Manchurian Apple (Malus baccata mandschurica)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Manchurian Apple
Malus baccata mandschurica

In NE China, this species is often used as stock for grafting Malus pumila and M. asiatica[266].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw or cooked. The fully ripe fruit is very soft and has a delicious flavour somewhat like stewed apples[K]. The fruit is about 2.5cm in diameter[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    All members of this genus contain the toxin hydrogen cyanide in their seeds and possibly also in their leaves, but not in their fruits. Hydrogen cyanide is the substance that gives almonds their characteristic taste but it should only be consumed in very small quantities. Apple seeds do not normally contain very high quantities of hydrogen cyanide but, even so, should not be consumed in very large quantities. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It usually germinates in late winter. Stored seed requires stratification for 3 months at 1¡c and should be sown in a cold frame as soon as it is received[200]. It might not germinate for 12 months or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. If given a rich compost they usually grow away quickly and can be large enough to plant out in late summer, though consider giving them some protection from the cold in their first winter. Otherwise, keep them in pots in a cold frame and plant them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of mature wood, November in a frame[11].
We have very little information on this tree, but one young specimen seen growing at the Hillier Arboretum in Hampshire in September 1993 was about 2 metres tall and bearing a small crop of fruit. It is probable that this species is the same as M. baccata mandschurica[K]. The plant flowers in its fourth year from seed. It has a long flowering season, from early April until towards the end of May at our Cornwall site, and so is well suited as a pollinator of cultivated apple varieties[K]. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most fertile soils, preferring a moisture retentive well-drained loamy soil[1, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a sunny position but succeeds in partial shade though it fruits less well in such a situation[1, 200]. The fruit is a good wildlife food source, especially for birds[200]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].
E. Asia – northern China to Russia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.