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Malus pumila 'Antonovka'
Antonowka jm55130.jpg
Antonovka apples
SpeciesMalus pumila
Hybrid parentageSeems unknown[1]
OriginRussia Kursk Oblast, Russia

Antonovka (Russian: Антоновка, Polish: Antonówka) is a group of late-fall or early-winter apple cultivars with a strong acid flavor that have been popular in Russia (Soviet Union and the Russian Empire) as well as in Poland and Belarus. The most popular Russian variety is Common Antonovka (Антоновка обыкновенная), from which other cultivars derive. It was developed by pioneer Russian naturalist and plant breeder Ivan V. Michurin at his experimental orchard in the Tambov Oblast and introduced in 1888.[2]

Antonovka is famous for its unsurpassed strong and pleasant fruit aroma.

Polish varieties[edit]

Poland has two varieties: Antonówka Zwykła (same, as in Russia) and Antonówka Biała also known as Śmietankowa (Antonówka White or Creamy) with considerably larger and whiter fruit ripening in late September, but also a shorter shelf life.[3]

Antonovka apples


The popularity of the Antonovka tree is enhanced by its ability to sustain long harsh winters, typical in many regions of Eastern Europe and Russia. It also further popular for its superior fruit preservation qualities. These qualities made the Russian variety especially popular among the dacha owners, and it remains widely grown at dachas in many Post-Soviet states, where it is often called "the people's apple" (народное яблоко). Extremely tolerant of cold weather, and because it produces a single, deep taproot (unusual among apple trees), Antonovka is propagated for use as a rootstock. Antonovka rootstock provides a cold-hardy (to −45 °C), well-anchored, vigorous, standard-sized tree.


Due to the relatively low ratio of sugars in the fruit, Antonovka apples are especially well-suited for apple pies and late apple wine. The taste of the wine is noticeably lighter than wine from sweeter cultivars. In Poland, Antonówka is used mostly for apple preserves.

Kursk Antonovka

Cultivar of Antonovka[edit]

Antonovka is a cultivar of vernacular selection, which began to spread from Kursk region of Russia in the 19th century.[4] While the fruit-bearing trees have not received a wide recognition outside the former Soviet Union, many nurseries do use Antonovka rootstocks, since they impart a degree of winter-hardiness to the grafted varieties.


Ivan Bunin's early short story, "Antonov Apples" (1900), is a kind of ode to this apple cultivar as a lyric metaphor to the departing world of Russian landed gentry.

On August 19, 2008 the monument to Antonovka apple was unveiled in Kursk. The sculpture was by Vyacheslav Klykov and has a diameter of 1.5 meter.[5]

Aia Ilu[edit]

The Antonovka is a parent, to Aia Ilu.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Patriotic apples". September 26, 2011. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011.
  2. ^ Goncharov, N. P. (2016), "Ivan V. Michurin: On the 160th Anniversary of the Birth of the Russian Burbank", Russian Journal of Genetics: Applied Research, 6 (1): 105–127, doi:10.1134/S2079059716010068, S2CID 10884376
  3. ^ " – portal dla Profesjonalistów produkcji szkółkarskiej i kwiaciarskiej". Szkółkarstwo (in Polish). Retrieved October 20, 2022.
  4. ^ Elena Kalashnikova; Natalia Frolova (September 26, 2011). Патриотические яблоки (in Russian). Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  5. ^ Lilia Haritonova (August 27, 2008). Куряне трогают яблоко удачи (in Russian). Newspaper «Курский вестник». Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  6. ^ "List of Apple Cultivars". Archived from the original on November 20, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2018.

External links[edit]

  • "Antonovka", National Fruit Collection, University of Reading and Brogdale Collections, retrieved October 18, 2015
  • Beach, S.A.; Booth, N.O.; Taylor, O.M. (1905), "Antonovka", The apples of New York, vol. 2, Albany: J. B. Lyon, p. 6