Grimes Golden is of historical interest as the probable parent of Golden Delicious, and is usually considered to have a richer flavor than its offspring. Spicy sweetness is perhaps the best way to describe it.
It is green/yellow in color, changing to yellow in storage. The apples store well and have a high sugar content.
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Grimes Golden has a narrower climate range than Golden Delicious, being traditionally an apple for the central and eastern states, zones 5 and 6, and not especially winter hardy. Grimes Golden is generally productive but not necessarily a regular bearer, which was one of the main reasons it was replaced by Golden Delicious as a commercial apple - however the home grower is likely to put up with Grimes Golden's uncertain productivity as a trade-off for its richer flavor.
In a good spring the fruitlets may require thinning. Fruit size is generally larger in the higher zones.
It is self-fertile and (like Golden Delicious) a good pollinator for other apple varieties.
Advice on fruit tree pollination.
West Virginia, early 19th century.