Originally native to central Asia & western China & probably the product of several cross-fertilizations with wild species. Today, cultivated worldwide, escaping into the wild spread by seeds distributed by birds & mammals & from apples discarded by people. Trees grown from seeds often produce small, bitter, & sour fruit. Commercial varieties are grafted to ensure uniform flavor (a practice followed since ancient Greece). Naturalized (even though many countries consider it to be “native”) in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, UK, Ireland, most of Europe, northern Africa, South Africa, eastern Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Canada, US, Mexico, Central America, Argentina, & elsewhere.
Distribution / Verbreitung
: in Europe
(as M. pumila
Other English names (not proposed):
Andere deutsche Namen (nicht vorgeschlagen):
Selected garden forms / cultivar names (not proposed):
* Over 10,000 cultivar names for the cultivated apple have been published.
• Malus domestica Borkhausen, Theoretisches-praktisches Handbuch der Forstbotanik und Forsttechnologie 2: 1272. 1803.
• Malus pumila Miller, The Gardeners Dictionary (ed. 8) Malus no. 3 (pages unnumbered, entries alphabetical by genus name). 1768.
* The earliest name for the cultivated apple is Pyrus malus Linnaeus (1753), but the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants prohibits duplication of a genus name as a species name and, therefore, that species name cannot be used in the genus Malus. In recent times, Malus domestica Borkhausen (1803) has become the most widely used name for the cultivated apple. However, at least half a dozen older names, and perhaps more, probably apply to the cultivated apple and have priority over M. domestica. The next earliest name for the cultivated apple is Malus pumila Miller (1768).
A proposal to the International Botanical Congress was made in 2010 to conserve Borkhausen’s name against Miller’s and three other names. A narrow majority of the standing Nomenclature Committee for Vascular Plants voted against the proposal in 2014. (The Committee’s reasons included: the proposal included no adequate justification for rejecting the 1995 designation of a type specimen for Miller’s name that includes the cultivated apple, Miller’s name has been widely used in older literature through at least the middle of the 20th century, and Miller’s name continues to be used in many countries.) The Committee’s recommendations will be voted on at the next (19th) International Botanical Congress in Shenzhen, China, in July 2017.
Other scientific synonyms (not proposed):
• Malus communis Desf. (1798)
• Malus dioica (Moench) Medik. (1793)
• Malus domestica subsp. pumila (Mill.) Likhonos ex Likhonos (1983)
• Malus frutescens Medik. (1793)
• Malus malus (L.) Britton (1897)
• Malus paradisaca (L.) Medik. (1793)
• Malus pumila var. domestica (Borkh.) C.K. Schneid. (1906)
• Malus pumila var. paradisiaca (L.) C.K. Schneid. (1906)
• Malus sylvestris subsp. paradisiaca (L.) Soó (1963)
• Malus sylvestris var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf. (1959)
• Pyrenia malus (L.) Clairv. (1811)
• Pyrus dioica Moench (1785)
• Pyrus malus L. (1753)
• Pyrus malus subsp. paradisiaca (L.) Schubl. & G. Martens (1834)
• Pyrus malus var. paradisiaca L. (1753)
• Pyrus paradisiaca (L.) Steud. (1821)
• Pyrus pumila (Mill.) Steud. (1821)
• Sorbus malus (L.) Crantz (1763)
FWIW: John Chapman (1774–1845), known in legend as “Johnny Appleseed,” was a travelling American nurseryman from Pennsylvania who promoted apple cultivation throughout the American & Canadian Great Lakes region. He opposed grafting of apple trees. The trees he grew from seeds were hardly edible except to produce cider, particularly the hard or alcoholic kind. This was probably the reason he was so popular in his own lifetime & was so welcome in the communities where he established apple nurseries.
5206 - Rosaceae (subfamily Amygdaloideae, tribe Maleae)