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Golden Delicious

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Golden Delicious
SpeciesMalus domestica
Hybrid parentageGrimes Golden x ?[1]
CultivarGolden 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.[2] It is not closely related to Red Delicious.[3]



Golden Delicious arose from a chance seedling, possibly a hybrid of Grimes Golden[4] and Golden Reinette.[5] The original tree was found on the family farm of J. M. Mullins in Clay County, West Virginia, and was locally known as Mullins' Yellow Seedling. 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 1943, the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York developed the Jonagold apple by cross-breeding Golden Delicious and Jonathan trees. The cultivar was officially released in 1968 and went on to become the leading apple cultivar in Europe.[7] According to the USApple Association website, as of 2008, Golden Delicious, along with its descendent cultivars Gala, Ginger Gold, Honeycrisp, and Jonagold, were among the fifteen most popular apple cultivars in the United States.[8]

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.

In 2010, an Italian-led consortium announced they had decoded the complete genome of the Golden Delicious apple.[10] It had the highest number of genes (57,000) of any plant genome studied to date.

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.[11]

Appearance and flavor

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 eating plain, as well as for use in salads, apple sauce, and apple butter.[12][13] America's Test Kitchen, Food Network, and Serious Eats all list Golden Delicious apples as one of the best apples for baking apple pie due to its balanced flavor and its high pectin content that allows it to stay intact when cooked.[14][15][13]

  • Density 0.79 g/cc
  • Sugar 13.5 %
  • Acid 5.6 gram/litre
  • Vitamin C 10-20 mg/litre[16]
Typical size distribution[16]
55-60 mm 60-65 mm 65-70 mm 70-75 mm 75-80 mm 80-85 mm
5 % 12 % 33 % 35 % 13 % 2 %


Speckles on the skin are normal
Golden Delicious clon B - ripening on a tree

Golden Delicious are harvested 130-150 days after full bloom.

Golden Delicious mutants


Descendant cultivars

Descendent cultivars
Name Parentage Year: cross made/ selected/ introduced Country of origin Patent
Akita Gold (Golden Delicious × Fuji)[18]
Ambrosia (believed to be Starking Delicious × Golden Delicious)[19]
Angold (Antonovka x Golden Delicious)
Annalee (Blount Golden) Golden Delicious x ? ?/1962/? US USPP 3496
Arlet (Golden Delicious × Idared)
Autumn Glory (Golden Delicious x Fuji)[20]
Bohemia (Lord Lambourne × Golden Delicious)
Brock Golden Delicious x McIntosh / /1966 US
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)[21]
Dalitron Golden Delicious x Pilot 1994/1997/ France USPP
Delbarestivale ( Stark Jonagrimes x Golden Delicious)
Elan (Golden Delicious x James Grieve) ?/? /1984 Netherlands
Elstar (Ingrid Marie × Golden Delicious) 1955/  ? /1972 Netherlands USPP 6450
Falstaff James Grieve x Golden Delicious
Firm Gold (Starkspur Golden Delicious, U.S. PP 2024 × Starkrimson Red Delicious, U.S. PP 1565)[22]
Gala (Kidds Orange × Golden Delicious)
Ginger Gold (Albemarle Pippin × Golden Delicious)
GoldRush (Coop 38) Golden Delicious x Coop 17 ? /  ?/ 1993 US USPP
Goldspur a Golden Delicious-like cultivar from Holland which is spur bearing
Goro Golden Delicious x Swiss Orange 1951/ /1973 Switzerland
Honeycrisp (MN1627 [Golden Delicious × Duchess of Oldenburg] × Keepsake [Frostbite (MN447) x Northern Spy])
Honeygold Golden Delicious x Haralason
Iduna (Golden Delicious × Glockenapfel)
Jonagold (Golden Delicious × Jonathan) 1943/ /1968 US
Kissabel Jaune Golden Delicious x SJ 109 2006/?/2011 France USPP 30041
Kissabel Orange Golden Delicious x SD 109 2006/?/2012 France USPP 28201
Kizuri Golden Delicious x NY75413-30 1990/?/? Belgium USPP 27926
Ligolina Linda x Golden Delicious ?/1972/? Poland
Magnolia Gold Golden Delicious x ? ? /  ? /1970 US
Maigold (Fraurotacher × Golden Delicious) 1944 / /1964 Switzerland
Mutsu (apple) (Golden Delicious x Indo apple)
Opal (apple) (Topaz × Golden Delicious) Czech Republic USPP 15963
Orin Golden Delicious x Indo Japan
Ozark Gold (Golden Delicious x (Conrad x Red delicious)
Pink Lady Golden Delicious x Williams ?/1979/1989 Australia
Pinova (Clivia × Golden Delicious)
Rebella Golden Delicious x Remo ?/1986/? Germany USPP 15134
Red Baron Golden Delicious x Red van Buren 1926/1940/1969 US
Rubinette(Rafzubin (Golden Delicious × Cox Orange) Switzerland
Sekai Ichi (Golden Delicious × Red Delicious)
Sinta Golden Delicious x Grimes Golden 1955/1965/ ? US
Spigold (Northern Spy × Golden Delicious)
Summerland McIntosh x Golden Delicious 1926/1939/1969 Canada
Sundance (Coop 29) GD x 1050NJ-1 1964/1972/? US USPP 13819
Sundowner (Golden Delicious × Lady Williams) Australia USPP 8477
Swiss Gourmet Golden Delicious x Idared ?/?/1984 Switzerland USPP 6689
Tentation delblush (Grifer' (Blushing Golden) × Golden Delicious)
Trajan Golden Delicious x Wijcik McIntosh ?/?/1989 England USPP 6226
Virginiagold Albemerle pippin x Golden Delicious 1944/1956/ ? US


