Malus pumila

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                           Malus pumila Miller, Gard. Dict., ed. 8. Malus no. 3. 1768.
File:Malus pumila Mont-Royal 2013.jpg
Flowers of Malus pumila Mont-Royal

Nomenclature and Taxonomy

Malus pumila belongs to family Rosaceae. It is commonly knwon as Apple but in Nepal, it is locally called स्याऊ-Syau. [1]

Plant Description

Malus pumila is a tree to 15 m tall. Branchlets are purplish brown when old, terete, robust, short, densely tomentose when young, glabrous when old; buds are purplish brown, ovoid, densely puberulous. Stipules are caducous, lanceolate, 3–5 mm, herbaceous, densely puberulous, margin entire, apex acuminate. Petiole is robust, 1.5–3 cm, puberulous. It has leaf blade elliptic, ovate, or broadly elliptic, 4.5–10 × 3–5.5 cm, both surfaces densely puberulous when young, adaxially glabrescent, base broadly cuneate or rounded, margin obtusely serrate, apex acute. Its inflorescence is Corymb at apices of branchlets, 4–6 cm in diam., 3–7-flowered; with bracts caducous, linear-lanceolate, membranous, tomentose, margin entire, apex acuminate. Flowr pedicel is 1–2.5 cm, tomentose. Flowers are 3–4 cm in diam. Hypanthium is tomentose abaxially. Sepals are triangular-lanceolate or triangular-ovate, 6–8 mm, longer than hypanthium, both surfaces tomentose, margin entire, apex acuminate. Petals are white, obovate, 1.5–1.8 cm, base shortly clawed, apex rounded. Stamens are 20, unequal, ca. 1/2 as long as petals. Ovary is 5-loculed, with 2 ovules per locule; with styles 5, slightly longer than stamens, gray tomentose basally. Fruit is pome which is red or yellow, depressed-subglobose, ca. 2 cm in diam., impressed at base; with fruiting pedicel short and thickened; sepals are persistent. [2]

Ecology and Distribution

Malus pumila is native to Southwes Asia and Europe. [2] It is widely cultivated in Bhutan, China, India, Nepal (at 2450 m altitude) [1], and Pakistan.

Phenology and Reproduction

Malus pumila flowers in May and fruits in July to October. [2]

Economic Value

The ripe fruit of Malus pumila is eaten fresh, or used to make cider, soft drinks, juice, and vinegars. The wood is hard and strong and used for quality tool handles and firewood. [2]

Phytochemistry and Pharmacology

The fruit of Malus pumila contains carbohydrates, glycosides, flavonoids, saponins and steroids. It also shows an antioxidant activity. [2]

Diseases and Pathogens

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Annotated Checklist of the Flowering Plants of Nepal. (2015). Malus pumila. Retrieved from http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=110&taxon_id=200010913 on April 5, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Gu, C. Z. & Spongberg, S. A. (2003). MALUS Miller, Gard. Dict. Abr., ed. 4, [835]. 1754. 苹果属 ping guo shu. Flora of China, 9, 179-189. Retrieved from http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/PDF/PDF09/Malus.PDF