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Gala (apple)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
SpeciesMalus domestica
Hybrid parentage'Kidd's Orange Red' × 'Golden Delicious'
OriginNew Zealand New Zealand, 1930s[1]
The fruit is characteristically striped or mottled

Gala is an apple cultivar with a sweet, mild flavor, a crisp but not hard texture, and a striped or mottled orange or reddish appearance. Originating from New Zealand in the 1930s, similar to most named apples, it is clonally propagated. In 2018, it surpassed Red Delicious as the apple cultivar with the highest production in the United States, according to the US Apple Association. It was the first time in over 50 years that any cultivar was produced more than Red Delicious.[2]

Appearance and flavor[edit]

Gala apples are non-uniform in color, usually vertically striped or mottled, with overall orange color.[1] They are sweet, fine textured, and aromatic,[1] and in addition to being eaten raw and cooked are especially suitable for creating sauces.[3]

  • Density 0.86 g/cc
  • Sugar 13.5%
  • Acidity 4.2 grams/ litre
  • Vitamin C 0–5 mg / 100 gram[4]
Typical size distribution[4]
55–60 mm 60–65 mm 65–70 mm 70–75 mm 75–80 mm 80–85 mm
1% 6% 12% 40% 38% 3%


The first Gala apple tree was one of many seedlings resulting from a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Kidd's Orange Red planted in Greytown, Wairarapa, New Zealand in the 1930s by orchardist J.H. Kidd. Selected in 1939, introduced in 1960.[5] Donald W. McKenzie, an employee of Stark Bros Nursery, obtained a US plant patent for the cultivar on October 15, 1974.[6] It is a relatively new introduction to the UK, first planted in commercial volumes during the 1980s. The variety now represents about 20% of the total volume of the commercial production of eating apples grown in the UK, often replacing Cox's Orange Pippin.

Sports (mutations)[edit]

Many sports of Gala have been selected, mostly for increased red color, including the popular Royal Gala. The original cultivar produced fruit with orange stripes and a partial orange blush over a yellow background. Since then, several un-patented sports have been recognized. Additionally, more than twenty sports have received US plant patents:

Date "Inventor" Marketed as Mutated from Assignee Habit Pattern Earlier Color Plant patent number
Feb 20, 2013 W. Fulford, New Zealand Regal Gala (Fulford Gala, Gala Must) Gala reddish orange blush over a yellow ground USPP 3309
Oct 15, 1974 McKenzie Gala Stark standard partial blush yellow US plant patent 3637
Oct 4, 1977 H.W. Ten Hove, New Zealand Royal Gala, Tenroy Gala3637 Stark standard stripe red US plant patent 4121
May 10, 1988 John Creech, US Scarlet Gala[7] Kidd's D-83637 C & 0 standard blush scarlet US plant patent 6172
Aug 1, 1989 K.W. Kiddle, New Zealand Galaxy Tenroy4121 Stark standard stripe earlier intense red US plant patent 6955
Dec 18, 1990 Cooper Treco Spur Red Gala No. 42, Regal Auvil Oregon Rootstock spur stripe red US plant patent 7396
Jul 16, 1991 Fulford Fulford Kidd3637 standard blush bright red US plant patent 7589
Mar 1, 1994 Olsen Obrogala, UltraRed Tenroy4121 Stark standard stripe 2–4 days redder US plant patent 8621
Apr 5, 1994 Waliser, US Waliser Gala Tenroy4121 Waliser standard stripe 10 days bright red US plant patent 8673
May 10, 1994 Hill Applewaites Kidd's3637 standard blush 2–3 days more complete red US plant patent 8720
Nov 5, 1996 Olsen Olsentwo Gala, Pacific Gala Royal Gala4121 standard stripe 5–10 days distinguishably different US plant patent 9681
Sep 2, 1997 Paul Brookfield, New Zealand Baigent Royal Gala4121 Brookfield standard stripe extremely early bright red US plant patent 10016
Nov 11, 1997 Gale Gale Gala Royal Gala4121 Van Well, US standard stripe 3 weeks more complete US plant patent 10114
Jun 23, 1998 Tina Fackler, US Big Red Gala Kidd's3637 Protree standard stripe same US plant patent 10458
Mar 30, 1999 Simmons Simmons Imperial Peace Valley standard stripe 21 days brighter red US plant patent 10840
Jan 18, 2000 Stiekema Stiekema 1 Obragala8621 standard blush red US plant patent 11182
Apr 11, 2000 McSpadden, Jr Caitlin Tenroy4121 Stark standard stripe "earlier" US plant patent 11348
Aug 13, 2002 Bob Black, US Harry Black Gala (Autumn Gala) Kidd's3637 International Plant Management standard stripe 5 wk. later US plant patent 12842
Apr 29, 2003 Banning Banning Gala Imperial standard stripe intense red blush, darker stripe US plant patent 13753
Jan 6, 2004 Smith Smith gala Tenroy4121 standard stripe yellow US plant patent 14448
May 4, 2004 Weaver Weaver Fulford7589 Adams County Nursery more compact blush bright red US plant patent 14752
Jan 4, 2005 Ligonniere Dalitoga Imperial SNC Elaris standard stripe 3 wk. yellow US plant patent 15465
Aug 15, 2006 Burkitt Burkitt Gala Tenroy4121 BMA Trust standard stripe 10 d. completely red US plant patent 17013
Feb 26, 2008 McDonald El Niño Royal4121 standard intense dark red stripe bright red US plant patent 18512
Jul 8, 2008 McLaughlin McLaughlin Gala, Blondee Kidd's3637 standard no striping or blush 4—6 d. yellow US plant patent 19007
Dec 30, 2008 G. E. Fankhauser, Australia Alvnia Gala Fankhauser standard stripes "earlier" red, > 95A% coverage US plant patent 19604
Apr 14, 2009 A. Richard, France Galaval Galaxy Gala6955 Pepinieres du Valois standard blush intense dark purple brown US plant patent 19909
Sept 28, 2010 M. Julien, France Jugala Mitchgla Gala 5 d. USPP 21315
Aug 14, 2012 S. Buck, New Zealand Premier Star Imperial Gala USPP 22949
Jul 22, 2014 R. Wyle, US Foxtrot Tenroy Gala earlier ripening more intensely red USPP 24664
Apr 7, 2015 S. Perathoner, Italy Gala Parathoner Mitchgla Gala stripes light and dark stripes 95–100% USPP 25407
Jan 24, 2017 A. Gruber-Genetti, Italy Gala Schnico Red Gala Schnitzer Scinga 100% dark red USPP 27577
May 9, 2017 A. Defrancesschi, Italy Gala 2013 Gala 100% purple-red USPP 27978
Jan 23, 2018 L. Fabre, France Galafab(Gala Star) Gala Red 90–100% USPP 28885
Dec 25, 2018 Brisset, France Gala Surf Gala Very dark purple red USPP 30009
May 21, 2019 J. Braun, Italy GalaMic Gala Deep purple USPP 30512

