One-in-a-million chimera apple found in Kent County

A chimera apple in between two Roma apples, found at Schweitzer Orchards in Kent County. (Oct, 9, 2014)

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A very rare piece of fruit recently turned up at an apple orchard in Alpine Township.

An employee at Schweitzer Orchards noticed a rome apple that didn’t look like the others; it was approximately one quarter red and three quarters green.

The apple is called a chimera apple. The green portion of the apple is a rome apple, and the red portion is an early spur rome apple, according to Nick Schweitzer, who is a manager at Schweitzer Orchards. The split is the result of a genetic mutation.

A chimera apple found at Schweitzer Orchards in Kent County. (Oct, 9, 2014)
(A chimera apple found at Schweitzer Orchards in Kent County. (Oct, 9, 2014)

Schweitzer says the apple is one in a million and it’s very unlikely one like it could be found at a grocery store, since most apples with genetic mutations don’t make it through processing. Instead, they’re used for juice or applesauce.

Schweitzer says he plans to bring the apple to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum on Nov. 19 for Apple Days and then plans to keep it in controlled-atmosphere storage for as long as it will last – which is about nine to 12 months.

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