Varieties

Australian cherries are available from November to late February.

Different varieties are harvested at different times, so what consumers see in the shops in November is different to what is available in January.
There are two main cherry species:
Sweet Cherries (Prunus avium L.) are often sold as generic fresh cherries.
Sour Cherries (Prunus cerasus L.) are mostly used in processed products such as freezing, canning and juices or typically preserved and used in cooking or for making cherry brandy.

There are more than 80 different varieties or selections of cherries grown within Australia that have their own unique properties, growing and harvesting requirements.

Black Douglas is a large black cherry with firm, meaty flesh. This heart‐shaped variety is available late in the season.
Bing cherries are a popular, commonly available sweet variety. They are large and heart‐shaped with dark red skin and firm ruby‐red flesh. The flavour is sweet and slightly rich and they are suitable both for eating fresh and cooked. They are at their best late in the season.
Burgsdorf cherries are available at the beginning of the season. They are a small, pale red variety with firm flesh and a mild flavour.
Burlat cherries (also known as Early Burlat) are a large variety, available from early December. Burlat’s have red skin, golden flesh and a subtle, sweet flavour.
Empress cherries are a medium‐sized, deep plum‐coloured variety with a subtly sweet flavour. Look for them early in the season.
Lambert is a sweet, mild variety. They are a medium, heart‐shaped cherry with red skin and firm flesh.
Lapins are available late in the season, from mid‐December to January. They are a large heart‐shaped variety, with dark red skin and firm, golden‐red flesh.
Lewis Seedling is an early variety, medium‐sized with dark red skin, firm flesh and deep, sweet flavour.
Merchant cherries are a large heart‐shaped variety. They have dark red skin and golden‐red flesh. They are sweetly flavoured and are available early in the season.
Morello is a classic sour cherry variety. Morello’s are small to medium‐sized with dark skin and flesh and are popular in baking and desserts.
Rainier cherries are a medium, heart‐shaped variety with creamy‐ pink skin and white flesh. They have a delicate honey flavour.
Rons cherries (also known as Ron’s Seedling) are commonly available mid‐season and are one of the most popular and versatile varieties. Rons are a large heart‐shaped cherry with black, slightly thick skin and juicy deep red flesh. They are delicious either eaten fresh or once cooked.
Sam cherries are a large, black variety with red flesh and a mildly tart but rich flavour. They are available from mid‐late December.
Stella cherries are available from mid‐December and are a popular addition to many Christmas tables. They are a medium to large heart‐ shaped variety and are dark‐red with sweet, firm flesh.
Supreme cherries are a large heart‐shaped variety with dark‐red to black skin and deep red flesh. They are one of the easier cherries to pit, making them a popular choice for jam and they have a rich, sweet flavour. Supreme cherries are available early in the season.
Sweetheart is a recently developed variety that is available late in the season. They are a medium sized cherry with bright red skin and mild, sweet flesh. Ulster cherries are medium‐sized sweet cherry with deep black skin and dark red flesh. They are available mid‐season.
Van cherries are a medium to large, slightly‐squat heart‐shaped variety with dark brown‐red skin and sweet red flesh. Van cherries are available mid‐season.
Venus cherries are a medium to large variety with deep red skin and flesh and a rich, sweet flavour. They are a delicious variety, but don’t store well, so should be consumed immediately after purchase.

Popular Varieties

  • Sweetheart

    Sweetheart
  • Lapins

    Lapins
  • Stella

    Stella
  • Bing

    Bing
  • Rons Seedling

    Rons Seedling
  • Merchant

    Merchant