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 ‘Scarlet Nonpareil’

‘Fruit middle-sized, larger than the old Nonpareil, about two inches and a half deep, and three inches in diameter, roundish, without any angles on its sides. Eye shallow, placed in a regularly-formed depression, surrounded with very small plaits. Stalk variable in length, sometimes nearly an inch long, sometimes a thick fleshy knob. Skin deep red next the sun, sprinkled with pale brown dots; the shaded part yellowish green, passing off into streaks towards the junction of the two colours. Flesh firm, yellowish white, juicy, rich, and very excellent.’ [George Lindley – Orchard guide p.98/1831].



Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Several very distinct varieties of Apple are now known in the nurseries and gardens by the name of Nonpareil: the Green, the Summer, the Golden, and the Scarlet, have already been communicated to the Horticultural Committee: and of these the Scarlet seems to possess the strongest claims to preference. The original tree is said to have been raised, with in the last forty years, in the garden of a public-house in Esher, in Surrey, and from thence to have been removed to the Nursery of Grimwood and Wykes, (now Malcolm’s), at Kensington’. [PL p.94, pl.12/1818].

Found at Esher in surrey in 1770. Makes a hardy, slender tree and bears freely. ‘A very excellent dessert apple of the first quality.’ Lindley thought that it deserves to be placed near the summit of the list of garden fruits. At its best from January until May. [HP pl.XLI/1878]

‘The largest of the Nonpareils, fine red fruit and good flavour.’  [David Crichton.  NHM vol.1 p.60/1864].



History at Camden Park

Listed in all catalogues [Apple no.2/1843]. There are two references to the quality of fruit in William Macarthur’s records.

‘March-June. Great bearer, excellent for table, very highly flavoured, very juicy and crisp, very sweet with brisk spicy flavour, bad for kitchen.’ [Notebook no.9, MP A2948].

‘March-June.  Excellent dessert fruit, by some considered the best, very highly flavoured brisk and sweet but acid.’ [Diary B, 1862, MP A2951].




Published Apr 15, 2010 - 02:09 PM | Last updated Jul 25, 2011 - 05:10 PM

The apple figured has a green ground heavily suffused with scarlet . Pomona Londinensis pl.12, 1818.

Apple ‘Scarlet Nonpareil’ | PL pl.12/1818 | Googal Books


Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, England

Common Name

Apple, Dessert apple

Name in the Camden Park Record

Apple - Scarlet Nonpareil 



Confidence level high