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José Ramirez, from Stein Manzana Orchards, with his 6-year-old daughter RosaLynn standing in front of the first apple tree of the same name at his orchard near Royal City, Washington on November 03, 2014. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

José Ramirez, from Stein Manzana Orchards, with his 6-year-old daughter RosaLynn standing in front of the first apple tree of the same name at his orchard near Royal City, Washington on November 03, 2014. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

The new apple variety Rosa Lynn is named after the wives of the two people who discovered it in an orchard at Royal City, Washington.

In 1998, José Ramirez, orchard manager at Stein-Manzana, and Dain Craver, general manager, noticed a tree in a mixed apple block that seemed different from the rest. They picked the apples, loved the sweet-tart flavor, and found that it had exceptional keeping quality even when kept unrefrigerated.

Gari Lynn Craver (left) and Rosa Ramirez stand by the original Rosa Lynn tree that was named for them. The tree was discovered in the Stein-Manzana orchard and later transplanted into the Ramirez’s yard. (Courtesy of Sage Fruit)

Gari Lynn Craver (left) and Rosa Ramirez stand by the original Rosa Lynn tree that was named for them. The tree was discovered in the Stein-Manzana orchard and later transplanted into the Ramirez’s yard. (Courtesy of Sage Fruit)

Its parentage is an unsolvable mystery. The tree was growing in an old block of apples with Winesap, Rome, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious in it, alongside a block of Fuji and Gala apples. Ramirez said the block was probably the place a previous orchard owner planted leftover trees.

After evaluating it, Ramirez and Craver thought the apple had commercial potential and named it after Ramirez’s wife, Rosa, and Craver’s wife, Gari Lynn. When his youngest daughter was born six years ago, Ramirez and his wife named her Rosa Lynn, after the apple.

Stemilt Growers in Wenatchee packed and marketed the variety initially, but then decided to focus its efforts on its own proprietary varieties, Craver said. Rosa Lynn is now marketed by Sage Fruit in Yakima.

Craver travels the country doing in-store demonstrations to introduce the apple to consumers. He gave out samples at the Produce Marketing Association’s annual convention in Anaheim, California, this fall.

Ramirez said Rosa Lynn has been received so positively that they plan to expand their plantings. They grow the variety organically.