Illinois State Fruit

GoldRush Apple

GoldRush Apple: Illinois State Fruit

(Malus xdomestica)

Adopted on August 21, 2007

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).

Illinois State Fruit: GoldRush Apple

GoldRush Apple: Illinois State Fruit

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.


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Seed parent is Golden Delicious
  • Originates from: Purdue Research Farm, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, United States
  • Introduced: 1990s
  • Developed by: Joint breeding programme of Indiana, Illinois, and New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Stations.
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1557


  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Uses: Juice
  • Uses: Hard cider
  • Flavour quality: Very good
  • Flavour style: Sweeter
  • Harvest period: Very-Late season
  • Use / keeping: 3 months or more


  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Flowering period: Mid-Late season
  • Flowering group: 4
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Slightly small
  • Bearing regularity: Biennial tendency
  • Precocity: Precocious
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer

Disease resistance

  • Scab  - Very resistant
  • Mildew  - Very resistant
  • Fireblight  - Some resistance
  • Cedar apple rust  - Some susceptibility

Relationships to other varieties

Parents and other ancestors of this variety:

  • Golden Delicious (parent)
  • Rome Beauty

Illinois Law

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

(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
    Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae - Rose family
Genus: Malus Mill. - apple
Species: Malus xdomestica Borkh

State Foods
State Foods Symbols

List Official US State Foods