Apple

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The apple tree (Malus domestica) is a fruit tree that grows apples (fruit) and is in the rose family.

Classification

  • Scientific name:  Malus pumila
  • Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
  • Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
  • Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
  • Order: Rosales
  • Family: Rosaceae – Rose family
  • Genus:  Malus P. Mill – apple
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Nativity: Introduced

Morphology

The apple is a small tree that can reach 25 feet in height with a crown spread of 25 feet (The Natioanl Arbor Day Foundation Website). The leaves are simple, oval in shape, have small serrations along the margin, and are arranged alternately along the branches. A typical leaf is 2 – 5 inches long, 1.5 – 2.5 inches wide, and has an acuminate tip (Petrides 1972). The twigs, buds, and undersides of the leaves usually have white pubescence. The bark is brown and scaly and mature trees in the park can have a trunk diameter of up to 24 inches. Showy, white, five petaled blossoms, often tinged with pink, are found on the tree in late spring. The flowers are pollinated by bees and other insects. The pomaceous fruits mature through the summer and become ripe and ready to eat in the fall. Ripe apples range in color from green to yellow to red or a mixture of these colors.

Common Names

Names for this tree species include the apple, common apple, and paradise apple. The accepted scientific name is Malus pumila, but is also referred to as Malus domestica, Malus sylvestris, Malus communis, and Pyrus malus (ITIS website). This extensive crossing of genetic lines has made it very difficult to differentiate the apple into taxonomically distinct species. Thus, there is much debate in the botanical world over species separation and inclusion. Apple trees, one of the first fruit trees in human history to be domesticated, have been specifically cultivated to produce edible fruits. Fruits with the best taste, color, size, or storage capacity have been favored and selected for over time. Different lines of Malus pumila have been purposely crossed to produce new, more desirable varieties of apple. Apple trees in the park may have very different genetic histories and thus produce fruits with distinctive color, size, or taste.

Habitat

Not a native plant species to , the ancestral apple tree can be traced back to the mountainous region of central  (Wikipedia website). From here, cultivated apple trees slowly made their way west through  to  and eventually on to  with the European settlers.

Today, apple trees can be found growing throughout the park at elevations up to 3700’. They require well drained nutrient rich soil and moderate sunlight. When in bloom in the spring or heavy with fruit in the fall, apple trees stand out from other trees in the forest. Many locations along including Skyland, Loft Mtn. Campground, Limberlost, Spitler Knoll Overlook, and many other overlooks contain apple trees.

Facts about apples

  • Are you aware that one apple has 5 grams of fiber, which provides 20% of the daily fiber recommendation?
  • Are you aware that that apples are in the rose family?
  • Are you aware that that in one year, an apple tree produces enough apples to fill 20 each, 42 pound cases, of apples? (One tree produces 840 lbs. of apples per year!)
  • Are you aware that there are many different varieties of apples? (Braeburn, Golden & Red Delicious, Fuji, Gala, Jonagold, Rome Beauty,
  • Granny Smith, Winesap, McIntosh, Pink Lady, Cameo, York, Ginger Gold, Jonathan...)
  • Are you aware that apples float because 25% of their volume is air?
  • Are you aware that there are over 7,000 varieties of apples grown throughout the world?
  • Are you aware that apples can be red, green or even yellow in color?
Apple, raw
Portion 100 g
Fiber, total dietary 2.4 g
Calcium, Ca 6 mg
Iron, Fe 0.12 mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 4.6 mg
Protein 0.26 g
Total lipid (fat) 0.17 g
Carbohydrate, by difference 13.81 g
Energy 52 kcal
Sugars, total including NLEA 10.39 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium, Na 1 mg
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.028 g
Ingredients Apples, raw, with skin g


Nutritional information on Apple

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NB:Carbohydrate, by difference(total carbs-fiber) is also called net carbs

References

 

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