Featuring a pink blush over a yellow background, WA 64 combines qualities of Honeycrisp and Cripps Pink (aka Pink Lady) for a firm, crisp, sweet and tart bite. A naming contest for the new apple runs through May 5, 2024. (Photo provided by Washington State University)

Featuring a pink blush over a yellow background, WA 64 combines qualities of Honeycrisp and Cripps Pink (aka Pink Lady) for a firm, crisp, sweet and tart bite. A naming contest for the new apple runs through May 5, 2024. (Photo provided by Washington State University)

Hey Honeycrisp, this new breed of apple needs a name

Enter a naming contest for WA 64, a hybrid apple with the same baby daddy as Cosmic Crisp.

EVERETT — This good-looking apple needs a good name.

For 20 years, the hybrid developed by Washington State University has been known as WA 64. Not fitting for an attractive pink-blushed apple that’s firm and tasty.

The fruit is the offspring of Honeycrisp and Pink Lady apples.

“We’re looking for a name that’s memorable and punchy,” Jeremy Tamsen, a WSU apple spokesperson, said in a news release.

The winner gets bragging rights and a box of apples, but no royalties. Other prizes include Cougar Gold cheese, WSU spice rubs, charcuterie board, coffee cup and water bottle.

Tamsen said the ideal name should play on the apple’s qualities or draw a connection with Washington, where WA 64 will be exclusively grown for at least the next 10 years.

No mash-ups of the parents’ names, please. No “Honey Pink” or “Pink Crisp” and such. Pink Lady is the trademark name for Cripps Pink apples.

Apple science is a big deal at the Pullman campus and for the state.

“It’s taken more than two decades to bring WA 64 from a single tree to release,” Tamsen said. “We hope it makes a big splash in the market, but we need the right name.”

The apple is small to medium, with much of the surface a pink-hued blush over a yellow background.

“WA 64 is a great balance of tart and sweet, firm, crisp, and juicy,” said Kate Evans, professor and head of WSU’s apple breeding program. “In taste tests, people prefer its texture to Cripps Pink — it’s crisper.”

WA 64 was first bred in Wenatchee in 1998 and trialed at research orchards in the state. Trees will be available to growers in 2026. Plans are for the apple to reach grocery stores in 2029.

This is the apple breeding program’s 64th apple to move into the second of a three-phase process of selection. Hence the name WA 64.

The last juicy starlet of Washington’s apple universe was Cosmic Crisp, which has the same Honeycrisp baby daddy as WA 64.

The bi-color apple with tiny speckles was coined by consumer testers.

“Someone said, ‘Gosh, it looks like the night sky,’ and somebody else said, ‘Oh, like the cosmos.’ And it’s a Honeycrisp cross, so somebody said, ‘How about Cosmic Crisp?’” Kathryn Grandy, spokesperson for Proprietary Variety Management, the company marketing Cosmic Crisp, told The Daily Herald in 2019.

You must be at least 18 to enter the naming contest at wsu.edu/wa64contest. Deadline is May 5. Limit one name per person.

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

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