Golden Delicious

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'Golden Delicious'
Golden Delicious apples.jpg
SpeciesMalus domestica
Hybrid parentageChance seedling
Cultivar'Golden Delicious'
OriginClay County, West Virginia, United States, 1905

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


Golden Delicious arose from a chance seedling, possibly a hybrid of 'Grimes Golden'[3][4] and 'Golden Reinette'.[5] 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.[6]

In 2010, an Italian-led consortium announced they had decoded the complete genome of the 'Golden Delicious' apple.[7] It had the highest number of genes (57,000) of any plant genome studied to date.

'Golden Delicious' was designated the official state fruit of West Virginia by a Senate resolution on February 20, 1995.[8] Clay County has hosted an annual Golden Delicious Festival since 1972.

Other West Virginia apples include Grimes Golden, and Guyandotte, which is believed extinct.[citation needed]

'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'.[9]

Appearance and flavor[edit]

Color is uniform yellow, with an occasional red blush
Golden delicious apples generally are of uniform color but can show considerable russeting around the stem end of the fruit. Grown in Albemarle County, Virginia.

'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 clon B - ripening on a tree

'Golden Delicious' are harvested from fall through winter.

Descendant cultivars[edit]

  • 'Akita Gold' ('Golden Delicious' × 'Fuji')[10]
  • 'Ambrosia' (believed to be 'Starking Delicious' × 'Golden Delicious')[11]
  • 'Arlet' ('Golden Delicious' × 'Idared')
  • 'Autumn Glory' ('Golden Delicious' x 'Fuji')[12]
  • 'Bohemia' ('Lord Lambourne' × 'Golden Delicious')
  • 'Cadel' '(Jonathan' × 'Golden Delicious')
  • 'Cameo' ('Golden Delicious' × 'Red Delicious')
  • 'Caudle' ('Golden Delicious' × 'Red Delicious')
  • 'Champion' ('Golden Delicious' × 'Cox Orange')
  • 'Chantecler' ('Golden Delicious' × 'Reinette Clochard')
  • 'Cripps Pink' (marketed as Pink Lady; 'Golden Delicious' × 'Lady Williams')[13]
  • 'Delbarestivale' ('Golden Delicious' × 'Stark Jonagrimes')
  • 'Elstar' ('Ingrid Marie' × 'Golden Delicious')
  • 'Firm Gold' (Starkspur 'Golden Delicious', U.S. PP 2024 × Starkrimson 'Red Delicious', U.S. PP 1565)[14]
  • 'Gala' ('Kidds Orange' × 'Golden Delicious')
  • 'Ginger Gold' ('Albemarle Pippin' × 'Golden Delicious')
  • 'Goldspur' a 'Golden Delicious'-like cultivar from Holland which is spur bearing
  • 'Iduna' ('Golden Delicious' × 'Glockenapfel')
  • 'Jonagold' ('Golden Delicious' × 'Jonathan')
  • 'Lucky Rose Golden' A patented 'Golden Delicious' mutant[15]
  • 'Maigold' ('Fraurotacher' × 'Golden Delicious')
  • 'Mutsu (apple)' (Indo apple × 'Golden Delicious')
  • 'Opal (apple)' ('Topaz' × 'Golden Delicious')
  • 'Pinova' ('Clivia' × 'Golden Delicious')
  • 'Rubinette' ('Golden Delicious' × 'Cox Orange')
  • 'Sekai Ichi' ('Golden Delicious' × 'Red Delicious')
  • 'Spigold' ('Northern Spy' × 'Golden Delicious')
  • 'Sundowner' ('Golden Delicious' × 'Lady Williams')
  • 'Tentation delblush' ('Grifer' (Blushing Golden) × 'Golden Delicious')


  1. ^ "Varieties". US Apple Association. Archived from the original on October 13, 2013. ...a total of 15 popular varieties account for almost 90 percent of 2008 production: Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Idared, Empire, Jonagold, Fuji, Jonathan, Gala, McIntosh, Ginger Gold, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome, Granny Smith
  2. ^ Dominique A.M. Noiton and Peter A. Alspach (September 1996). "Founding Clones, Inbreeding, Coancestry, and Status Number of Modern Apple Cultivars" (PDF). Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. pp. 773–782. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 9, 2014.
  3. ^ "Dunbar Man 'Discoverer' of Golden Delicious Apple". Charleston Daily Mail. October 18, 1962. Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2008. 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.
  4. ^ (West Virginia Div. of Culture and History)
  5. ^ Mass, V. 1970. Golden Delicious. pp. 69-85. In North American apples: varieties, rootstocks, outlook. Michigan State Univ. Press, East Lansing.
  6. ^ Higgins, Adrian (August 5, 2005). "Why the Red Delicious No Longer Is. Decades of Makeovers Alter Apple to Its Core". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 29, 2021. Retrieved November 25, 2021. 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.
  7. ^ "An Italian-led international research consortium decodes the apple genome". AlphaGallileo. August 29, 2010. Archived from the original on September 5, 2010. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  8. ^ "Golden Delicious: State Fruit of West Virginia". October 7, 2008. Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  9. ^ art by Derry Noyes & John Burgoyne (January 17, 2013). "Postal Service Issues Apples Postcard Stamps; Release No. 13-004". Archived from the original on July 16, 2021. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  10. ^ "Apple tree "Akita Gold"". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  11. ^ "Apple tree named 'Ambrosia'". Archived from the original on April 11, 2019. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  12. ^ Brown, Susan K., and Kevin E. Maloney. "An Update on Apple Cultivars, Brands and Club-Marketing." Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, New York Fruit Quarterly 21.1 (2013): 3-4. Dept. of Horticulture at Cornell University and New York State Horticultural Society (NYSHS), 2013. Retrieved on December 13, 2020.
  13. ^ "Pink Lady v the British apple". BBC News. October 21, 2013. Archived from the original on April 25, 2019. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  14. ^ "Apple tree". Archived from the original on November 23, 2021. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  15. ^ "'Lucky Rose Golden' Apple tree" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on November 23, 2021. Retrieved November 25, 2021.

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