Malus domestica Borkh.

Last updated: 7 July 2015

Scientific Name

Malus domestica Borkh.


Pyrus malus L. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Epal [2]
English Apple [2], eating apple, paradise apple [3]
Chinese Ping guo [3]
India Kushoo, kushu [3]
Indonesia Apel [2]
Thailand Appoen [2]
Philippines Mansanas [2]
Vietnam Pom [2]
Japan Ringo [3]
French Pommier [2].

Geographical Distributions

The cultivated Malus domestica today is believed to have been derived from Southwestern Asia. At present, M. domestica is cultivated all over the world. The main areas of cultivation are Western Europe, the Soviet Union, China, the United States, Turkey, Iran, Japan and Argentina. [2]

Botanical Description

M. domestica is a member of the family Rosaceae. It is a small to medium-sized tree that can reach up to 5-10 m tall, freely branching with long shoots and various types of short shoots (spurs) with a single trunk. The young stem and twigs are hairy. [2]

The leaves are elliptic-ovate, measuring 4-13 cm x 3-7 cm, rounded at the base, with irregularly saw-toothed margins and usually densely hairy beneath. The flowers are largely terminal on spurs and in several-flowered fascicles. The pedicel and sepal are usually woolly while the sepal persistent in fruit. There are 5 white to pinkish petals and fall off after anthesis. There are 15-20 stamens and 5 styles. The ovary is 4-5-celled. [2]

The fruit is a pome, spherical, ellipsoid to obovoid, usually more than 5 cm in diametre, varying in colour, sweet or acid and much longer than the pedicel. The endocarp is coriaceous. The fruit pulp is without stone cells. [2]

The seeds are brown and mostly 2 in each cell. [2]


At high latitudes, M. domestica requires a mild growing season (no extremes of sunshine, temperature or humidity), a sufficiently cold winter to break dormancy and excellent soil conditions to limit stress, as this would affect fruit quality and size as well as floral development (if more severe) for the next crop. Windbreaks are needed for exposed sites. In the tropics, a short growth cycle requires favourable (mild) growing conditions throughout the year, as may be found close to the equator: altitudes of 800-1200 m (temperature 16-27°C), sunshine more than 50% of potential sunshine duration, rainfall 1600-3200 mm, relative humidity of 75-85% and good soils with irrigation facilities. For an annual growth cycle in the tropics, there should be a prominent change of seasons, the growing season meeting the above requirements, whereas the off-season should preferably be overcast as well as cool, since low light levels as well as low temperature appear to have a dormancy-breaking effect. Such conditions are usually found further from the equator at elevations of 1200-1800 m. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of M. domestica [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Malus domestica Borkh.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2011 October 18; cited 2015 July 7] Available from:
  2. Kusumo S, Verheij EWM, 1991.  Malus domestica Borkh.In: Verheij EWM, Coronel RE, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia no 2: Edible fruits and nuts. Wagenigen, Netherlands: Pudoc; 1991. p. 200-203.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 37.