Antique Apples, Believed Extinct, Found In Washington

The Northwest is home to many of the world’s most popular apples. But it also has apples many believed no longer exist. On eastern Washington’s Steptoe Butte, researchers found two apple varieties they thought extinct, the Spokesman Review reports.

The cultivars known as Arkansas Beauty and Dickinson aren’t the first lost apples found in Washington. Another, the Nero, was also found on Steptoe Butte.

Apples have long been part of American history. Hard apple cider was one of the most popular drinks in the country, and the fruit quickly spread west alongside pioneers and homesteaders.

That the varieties have survived since the 19th century is evidence, scientists say, of their hardiness and disease resistance. Those are traits that could be cross-bred into new and more commercially-viable cultivars.

These aren’t the first antique apples valued for their genetic bounty. Washington State University researchers are studying some of the world’s oldest domestic apple varieties as a potential source of disease resistance.

Related Stories:

Tamara and Neil Caulkins are partners in music and life. They realized composer Martin Kennedy's composition, meant to honor the geologic majesty of Dry Falls. Photo courtesy of Tamara Caulkins.

New guitar composition evokes formation of the Grand Coulee

The Channeled Scablands of Eastern Washington couldn’t be further away from waterfront property. But at the end of the last ice age, the area was, at times, underwater. Torrential flooding cascaded through the area and created the current landscape, including the Grand Coulee.
Some 15,000 years later, that geological gravitas has inspired a composition for guitars.
Continue Reading New guitar composition evokes formation of the Grand Coulee

Read More »