Naming contest part of wider rollout that will see variety reach growers in 2026 and retailers by 2029  

Apple close up from Quincy

WA 64 is a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Cripps Pink (Pink Lady)

Washington State University (WSU) has launched an online survey and contest seeking a distinctive name for its newest apple: the WA 64. 

“It’s taken more than two decades to bring WA 64 from a single tree to release,” said Jeremy Tamsen, director of innovation and commercialisation for WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. “We hope it makes a big splash in the market, but we need the right name.” 

WA 64 is a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Cripps Pink, a variety better known as the trademarked Pink Lady apple. It was first bred in Wenatchee, Washington in 1998 and was trialled at a handful of research orchards in Washington State before it was officially released last summer. Visitors to the Pullman campus can learn about the apple at in-person events planned this spring. 

“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 programme. “In taste tests, people prefer its texture to Cripps Pink — it’s crisper.” 

The contest to name the apple is open to all US residents aged 18 and older and ends on 5 May. Along with name ideas, survey respondents are also asked a few additional questions, including why they chose their suggestion and whether they have purchased fresh apples in the past three months. 

“We’re looking for a name that’s memorable and punchy,” Tamsen said. “An ideal name might play on our apple’s qualities or draw a connection with Washington State, where WA 64 will be exclusively grown for at least the next ten years.” 

One name suggestion is allowed per individual entrant. The winner will receive a gift box of WA 64 apples. Other prizes include Cougar Gold cheese, WSU spice rubs, an engraved charcuterie board, and a university-branded coffee cup and water bottle. 

WA 64 trees will be more widely available to growers in 2026 and the apple itself will reach grocery stores in 2029. The release follows the successful launch of Cosmic Crisp in 2019, a cross of Enterprise and Honeycrisp that is now among the top ten best-selling US apple varieties by sales and volume.  

This is the apple breeding programme’s 64th apple to move into the second of a three-phase process of selection. WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences is currently at the stage of selecting a commercial licensee to manage the rollout to Washington growers. 

“We’re adding to WSU’s portfolio of new and improved apple varieties and creating different eating experiences to meet the varied tastes and demands of consumers,” Evans said.