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Illinois designated the goldrush apple as official state fruit in 2008. Goldrush apples are a cross of golden delicious and an experimental variety of apple (Co-op 17) developed by the disease-resistant apple breeding program of the University of Illinois, Purdue University and Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Mark Richardson's fourth-grade class of Woodlawn Elementary School initiated this legislation after learning that Illinois was one of the few states that did not recognize a state fruit. After doing research and discovering the part played by the University of Illinois in developing the goldrush apple, they contacted Senator John Jones, who was the primary sponsor of the bill. Illinois also recognizes an official state snack food - popcorn (see food symbols for all states).
GoldRush is a very fine, high quality disease resistant golden apple with a pretty blush. It is one of the latest harvesting apples, so may not ripen properly in many northern areas. However, letting it hang as long as possible and storing for a while before eating will allow it to mellow. It is very firm, crisp and juicy. Tart at harvest it will develop a very rich, well balanced flavor after a few weeks of storage. It stores very well.
The law designating the GoldRush Apple as the official Illinois state fruit is found in the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Government, Chapter 5, Section 460/57
CHAPTER 5 GENERAL PROVISIONS
(5 ILCS 460/) State Designations Act.
(5 ILCS 460/57)
Sec. 57. State fruit. The fruit Malus xdomestica, commonly known as the "GoldRush Apple", is designated the official State fruit of the State of Illinois.
(Source: P.A. 95-328, eff. 8-21-07.
Taxonomic Hierarchy: GoldRush Apple
Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Family: Rosaceae - Rose family
Genus: Malus Mill. - apple
Species: Malus xdomestica Borkh