All members of this genus contain the toxin hydrogen cyanide in their seeds and possibly also in their leaves, but not in their fruits. Hydrogen cyanide is the substance that gives almonds their characteristic taste but it should only be consumed in very small quantities. Apple seeds do not normally contain very high quantities of hydrogen cyanide but, even so, should not be consumed in very large quantities. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Fruit - raw or cooked
. Fruit from the typical species is about 1cm in diameter, though there are sub-species and cultivated forms with considerably larger fruits
. A sour taste, but the fruit is palatable[2, K]. It is often dried for winter use
and also makes an excellent jelly
The plant can be used as a rootstock for apple cultivars. It produces a vigorous tree that has more cold tolerance and disease resistance
. It is commonly used as stock to graft Malus pumila and M. asiatica in N and NE China
. The sub-species M. baccata himalaica is more often used for this purpose.
There are no material uses listed for Malus baccata.
A paste of the fruit is applied to the forehead to relieve headaches
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It usually germinates in late winter. Stored seed requires stratification for 3 months at 1°c and should be sown in a cold frame as soon as it is received
. It might not germinate for 12 months or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. If given a rich compost they usually grow away quickly and can be large enough to plant out in late summer, though consider giving them some protection from the cold in their first winter. Otherwise, keep them in pots in a cold frame and plant them out in late spring of the following year.
Cuttings of mature wood, November in a frame
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Malus baccata. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most fertile soils including heavy ones
, preferring a moisture retentive well-drained loamy soil
. Prefers a sunny position but succeeds in partial shade though it fruits less well in such a situation
A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -40°c. The plants are very resistant to disease.
This species is cultivated for its edible fruit in China, there are several named varieties.
The sub-species M. baccata mandschurica. (Maxim.)Schneid. has slightly larger fruits which ripen earlier than the type.
Trees can produce fruit in 4 years from seed.
A very ornamental tree, the fruit is a good wildlife food source, especially for birds.
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Malus baccata. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Malus baccata.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
? 1.01.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
? 2.02.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
? 3.03.13.23.220.127.116.11.73.8 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
? 4.04.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
? 5.05.15.25.3 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
? 6.06.16.2 [Flora of China] (1994-00-00)
? 7.07.1 Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-527-6 (2002-00-00)
? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
? 9.09.19.2 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
? Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. ()
? 11.011.1 Natural Food Institute, Wonder Crops. 1987. ()
? Harrison. S. Wallis. M. Masefield. G. The Oxford Book of Food Plants. Oxford University Press (1975-00-00)
? Sholto-Douglas. J. Alternative Foods. ()
? Polunin. O. and Stainton. A. Flowers of the Himalayas. Oxford Universtiy Press (1984-00-00)
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