The apple (Malus domestica) is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family (Rosaceae). It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apples grow on small, deciduous trees. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have been present in the mythology and religions of many cultures, including Norse, Greek and Christian traditions. In 2010, the fruit's genome was decoded, leading to new understandings of disease control and selective breeding in apple production.
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The Spartan apple is an apple cultivar developed by Dr. R.C Palmer and introduced in 1936 from the Federal Agriculture Research Station in Summerland, British Columbia, now known as the Pacific Agri-food Research Centre - Summerland. The Spartan is notable for being the first new breed of apple produced from a formal scientific breeding program. The apple was supposed to be a cross between two North American varieties, the McIntosh and the Newtown Pippin, but recently, it was discovered through genetic analysis that it didn't have the Newtown Pippin as one of the parents and its identity remains a mystery. The Spartan apple is considered a good all-purpose apple. The apple is of medium size and has a bright red blush, but can have background patches of greens and yellows.
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Photographs taken on 20 May 2011 (blossom) and 17 September 2011 (fruit) in Jordanstown, County Antrim.


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Last updated Tuesday June 11, 2013