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Malus domestica - Borkh.                
                 
Common Name Apple
Family Rosaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards All members of this genus contain the toxin hydrogen cyanide in their seeds and possibly also in their leaves, but not in their fruits. Hydrogen cyanide is the substance that gives almonds their characteristic taste but it should only be consumed in very small quantities. Apple seeds do not normally contain very high quantities of hydrogen cyanide but, even so, should not be consumed in very large quantities. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Habitats Not known in a truly wild situation.
Range A hybrid of garden origin, mainly involving M. sylvestris and M. pumila[200]..
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Malus domestica is a deciduous Tree growing to 9 m (29ft 6in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.


USDA hardiness zone : 3-8


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Malus domestica Apple


Malus domestica Apple
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; North Wall. By. East Wall. By. South Wall. By. West Wall. By.
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Oil;  Oil.
Edible Uses: Oil;  Oil;  Pectin.

Fruit - raw, cooked or dried for later use. Apples are one of the most common and widely grown fruits of the temperate zone. There are a great many named varieties with differing flavours ranging from sour to sweet and textures from dry and mealy to crisp and juicy. There is also a wide range in the seasons of ripening with the first fruits being ready in late July whilst other cultivars are not picked until late autumn and will store for 12 months or sometimes more. See individual records for more details. The fruit of some cultivars is rich in pectin and can be used in helping other fruits to set when making jam etc[61, 142]. Pectin is also said to protect the body against radiation[201]. An edible oil can be obtained from the seed[4]. It would only really be viable to use these seeds as an oil source if the fruit was being used for some purpose such as making cider and then the seeds could be extracted from the remaining pulp[K].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antibacterial;  Antidiarrhoeal;  Astringent;  Laxative;  Odontalgic;  Stomachic.

The fruit is astringent and laxative[4, 9]. The bark, and especially the root bark, is anthelmintic, refrigerant and soporific[218, 240]. An infusion is used in the treatment of intermittent, remittent and bilious fevers[4, 240]. The leaves contain up to 2.4% of an antibacterial substance called 'phloretin'[240]. This inhibits the growth of a number of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria in as low a concentration as 30 ppm[240]. A ripe raw apple is one of the easiest foods for the stomach to deal with, the whole process of digestion taking about 85 minutes[4]. The apple juice will reduce the acidity of the stomach, it becomes changed into alkaline carbonates and thus corrects sour fermentation[4]. The apple is also an excellent dentifrice, the mechanical action of eating a fruit serving to clean both the teeth and the gums[4].
Other Uses
Lighting;  Oil;  Oil;  Pectin;  Teeth;  Wood.

The fruit is a source of pectin[61, 142]. Pectin is used as a thickener in jams etc and as a culture medium in laboratories. The apple is also an excellent dentifrice, the mechanical action of eating a fruit serving to clean both the teeth and the gums[4, 269]. The oil from the seed has been used as an illuminant[269]. Wood - hard, compact, fine-grained. Used for turnery, tool handles, canes etc[46, 171, 226]. It makes an excellent fuel[226].
Cultivation details                                         
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most fertile soils, preferring a moisture retentive well-drained loamy soil[1, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils, though if these are poorly drained there could be problems with diseases such as canker[200]. Prefers a sunny position but succeeds in partial shade though it fruits less well in such a situation[1, 200]. Tolerates a pH range from 6 to 7, preferring a range of 6.5 to 6.8[200]. The apple is one of the most commonly cultivated fruit crops in the temperate zone. The primary climatic requirements for the production of good quality fruit are warm summer temperatures, relative freedom from spring frosts, reasonable protection from the wind (especially cold north and east winds) and an evenly distributed rainfall of about 600 - 800mm per annum[200]. Good apple production has been achieved as far north as 65°, whilst about 1000 hours of winter temperatures below 7°c are necessary to initiate flower production[269]. However good quality apples can still be produced in other areas with careful management and choice of cultivars[200]. Even in tropical latitudes, the plant has succeeded at high elevations, producing fruit at elevations over 3000 metres in Ecuador for example[269]. Where space is at a premium, or at the limits of their climatic range, apples can be grown against a wall. Most cultivars will grow well against a sunny south or west facing wall, an east facing wall will suit many of the tougher cultivars and even a north facing wall can be used for early culinary cultivars[219]. A hybrid of mixed origins, including M. dasyphylla, M. praecox, M. pumila, M. sieversii and M. sylvestris, this species is very commonly cultivated in temperate areas for its edible fruit[11]. There are very many named varieties[46, 183, 200] and with careful choice of these varieties it is possible to provide freshly harvested fruit from July to December and stored fruit for the rest of the year. When chives (Allium schoenoprasum) or other alliums are grown under apple trees it can prevent or cure scab[18]. A spray of the infused leaves of Equisetum spp can also be used against scab[18, 201]. If climbing nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) are grown into the tree they can repel woolly aphis[18, 201]. Apples lose their flavour if they are stored with potatoes[18]. They will also impart a bitter flavour to carrots or potatoes if they are stored in the same area[201]. Growing apples near potatoes makes the potatoes more susceptible to blight[201]. Wrapping maple leaves (Acer spp) around apples in store helps to preserve the apples[18, 20]. Apples store better if they are grown in a sward that contains a high percentage of clover[201]. Apple trees grow better and produce better quality fruit when foxgloves (Digitalis spp) and wallflowers (Erysimum cheiri) are growing in the orchard[201]. Dandelions (Taraxacum spp) produce ethylene gas and this can cause earlier ripening of fruit if plants are growing in an orchard[18]. The fruit is a good wildlife food source, especially for birds[200]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - this species is a hybrid and will not breed true from seed, though some interesting new fruiting cultivars can be produced.. It is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It usually germinates in late winter. Stored seed requires stratification for 3 months at 1°c and should be sown in a cold frame as soon as it is received[200]. It might not germinate for 12 months or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. If given a rich compost they usually grow away quickly and can be large enough to plant out in late summer, though consider giving them some protection from the cold in their first winter. Otherwise, keep them in pots in a cold frame and plant them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of mature wood, November in a frame[11].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Borkh.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
11200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[9]Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants in Europe. a drawing of each plant, quite a bit of interesting information.
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[18]Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants.
Details of beneficial and antagonistic relationships between neighbouring plants.
[20]Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.
Fairly good.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[142]Brouk. B. Plants Consumed by Man.
Readable but not very comprehensive.
[171]Hill. A. F. Economic Botany.
Not very comprehensive, but it is quite readable and goes into some a bit of detail about the plants it does cover.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[201]Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting.
A well produced and very readable book.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
[219]Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V. Gardening on Walls
A nice little book about plants for growing against walls and a small section on plants that can grow in walls.
[226]Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada
Very good on identification for non-experts, the book also has a lot of information on plant uses.
[240]Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
[269]Duke. J. Handbook of Energy Crops
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of plants.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Richard Borrie Fri Sep 22 2006

Orange Pippin Tasting notes, descriptions, and relationships for many apple varieties

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