Empire (apple)

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Malus domestica 'Empire'
New York Empire Apples.jpg
Empire apples
Hybrid parentage'McIntosh' × 'Red Delicious'
OriginUnited States Geneva, New York, 1945

Empire is the name of a clonally propagated cultivar of apple derived from a seed grown in 1945 by Lester C. Anderson, a Cornell University fruit nutritionist who conducted open pollination research on his various orchards.[1] In 1945, under the direction of A. J. Heinicke, scientists from the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station of Cornell University in Geneva, New York, harvested the Empire seed together with thousands of its siblings.[1] The Geneva teams grew and tested ever dwindling sub-populations of the sibling group until 1966, when the final selection, the Empire, was released to the public at the New York Fruit Testing Association meetings in Geneva.[1] According to the US Apple Association website it is one of the fifteen most popular apple cultivars in the United States.[2]


Apples are picked between September and October and can be stored until January. However, some apple growers including Verger Denis Charbonneau Mont-St-Grégoire, Quebec, Canada easily keep them until June under controlled refrigeration in a gas atmosphere. They still remain juicy, firm, crunchy and sweet.[citation needed]

The original seed was a cross between the varieties McIntosh and Red Delicious. Empire apples are excellent for eating and salads, and good for sauce, baking, pies and freezing.[3] It is an ideal lunch-box apple, not least because it does not bruise easily.[4]

Sports patented in the US[edit]

By the year 2001, three mutant cultivars (sports) of Empire had received US plant patents. None of them were mutants of mutants:

Date "Inventor" Marketed as Assignee Earlier Color Plant patent number
Mar 10, 1992 Harold F. Teeple, Russel H. Teeple, John B. Teeple Teeple Red Empire, Royal Empire Cornell No redder US plant patent 7820
Oct 20, 1992 Harold Thome TF808 Inter-Plant Patent Marketing 5—7 days redder US plant patent 8010
Feb 1, 2000 Jeffrey D. Crist CB515, Crown Empire Adams County Nursery 2.5 weeks redder US plant patent 11201

Disease susceptibility[edit]

  • Scab: high[5]
  • Powdery mildew: high
  • Cedar apple rust: low
  • Fire blight: medium


  1. ^ a b c McCandless, Linda (1996). "Experiment Station's successful Empire apple has its 30th birthday". Cornell Chronicle. Cornell University. Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-10-13.
  2. ^ Apple varieties by US Apple Association
  3. ^ "Apple varieties". Archived from the original on 2012-10-01.
  4. ^ "Empire apples".
  5. ^ Dr. Stephen Miller of the USDA Fruit Research Lab in Kearneysville, West Virginia.

External links[edit]