  1. ^ Luby, Howard, Tillman, Bedford. HortScience 57(3): 472-477. 2022
  2. ^ "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
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Gwin, Adrian (2008). "Golden Delicious: State Fruit of West Virginia – Dunbar Man 'Discoverer' of Golden Delicious Apple". West Virginia Archives & History. (from Charleston Daily Mail October 18, 1962): West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Archived from the original on May 28, 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.{{cite encyclopedia}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  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. ^ Volk, Gayle M.; Olmstead, James W.; Finn, Chad E.; Janick, Jules (January 1, 2013). "The ASHS Outstanding Fruit Cultivar Award: A 25-year Retrospective". HortScience. 48 (1): 4–12. doi:10.21273/HORTSCI.48.1.4. ISSN 0018-5345.
  8. ^ "Varieties". US Apple Association. Archived from the original on September 18, 2014.
  9. ^ "Golden Delicious: State Fruit of West Virginia". wvculture.org. October 7, 2008. Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Golden Delicious". New York Apple Association.
  13. ^ a b López-Alt, J. Kenji (October 2011). "A Guide to the Best Apples for Apple Pie". The Food Lab. Serious Eats. Retrieved March 5, 2023.
  14. ^ "Best Apples for Baking". Cook's Illustrated. America's Test Kitchen. Retrieved March 5, 2023.
  15. ^ "The Best Baking Apples". Food Network. Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. September 17, 2022. Retrieved March 5, 2023.
  16. ^ a b Silbereisen, Robert; Götz, Gerhard; Hartmann, Walter; Tambour, Gisela; Eberle, Christl (1996). Obstsorten – Atlas. Ulmer (Eugen). ISBN 9783800155378.
  17. ^ "'Lucky Rose Golden' Apple tree" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on November 23, 2021. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  18. ^ "Apple tree "Akita Gold"". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  19. ^ "Apple tree named 'Ambrosia'". Archived from the original on April 11, 2019. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  20. ^ Brown, Susan K., and Kevin E. Maloney. "An Update on Apple Cultivars, Brands and Club-Marketing." {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160304090025/http://www.nyshs.org/pdf/
  21. ^ "Pink Lady v the British apple". BBC News. October 21, 2013. Archived from the original on April 25, 2019. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  22. ^ "Apple tree". Archived from the original on November 23, 2021. Retrieved November 25, 2021.