Malus orientalis Uglitzk. - Oriental wild apple.

Taxonomic position.

Family Rosaceae Juss., genus Malus Mill.


Malus montana Uglitzk., Malus orientalis subsp. montana (Uglitzk.)Likhonos, Malus sylvestris subsp. orientalis (Uglitzk.) Soo.

Morphology and biology.

Tree up to 10 m tall with dark gray branches and without thorns. Young offshoots are dark brown, slightly tomentose-pilose. Leaves are 3-8 cm long and 1.5-3.5 cm wide, varying in shape (ovate-lanceolate, oblong, or elliptical), typically with a cuneate base and a barely expressed or short cusp on the top, smooth-edged at the bottom, serrate-dentate further along the edge, usually with very large or somewhat obtuse denticles in the upper part. Young leaves are sparsely pilose above with deeply impressed lateral veins, densely white-tomentose below. Mature leaves are pubescent only along the veins, while below the veins are usually prominent. Petioles are 2-4 times shorter than the blades, more or less tomentose-pilose. Flowers are about 4 cm in diameter, 4-6 in an umbel, set on densely tomentose-villous pedicels 8-12 mm long. Sepals are short, narrow, triangular, sharp, prostrate and almost bare inside, densely tomentose outside; remain with fruit. Hypanthia are inversely conical, very densely tomentose. Corollas are white or pale pink. Fruits are 2-3 cm in diameter, round. Entomophilous. Ornito- and zoochore. Species is characterized by rapid growth. Propagated by seed, root and softwood cuttings; often develops stool shoots. Blossoms in April-May; fruit ripens in August-October. Chromosome number is unknown.


Occurs in the Crimea (occasionally), the Caucasus, Turkey and Iran.


Mesophyte. Photophilous. Undemanding to growth environments; tolerates dry and mildly saline soils. It grows individually or in small groups in the second story of broadleaf and coniferous-broadleaf mountain forests, on forest edges, in glades, and along riverbanks. It grows in the mountains at elevations of up to 2,000 m above sea level.

Utilization and economic value.

Used as food (fruit) and is melliferous. It is occasionally cultivated in the Caucasus. This species is an ancestor of the Caucasian, Crimean and a number of Western European varieties, including rosemaries, pippins, calvilles and rennets.

Reference citations:

Brezhnev D.D., Korovina O.N. 1981. Wild relatives of cultivated plants in the flora of the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos. 237-238 pp. (In Russian)
Poyarkova A.I. 1939. Apple-Malus Mill. Flora of the USSR. Vol. 9. Moscow-Leningrad: Publishing House of the USSR Academy of Sciences. 362 pp. (In Russian)
Sokolov S.I., Svjaseva O.A., Kubli V.A. 1980. Areas of distribution of trees and shrubs in the USSR. Vol. 2. Leningrad: Nauka. 60 p. (In Russian)

© I.G. Chukhina


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