Are store bought apple fruits that are labeled Red Delicious really the public domain Red Delicious apples, or do they sometimes do something to them and patent a slightly different apple that they still call Red Delicious to consumers? I ask because I want to plant the seeds, if they're public domain in the USA; but otherwise it may be illegal.

I know for seed-selling, PVP seeds and such are supposed to be labeled with the correct name. The same does not appear to be true for produce, unfortunately.

Let me know if this isn't gardening-related enough, but it does impact a gardening decision. Feel free to refer me to a better place to post this.

1 Answer 1


I can't see why it would be illegal to plant the seeds of any apple, since they don't come true from seed. If you want to know whether Red Delicious are really Red Delicious because that's what you want to grow, planting the seeds from the apples still means you've no idea what will grow. Apple varieties and cultivars are propagated from live tissue, not by using the seeds.

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    freepatentsonline.com/PP00090.pdf ... I don't think the OG delicious is still protected in the US anyway... May 9, 2015 at 15:55
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    of course what we call the red delicious now isn't the same as what we used to call delicious in the 1930's, because that apple tasted good May 9, 2015 at 15:56
  • @GradyPlayer - cause? Your taste buds vanishing or do you think its a result of being chemically fed growing in depleted soils?
    – Bamboo
    May 9, 2015 at 17:23
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    I think they have selected sports that have better shipping characteristics... according to the pretty cool wikipedia article on the red delicious, it used to be striped ... May 9, 2015 at 17:27
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    @GradyPlayer We used to have an apple tree that I was told was a Red Delicious, but it produces apples much different from other Red Delicious apple trees. I wonder if it was an older variety, or if it just wasn't a Red Delicious. May 10, 2015 at 0:42

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