Roxbury Russet are medium-sized apples that are roundish but unevenly shaped, and somewhat lumpy looking. The skin is dull green with mottled brown russeting covering ⅓ to ½ the skin. There will be a bronzy-red blush sometimes on the side where it has been exposed to the sun.
Inside, the flesh is greenish or off-white, with a somewhat coarse texture. It is very firm and crisp, and somewhat juicy.
The trees are reliable and generous providers every year, with the fruit ripening at the end of September to the start of October.
Roxbury Russet Apples can be used for fresh-eating, cider and pies.
Their 12.87% sugar content will yield 6% alcohol in making cider.
Roxbury russet apples store well.
Roxbury russet apples are listed in garden catalogues as early as 1845. Some speculate they were available in Roxbury, Massachusetts before 1649, because in that year grafts were taken to Connecticut from there.
At one point, the apple appears to have been called a Putnam Russet in some areas:
“The Putnam Russet, so called from being introduced by one of the Putnams, though it passed under this name for a long time, was found at last to be nothing but the Roxbury Russet. The great difference was it ripened two weeks sooner here and had more of the russet appearance. These trees were grafts. Other facts mentioned indicated the decline of the fruit since that early day.” — Cincinnati Horticultural Society. Interesting Proceedings. City News column. Cincinnati, Ohio: Cincinnati Daily Press. Saturday, 14 December 1861. Page 3, col. 3.