Orchard Apple - Malus domestica


Tree growing to 7 meters usually grown domestically for its edible fruit.

Similar Species
Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris) is similar but has glabrous leaf undersurfaces and pedicels, and usually has smaller fruit - however, the two species can be very hard to tell apart
Identification difficulty
ID guidance
Leaves pedicels and outside of calyx hairy or downy.  Self-set orchard apples often have small yellowish sour fruits.
Recording advice

Photos showing underside of mature leaves, pedicels (flower-stalks) and calyx. 


Found as an escape from cultivation in various habitats.

When to see it

Flowers in April.

Life History


UK Status

Widespread as an escape from cultivation in Britain.

VC55 Status

Occasional as an escape from cultivation in Leicestershire and Rutland. It was not recorded in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire.  In the past, mistakenly recorded as crab-apple; it is probably commoner than this native species and many trees in roadside hedges are likely to be M domestica

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map