Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
Trees and Shrubs Online, Malus sylvestris, accessed on 24-5-2019

Genus

Common Names

  • Wild Crab

Synonyms

  • Pyrus malus var. sylvestris L.
  • M. acerba Merat

Glossary

calyx
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
acuminate
Narrowing gradually to a point.
apex
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
calyx
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
globose
globularSpherical or globe-shaped.
inflorescence
Flower-bearing part of a plant; arrangement of flowers on the floral axis.
ovate
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
Trees and Shrubs Online, Malus sylvestris, accessed on 24-5-2019

A tree up to 30 ft or sometimes more high, or a shrub, with unarmed or more rarely thorny branches and a brown fissured bark; young growths slightly hairy at first, later glabrous. Leaves ovate to elliptic, about 112 in. long, broadly wedge-shaped to rounded at the base, acuminate at the apex, slightly downy on the veins beneath when young, later glabrous, margins finely but bluntly toothed. Flowers white flushed with pink, 1 to 112 in. wide, borne on spurs in umbellate clusters. Calyx-tube and inflorescence axes glabrous or almost so. Fruits globose, 34 to almost 1 in. wide, greenish yellow flushed with red, hard and sour-tasting, with a cavity at both ends and crowned with the persistent calyx-lobes.

A native of Europe, including Britain. This species is really of no importance in gardens except as one of the parents of the orchard apples. It should not be confused with apparently wild seedlings of the orchard apples, which can easily be distinguished from our true wild crab by their downy stems, leaf undersides and calyx-tubes, and by their sweeter fruits. See further under M. domestica.

Den Boer considered that the crab called M. spectabilis ‘Alba Plena’ or ‘Albiplena’ is probably a double-flowered form of M. sylvestris. It is little known in this country.

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