About the Heritage Fruits Society
The Heritage Fruits Society is based in Melbourne, Australia. Our aim is to conserve heritage fruit varieties (also known as 'heirloom fruits') on private and public land.
We enable and encourage society members to research this wide range of varieties and to inform the public on the benefits of heritage fruits for health, sustainability and biodiversity.
You can read about our history here.
You can find our list of heritage apples here.
Petty's Orchard in Templestowe, Victoria, Australia, is one of Melbourne’s oldest commercial orchards, and it holds the largest collection of heritage/heirloom apple varieties on mainland Australia, with more than two hundred varieties of old and rare apples.
The maintenance of the apple tree collection is done by Heritage Fruits Society volunteers. Anyone can come and help. Find out more!
What are Heritage (Heirloom) Fruits?
Old fashioned 'heirloom' or 'heritage' fruit trees including apple, quince, fig, plum, peach and pear trees are increasingly popular due to their extra flavour and nutritional qualities. In supermarkets only a limited range of commercial fruit varieties is available to us. During the 19th and early 20th centuries the diversity was huge. Old nursery catalogues were filled with plums, peaches, pears and apples of numerous varieties, few of which are grown today. HFS is preserving our history to make a fantastic variety of fruit trees available again to the home gardener, by renovating old orchards, sourcing historic fruit varieties and encouraging community participation.
Why preserve heritage fruits?
• Flavour and nutritional benefits.
• Biodiversity - Genetic diversity insures against pests and diseases.
• Longer picking season with early & late ripening
• Culture - heritage varieties are living history. Collections like Petty’s are precious - anyone who is the custodian of an old tree should treasure it.
What is the difference between heritage plants and heirloom plants?
There is no difference. Basically, they refer to the same things. Australians favour the term 'heritage' while in other countries the term 'heirloom' is generally used.