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The Golden Delicious is a yellow apple, one of the 15 most popular cultivars in the United States.[1] It is not closely related to the Red Delicious.[2]

'Golden Delicious'
Mele golden.jpg
SpeciesMalus pumila
Hybrid parentageChance seedling
Cultivar'Golden Delicious'
OriginClay County, West Virginia, United States, 1905

The Golden Delicious was one of four apples honored by the United States Postal Service in a 2013 set of four 33¢ stamps commemorating historic strains, joined by Northern Spy, Baldwin, and Granny Smith.[3]



This cultivar is a chance seedling possibly a hybrid of Grimes Golden[4][5] and Golden Reinette.[6] The original tree was found on the Mullins' family farm in Clay County, West Virginia, United States, and was locally known as Mullin's Yellow Seedling and Annit apple. Anderson Mullins sold the tree and propagation rights to Stark Brothers Nurseries for $5000, which first marketed it as a companion of their Red Delicious in 1914.[7]

In 2010, an Italian-led consortium announced they had decoded the complete genome of the Golden Delicious apple.[8] It had the highest number of genes (57,000) of any plant genome studied to date.

The Golden Delicious was designated the official state fruit of West Virginia by a Senate resolution on February 20, 1995.[9] Clay County has hosted an annual Golden Delicious Festival since 1972.

Other West Virginia apples include the Grimes Golden, and the Guyandotte, which is believed extinct.

Appearance and flavourEdit

Color is uniform yellow, with an occasional red blush

Golden Delicious is a large, yellowish-green skinned cultivar and very sweet to the taste. It is prone to bruising and shriveling, so it needs careful handling and storage. It is a favorite for salads, apple sauce, and apple butter.[citation needed]


Speckles on the skin are normal

Golden Delicious are harvested from autumn through winter.

Descendant cultivarsEdit


  1. ^ Apple varieties by US Apple Association
  2. ^ Dominique A.M. Noiton and Peter A. Alspach (September 1996) "Founding Clones, Inbreeding, Coancestry, and Status Number of Modern Apple Cultivars", Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 121:773-782 [1]
  3. ^ art by Derry Noyes & John Burgoyne (January 17, 2013), Postal Service Issues Apples Postcard Stamps; Release No. 13-004, retrieved 23 December 2015
  4. ^ "Dunbar Man 'Discoverer' of Golden Delicious Apple". Charleston Daily Mail. October 18, 1962. Archived from the original on 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2008-07-27. He is J. M. Mullins, now a man in his 87th year and living in Dunbar, though he spent his lifetime until recent years in Clay County.
  5. ^ (West Virginia Div. of Culture and History)
  6. ^ Mass, V. 1970. Golden Delicious. pp. 69-85. In North American apples: varieties, rootstocks, outlook. Michigan State Univ. Press, East Lansing.
  7. ^ Higgins, Adrian (August 5, 2005). "Why the Red Delicious No Longer Is. Decades of Makeovers Alter Apple to Its Core". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-07-27. When Stark's successors, in a similar stunt, found and named the Golden Delicious growing in West Virginia in 1914, the Delicious became Red Delicious.
  8. ^ An Italian-led international research consortium decodes the apple genome AlphaGallileo August 29, 2010, Retrieved August 29, 2010,
  9. ^ Golden Delicious: State Fruit of West Virginia Archived 2008-10-07 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Pink Lady v the British apple, BBC News, 21 October 2013
  13. ^
  14. ^

External linksEdit