Unpatented varieties[edit]

Unpatented varieties
Name mutated from year and country
Imperial Gala
Ultima Gala (Banning) Imperial Gala 1997 US

Gala apple from South Tyrol, Italy, with protected-origin (PDO) sticker.

Descendant cultivars[edit]

Name Parentage Cross made Introduced Origin
Aurora Golden Gala Splendour x Gala 1981 Canada
Bravo Cripps Red x Royal Gala 1992 Australia
Delfloga (Royal Gala × Florina) [8] ? ?
Envy(Scilate) (Royal Gala × Braeburn) 1985 New Zealand
Gaia Gala x A3-7 Italy
Galarina Gala x Florina Querina 1978 France
Jazz (Scifresh) Braeburn x Royal Gala 1985 ? New Zealand
Nicoter (Kanzi) (Gala × Braeburn) [9] Belgium
Modi Gala x Liberty 1992 Italy
Monalisa Gala x Malus 4 Brazil
Newson Gala x Hawkes Bay Red Delicious 1983 Canada
Nicola Splendour x Gala 1981 Canada
Sciros (Pacific Rose) (Splendor × Gala)[10]
Rubens(Civni) Elstar x Gala Italy
Sweetie ('PremA280')
Salish Splendour x Gala 1981 1997 Canada


Gala apples are grown from May through September in the northern hemisphere, but, like most apples, are available almost all year through the use of cold storage and controlled atmosphere storage.[11] Australian Gala are available from late January. California fruit is available until October. While the season usually lasts only 9 or 10 months, they are able to last all year round. However, due to some apples continuing to be grown in some orchards, and the fact that they can be refrigerated for some months leads to the availability of the Gala apple year-round in some Australian markets. These usually taste different (slightly less sweet) from those in season. The UK season begins in late summer (August). Storage makes the UK fruit available nearly year-round as with fruit from other origins.

Royal Gala sport[edit]

'Royal Gala' cultivar

Royal Gala is a Gala sport, patented by Stark in 1977, which produces redder fruits than the original cultivar. It is a pink-red dessert apple and is therefore usually eaten fresh. Royal Galas are usually harvested in early to late February in the southern hemisphere. In New Zealand, the pinker original Gala has almost disappeared as a commercial apple in favor of the darker-skinned Royal Gala.


  1. ^ a b c "Gala", National Fruit Collection, retrieved 31 October 2015
  2. ^ 2018 Annual Review Archived 2019-01-24 at the Wayback Machine U.S. Apple Association.
  3. ^ "Royal Gala Apples | Australian Apple Varieties | Aussie Apples". Archived from the original on 2015-08-26. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
  4. ^ a b Silbereisen, Robert; Götz, Gerhard; Hartmann, Walter; Tambour, Gisela; Eberle, Christl (1996). Obstsorten – Atlas. Ulmer (Eugen). ISBN 9783800155378.
  5. ^ Brooks, Olmo. American Society for Horticultural Science, Vol. 91, page 908
  6. ^ US plant patent 3637
  7. ^ US plant patent 7396
  8. ^ "Delfloga". Government of Canada Plant Inspections. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  9. ^ United States Patent PP17201
  10. ^ Ltd, Orange Pippin. "Apple - Pacific Rose - tasting notes, identification, reviews". Orange Pippin - all about apples and orchards. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  11. ^ McGlone, V.Andrew; Jordan, Robert B.; Martinsen, Paul J. (2002-06-01). "Vis/NIR estimation at harvest of pre- and post-storage quality indices for 'Royal Gala' apple". Postharvest Biology and Technology. 25 (2): 135–144. doi:10.1016/S0925-5214(01)00180-6. ISSN 0925-5214.

External links[edit]