010 - 04:51 PM | Last updated Jul 24, 2011 - 05:01 PM

The apple figured has brownish-green skin, flushed red and with russet patches. Pomological Magazine t.125, 1830.

Apple ‘Royal Russet’ | PM t.125/1830 | BHL


Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, possibly Europe but I have found no reference to its exact origins

  • Leather-Coat
  • Reinette de Canada Grise
  • Reinette de Canada Platte


Common Name

Apple, Culinary apple, Keeping apple

Name in the Camden Park Record

Royal Russet 



Confidence level high