Apples are commonly grown at orchards around the world and come red, green, yellow or a mixture of the three colours, but they can apparently grow dark purple, almost black, as well.
These rare apples are called “Black Diamond” and they are only grown in the mountains of Tibet, according to the Oddity Central.
Black Diamond apples are a breed of Hua Niu apples (also known as Chinese Red Delicious) that get their unique dark purple colour from the geographical conditions of Nyingchi, in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.
The Chinese company Dandong Tianluo Sheng Nong E-Commerce Trade Ltd has set up a 50-hectare orchard at an elevation of 3,100 meters above sea level, making it the ideal place to grow this mysterious fruit.
The main cause of why these fruits turn dark are the notable temperature differences between day and night, and the intense sunlight and ultraviolet light which causes their skin to go from the characteristic deep red to dark purple.
“Black Diamond apples are purple, gleaming, and have a nice texture. From the outside, the apples almost look like candle wax and are as beautiful as a diamond. That is how they got their name,” said Ms Yu Wenxin, Market Director at Dandong Tianluo Sheng Nong E-Commerce Trade Ltd.
Only selected high-end supermarkets in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are selling these rare apples in gift packages of 6 to 8 fruits. According to Chinese Language Tencent News, the price of Black Diamond apples is around 50 yuan per fruit.
“Because the Chinese production is limited, and distribution costs are rather high, the highly priced black diamond apples belong to the high-end segment of the market,” Yu Wenxin said. “We mostly sell them in gift packages of 6 or 8 apples. Last year, small quantities of our apples were sold to high-end supermarkets in first-tier cities in China, where they were received very well.”
Its issues like the ones mentioned above, coupled with the special geographical conditions required to grow Black Diamond apples that make fruit growers reluctant to adopt this breed.
Black Diamond apples are a bit of a mystery, even among experienced apple growers, as apart from the handful of sources listed in this article, there really isn’t much information about them online.
While fruit growers online claim that the pictures of the mysterious “Black Diamond apples” circulating online have been enhanced to make the fruits darker than they really are. But until someone gets their hands on these apples, there’s really no way to know who’s right.
This article originally appeared in the Oddity Central.