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Juniper2007OriginSweetApple (dragged)

Juniper2007OriginSweetApple (dragged) - On its way to a...

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44 American Scientist, Volume 95 © 2007 Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. Reproduction with permission only. Contact [email protected] A pples! You can find more than a dozen varieties in the fruit section of your local grocery, or spread out in a stall by a farm gate on a back road— maybe even in your own yard in au- tumn. You’ll likely know the names of your favorites: Jonathan, McIntosh, Red Delicious. If you live in Western Europe the selection might include Belle de Boskoop, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Golden Delicious, Holstein or Ribston Pippin. Abundant apples ready for the eating can likewise be found in Eastern Europe and on through Asia to the Chi- nese border and the Gobi desert. You can grow this delicious fruit, with its very high levels of vitamins and valu- able antioxidants, in your own back lot in almost any soil; you can store it in the cellar throughout the harshest of winters, and it will retain its flavor and value into the early spring. You may cook it, dry it or ferment it as you choose, but it is one of the very few food sources that you can pick, ripe from the tree, and eat without any preparation, peeling, grinding, hulling or other manipulation. But what is this valuable and versa- tile fruit, and where did it come from? Is it the product, like so many plants, of the hybridization of numerous par- ents from distant lands? (Wheat has at least three parents, strawberries two and roses no fewer than fourteen.) Does it have relations in the wild crab
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