New apple variety discovered by U.K. jogger

While out running on a nature trail near his home in Wiltshire county, U.K., Archie Thomas (who happens to work for a wild plant conservation charity) stumbled upon a bountiful apple tree, the variety of which he couldn’t readily identify. The yellow, speckled apple befuddled colleagues hoping to identify the fruit’s specific cultivar, so Thomas sought an expert at the Royal Horticultural Society, who confirmed this was an unknown variety whose naming rights were up for grabs. The new apple, which is a conventional type crossed with a wild European crab variety (Malus sylvestris) was grown on a tree believed to be more than 100 years old. It was described by Thomas as “tart but not wincingly so, and with enough sweetness to eat raw.” One of his coworkers added this romantic notion during an interview with The Guardian: “We can only speculate how it arose, but that’s the joy of botany—you never quite know what you’ll find, or how it got there. These sort of mysteries only serve to deepen our love of the countryside.”

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