WV: Golden Delicious

On this day in 1995, West Virginia adopted the Golden Delicious Apple as the State Fruit

Golden Delicious: State Fruit of West Virginia

Official Journal of the Senate
Regular and Extended Session
1995, Volume I

pp. 200-01Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 7

[Adopted February 20, 1995.]

Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 7 – Designating the golden delicious apple as the official state fruit.

Whereas, The golden delicious apple was discovered by Anderson Mullins in clay County in 1905; and

Where, By 1921, the golden delicious apple became the leading variety of apple tree in the United States and abroad; and

Whereas, Close to two hundred billion pounds of golden delicious apples are grown annually in the United States; and

Whereas, The golden delicious apple has been planted in every continent in the world; and

Whereas, The golden delicious apple is an apple variety native to West Virginia and the plain apple is presently designated as the state fruit; therefore, be it

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the golden delicious apple is hereby designated as the official state fruit, and be it

Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the Senate is hereby requested to forward a copy of this resolution to Guyan Valley Junior High.

Which, under the rules, lies over one day.

Golden Delicious’ is a yellow apple, one of the 15 most popular cultivars in the United States. It is not closely related to ‘Red Delicious’.

By Forest & Kim Starr, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org

‘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’.

Per the USPS website: “Golden Delicious: The Golden Delicious apple, named for its yellow-gold skin and sweet flavor, was declared the official state fruit of West Virginia in 1995. This tasty variety was first found 90 years earlier on the Mullins family farm in that state’s Clay County. Unsurprisingly, news of the Mullins family’s wonderful apple caused a “gold” rush. It quickly became a popular variety both in America and abroad, and is now planted wherever apples are grown around the world. A yearly Golden Delicious Festival has been held in Clay County since 1972.”

Golden Delicious History

This cultivar is a chance seedling, possibly a hybrid of ‘Grimes Golden’ and ‘Golden Reinette’. 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.

Shepherdstown Register
Shepherdstown, West Virginia
28 Aug 1919, Thu  •  Page 2

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

The Windsor Star
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
30 Aug 2010, Mon  •  Page 36

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

Capper’s Farmer
Topeka, Kansas
01 Jan 1922, Sun  •  Page 32


  1. One year ,Kroger’s in Beckley sold apples from West Virginia .
    They were the best apple I ever ate .
    I guess they were golden delicious .
    I never saw them in the store again .

  2. Thanks for this wonderful article about my home state and my favorite apple. There are some stories that the Golden Delicious was planted by Johnny Appleseed, whom few know was not just an American legend but an actual man who went around sowing apple seeds to spread the fruit around Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois as well as the Canadian province of Ontario.

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