Malus prunifolia

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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Pyrus prunifolia, Willd. (Malus prunifolia, Borkh. M. hybrida, Loisel.). For years considered to be a hybrid of P. baccata and P. Malus or other species, but a plant which he considers to be a variety of it (var. Rinki) having been found wild in China leads Rehder to the conclusion that it is a good natural species; P. prunifolia itself is yet known only as a cult, plant: tree, glabrous or the pedicels and calyx more or less tomen- tose: lvs. much like those of P. baccata, but slightly pubescent on veins below and glabrous at maturity: small tree: lvs. 2-3 in. long, ovate to obovate or nearly orbicular, somewhat acute to short-acuminate, the margin with small close somewhat unequal serratures: fls. 6-10 in a sessile cluster, on pedicels 1-1 1/2 in. long, white, 1 1/2 in. across; calyx-tube obconical, the lobes or sepals lanceolate; petals orbicular or oblong; styles 5, connate below the middle: fr. about 1 in. diam., globose to ovoid, with cavity at base, green, yellow, or red. Probably Siberia. B.M. 6158.

Var. Rinki, Bailey (Malus pumila var. Rinki, Koidz. M. prunifolia var. Rinki, Rehd. M. yezoensis, Koidz. M. Matsumurae, Koidz. M. Ringo, Carr. Pyrus Ringo, Wenz. P. praeox, Miq.). Chinese Apple. Figs. 3290, 3291. Wide-spreading small tree, to 15 or 18 ft. high, more pubescent than the type (P. prunifolia) and representing a more southern range, the petioles shorter and the fls. pink or pinkish rather than white. China. B.M. 8265.—This tree yields an edible apple, sometimes as much as 1 1/2 in. diam., of a greenish or yellowish color and with a bitter-sweet flavor; it was formerly grown in Japan for its fr., but its cult, has been discontinued since the intro. of the European apple, yet is now used as stocks for the imported kinds. In China it is still sparingly cult. In botanical characters the plant is much like P. Malus, but is distinguished by the much longer fr.-stalk, more sharply serrate and usually less tomentoso lvs., the apex of the fr. not sunken but with a raised calyx which is thickened and fleshy at the base.

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