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Ballerina Samba

Samba is a recent Ballerina-style apple, derived from Flamenco, but crossed with the popular Falstaff apple variety.

Like all Ballerina varieties, Samba grows in a compact vertical or fastigiate fashion. However it is unusual amongst Ballerina varieties in that it also produces strong side-shoots, although these extend only a short distance before turning sharply vertical.

The flavour of Samba is amongst the best of these minarette varieties for eating fresh, and the apples can also be used for a crab-apple-style jelly.

Malus domestica

Ballerina Samba apple trees for sale

  • 1-year maiden bare-root tree 33.45
    MM106 rootstock
    Large size (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
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How to grow

Samba should reach a maximum height of about 3m / 10ft after 5 years or so - often a bit less. There is no need to stake the tree unless you have very sandy soil or a windy situation. It can also be grown in a large patio container.

After 5 years or so you can also thin out some of the fruiting spurs if they appear to be becoming congested, but try to avoid pruning (especially in winter) as pruning can spoil the columnar appearance.

When planting this variety as a 1-year bare-root tree, do not prune back the stem (contrary to what is suggested in our main planting instructions).


Samba is one of the most recent Ballerina-style apple varieties, developed at East Malling in Kent. It was introduced in 2008. The unusual minarette-like form is inherited from one of its ancestors, a natural genetic mutation of the well-known McIntosh apple variety, called Wijcik.

Whilst all these varieties have excellent ornamental impact, the flavour of the original McIntosh Wijcik was suitable only for cooking. Samba is a cross between the popular Flamenco Ballerina variety and Falstaff - and inherits the latter's productivity and good flavour. However it is the influence of Falstaff, particularly its tendency to produce lots of branches from a young age, which explains why Samba does not grow in the pole-like fashion common to other Ballerina varieties.

Ballerina Samba characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Flowering group3
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • PloidyDiploid
  • Bearing regularityRegular
  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
  • Picking seasonLate
  • CroppingGood
  • Keeping2-3 weeks
  • Useful forEating freshCulinaryJuice
  • ScabSome resistance
  • Climate typeTemperate climates
  • Summer average maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Cold (< 20C / 67F)
  • Country of originUnited Kingdom
  • Period of origin2000
  • Flower colourPink - light
  • Fruit colourYellow / Red