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Scientific Classification
  • M. angustifolia (southern crab apple)
  • M. ×arnoldiana
  • M. ×asiatica
  • M. baccata (Siberian crab apple)
  • M. coronaria (sweet crab apple)
  • M. ×dawsoniana
  • M. florentina (hawthorn-leaf crab apple)
  • M. floribunda (Japanese flowering crab apple)
  • M. fusca (Oregon crab apple)
  • M. halliana (Hall crab apple)
  • M. ×hartwigii
  • M. hupehensis(Chinese crab apple)
  • M. ioensis (prairie crab apple)
  • M. ×magdeburgensis
  • M. mandshurica (Manchurian crab apple)
  • M. ×micromalus (Kaido crab apple)
  • M. orientalis
  • M. ×platycarpa (bigfruit crab)
  • M. prattii (Pratt apple)
  • M. prunifolia (plumleaf crab apple)
  • M. pumila
  • M. ×purpurea
  • M. ×robusta (Siberian crab apple)
  • M. sargentii (Sargent's apple)
  • M. ×scheideckeri
  • M. sieversii
  • M. sikkimensis
  • M. ×soulardii (Soulard crab)
  • M. spectabilis (Asiatic apple)
  • M. sylvestris (European crab apple)
  • M. toringo (toringo crab)
  • M. toringoides (cutleaf crab apple)
  • M. transitoria
  • M. tschonoskii (pillar apple)
  • M. yunnanensis
  • M. zumi

Apples are one of the most popular fruits around the world. Most apples are usually about the size of a softball, although they come in many different forms and species. Apples can vary from the bright Red Delicious to the darker Crabapple. There are around thirty to thirty-five different species in the genus Malus (apple). Apples are used for many different reasons such as a wide variety of health benefits and desserts, as well as a common flavor among candies, sweets, etc.

Apples are grown on a tree which is classified as an angiosperm (plants with hidden or protected seeds). The apple has a large, fleshy portion that protects the seeds located in the core of the fruit.


A cross section of an apple

The apple tree grows both in the wild and in cultivation. While in the wild, the tree can grow up to thirty feet high. In cultivation, it generally reaches heights between six and fifteen feet. The tree always produces small flowers prior to developing the fruit. The flower, as it blooms, has a pink underside. Once it is fully developed, the blossom becomes white.[1]

A characteristic of apples, as well as other fruits, is the pome. This is a large, fleshy portion of the fruit that is edible. This fruit begins developing after about three years of budding. The seeds are usually small and black. [2]


The apple tree reproduces through pollination. Pollination works most efficiently through the help of honey bees. [3] Apple trees are classified as angiosperms. Angiosperms have seeds that are protected or hidden. The seeds of apples are located at the core of the fruit and are usually small and black. The tree reproduces by the flower pollen. [4]

The flowers have both male and female parts to it called the stigma (female) and stamen (male). Two sperm are contained within each grain of pollen. Each egg and sperm produced by the plant contain seventeen chromosomes. One of the sperm combines with two haploid cells in the ovum while the other sperm fertilizes the egg in a process called "double fertilization." Due to the combination of both cells, the resulting zygote will contain thirty-four chromosomes which eventually becomes the embryo. [5]

Apple seeds are developed when the endosperm and embryo become encased by the ovule. The ovary eventually grows and become the "pome," or the fleshy part of the apple which surrounds the seeds.[6]


A display of apples that were commercially grown

Apples are most commonly grown commercially. These conditions usually consist of soil that is deep and well-drained. The pH level of the soil is best around six or seven. Apples are known to adapt to many climates but tend to grow more productively in northern regions where it is generally cooler. [7] Apples tend to thrive in semi-shade or sunny areas yet it needs protection from the scorching summer sun. As the fruit begins to develop, the apple tree requires constant moisture in the soil or the fruit will wither and eventually fall off. When grown commercially, the cultivar will often prune the sub-branches around mid-August if he/she hopes to boost the flower production, which in turn leads to more fruit production. [8]

Apples and Their Uses

Apples have been known to be a very tasty and popular fruit around the world. Many chefs have acquired the use of apples in different desserts, candies, etc. Apples have also been found to aide in bone protection, asthma help, Alzheimer's prevention, lung,colon, liver, and breast cancer prevention, and also lowers cholesterol. [9] A very popular saying, "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away," becomes evident through it's many benefits.

Apples can also be used in many different forms. These forms may include raw, diced, dried, cooked, or made into sauces as well. Many different and widespread desserts are derived from the apple such as apple crips, cobbler, etc. Other people may prefer a more simple way by just dipping it in caramel or peanut butter although most people eat apples raw.


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See Also