Cosmic Crisp is a new large apple variety, known during its long development period as WA38. It was introduced to growers in 2016 and first shipments to consumers are expected in 2019.
WA38 was developed at Washington State University (WSU) by Bruce Barritt, who led its apple-breeding program in the 1990s. It was one of thousands of crosses between Enterprise and Honeycrisp - the former known for its storage and disease-resistance, the latter wildly popular in the USA for its crisp crunchy texture. The marketing objective for Cosmic Crisp is clearly to try to achieve the same success that Honeycrisp enjoyed when it first arrived.
Like many new apple varieties Cosmic Crisp is trademarked and only licensed growers can plant trees. Interestingly, when it was first released, Cosmic Crisp was only available to growers in the state of Washington - and although millions of trees have been planted in a very short time in Washington, the idea was to keep Cosmic Crisp as a premium variety.
Like most apple varieties Cosmic Crisp is not self-fertile. WSU recommend late-flowering crab-apple pollinators, and fruit set on Cosmic Crisp is lower than most varieties so thinning of the fruitlets is not usually needed.
More information about the horticultural characteristics of Cosmic Crisp from WSU.
The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.
Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.
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No orchards have registered as growing this variety. If you grow this and want to register please go to our Orchard Registration form.
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