|Common Apple - Malus pumila|
Family Rosaceae - Rose Family; Fruit Trees
There are more than 7,500 known apple varieties
Tree Encyclopedia | Trees Index | Crabapples | Nut Trees | Fruit Trees Index
There are more than 7,500 known apple varieties. Different cultivars are available for temperate and subtropical climates. One large collection of over 2,100 apple cultivars is housed at the National Fruit Collection in England. Most of these cultivars are bred for eating fresh though some are grown for cooking or cider. Cider apples are typically too tart and astringent to eat fresh, but they give the beverage a rich flavour that dessert apples cannot.
Commercially popular apple cultivars are soft but crisp. Other desired qualities in modern commercial apple breeding are a colourful skin, absence of russeting, ease of shipping, lengthy storage ability, high yields, disease resistance, long stem (to allow pesticides to penetrate the top of the fruit), and good flavor. Modern apples are generally sweeter than older cultivars, as popular tastes in apples have varied over time.
Old cultivars are often oddly shaped, russeted, and have a variety of textures and colours. Some find them to have a better flavour than modern cultivars, but may have other problems which make them commercially unviable, such as low yield, liability to disease, or poor tolerance for storage or transport. A few old cultivars are still produced on a large scale, but many have been kept alive by home gardeners and farmers that sell directly to local markets.
Many unusual and locally important cultivars with their own unique taste and appearance exist; apple conservation campaigns have sprung up around the world to preserve such local cultivars from extinction. In the United Kingdom old cultivars such as 'Cox's Orange Pippin' and 'Egremont Russet' are still commercially important even though by modern standards they are low yielding and disease-prone. -- From Wikipedia
Common Apple trees from a graft are 60 years old 
Apples owe their vast diversity to the fact each apple tree produces seeds that result in a new variety. During colonial times in North America, fortunes were made with the discovery of many popular varieties. Today, only a very few are harvested commercially. Once again, mankind puts all their eggs in a virtual monoculture. Fortunately, their are many heritage varieties still protected and cultured, lest a single pathogen or insect destroy the crop, as did the potato blight in the Irish potato famine.
Malus pumila Mill.
CHINESE : 苹果 Ping guo.
Family Rosaceae - Rose Family; Fruit TreesTree Encyclopedia | Trees Index | Fruit Tree Index | Crabapples
Containing Hawthorns, Apples, Pears, Cherries, Plums, Peach, Almond, Mountain-Ash and Whitebeam. Rosaceae is a large family of plants with about 3,000 species in ~100 genera. Crabapple and other fruit trees provide some of our most outstanding flowering ornamentals.
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