“A” is for Apple…

really cool post on apples… how many apples did you think there were?

Rooting

And apparently so is every other letter of the alphabet.

I was recently enlightened to the incredible diversity of the apple and have since become completely enamored with the fruit.  Worldwide there are 7,500 named varieties, and within North America the number stands around 2,500.  These varieties are referred to as cultivars, which means they have been created or selected intentionally and maintained through cultivation.

This information is fascinating to me on a number of levels.  Firstly, who knew that something so iconic, like an apple, is in reality a diverse group of thousands of varieties, each with individual characteristics differentiating them in color, shape, and (most importantly) taste?  Secondly, cultivation implies human intervention, meaning that apples as we know them do not exist independently in the wild.  In fact, the only native apple to North America is the crab apple, a tiny and very bitter cousin to the…

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