Differs from typical M. sieversii in its shrubby habit, to 3 m tall, smaller leaves (to 8 × 4 cm), smaller flowers (2.5–3 cm diameter) and smaller fruits (~2.5 cm diameter). (Yuzepchuk 1971).
Distribution Afghanistan north west Turkmenistan Kopet Dag
Habitat Mountain slopes and gorges (Kopet Dag).
USDA Hardiness Zone 5-8
RHS Hardiness Rating H4
Conservation status Not evaluated (NE)
This little known shrubby apple is very dubiously distinct from M. sieversii at the species level, although accepted by some (e.g. Juniper & Mabberley 2019). It was first described from the Kopet Dag, a mountain range on the border between Turkmenistan and Iran, which has a more or less Mediterranean climate but rises out of saline desert with a strongly continental climate to the north. Probably of little value as an ornamental, and with small ‘tasteless’ fruits (Yuzepchuk 1971) any value in cultivation is probably in rootstock breeding, due to its drought- and salt-tolerance (Hanelt 2001; Yuzepchuk 1971). The only record of its cultivation in our area is at the US National Clonal Germplasm Repository, Geneva, NY, seed-raised from a Russian research institute; fruits appear rather larger than described, about 4.5 cm diameter (USDA/ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2020).