Fruit identification

Let the RHS Fruit Specialist identify your mystery apple and pear cultivars


From 1 September 2021, we are pleased to resume our free fruit identification service for RHS members. Please read the details below before sending in your fruit to us.

What fruit you need to send

  • Please send 3 typical ripe fruit complete with stalks
  • Please well wrap the fruit in tissue paper (or similar) and pack in a box
  • Avoid selecting fruit that is misshapen, undersized or not ripe
  • Including a small branch with undamaged, mature leaves also helps

How to send in fruit for identification

  • Complete this printable form (17.5kB Word doc),  including membership number and send with your fruit in the post
  • Alternatively, provide the information below in a letter along with your fruit in the post
  • Post your fruit to us early in the week so the samples reach us in good condition. Send to: Fruit Naming, Gardening Advice, RHS Garden Wisley, Woking GU23 6QB

Please provide the following information in a letter accompanying the fruit (if you don’t include the printed form above):

Your name, address, RHS membership number, and email address (we will respond by email wherever possible) along with the below information:

  • Town/city/village where the tree is growing
  • Typical ripening/picking time
  • Use – dessert, culinary, dual-purpose or cider
  • Geographical location such as a domestic garden or an old orchard
  • Age of the tree if known, or an indication of age such as very old, mature or fairly recently planted
  • Any additional information you think might help us identify the fruits for you

We will aim to respond to you within 10 working days of receiving your fruit. However, some samples can take more work to identify, so please bear with us if it takes longer. We are not able to identify fruit samples at our face-to-face Gardening Advice Desks.

Privacy notice: Your personal data will be used by the RHS for the purposes of contacting you about your Fruit cultivar sample and for purposes stated in the member section of our Privacy Policy. Your data will be stored on our Gardening Advice and membership system in line with our retention policy. Please read the ‘Member’ section in our RHS Privacy Policy on our website for more information  about how we use your personal data and how to exercise your rights under the applicable data protection legislation.

Opportunities to have your fruit identified at RHS Gardens

  • RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show: 9 September, 10am–12noon and 1pm–4pm
  • RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show: 12 September, 10am–12noon and 1pm–4pm
  • RHS Garden Rosemoor Apple Festival & The Taste of Autumn Food Fair: 2–3 October, 10am–4pm
  • RHS Garden Wisley Taste of Autumn: 13–17 October, 10am–5pm
  • RHS Garden Harlow Carr Late Fruit and Vegetable Competition: 28–31 October, 10am–4pm

Useful information

Have a go at identifying the fruit yourself using Fruit ID website.

Keen individuals, orchards and nurseries may consider using DNA identification. This is offered by NIAB EMR research institute for apples, pears, strawberries and raspberries from samples of new growth in early summer.

Please note: this service can be expensive and would advise discussing the cost first.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.