Malus pumila - P. Mill.
Apple
Other English Common Names: Common Apple, Cultivated Apple, Paradise Apple
Other Common Names: paradise apple
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Malus pumila P. Mill. (TSN 25262)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.160610
Element Code: PDROS13090
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Rose Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Rosales Rosaceae Malus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Malus pumila
Taxonomic Comments: FNA (vol. 9, 2014) expands the concept of Malus pumila to include M. sylvestris, while Kartesz (1994) treats them as distinct.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 22Mar1994
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (22Mar1994)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNA), California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Minnesota (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada British Columbia (SNA), Manitoba (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Prince Edward Island (SNA), Quebec (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, CAexotic, COexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, GA, ILexotic, INexotic, KYexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, MNexotic, MOexotic, MTexotic, NCexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SCexotic, TNexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada BCexotic, MBexotic, NBexotic, NFexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, PEexotic, QCexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Medium/Insignificant
Rounded I-Rank: Unknown
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Malus pumila is established across the U.S. Apparently it does spread on its own but has limited ability to invade mature native vegetation. It generally occurs in disturbed areas such as roadsides, railroad grades, fields, waste places, hedgerows, and clearings, especially those that are near planted populations, but it can also occur in grassland bird habitat, prairie remnants, shores, and wooded areas. In some cases it may appear to be naturalized, but was actually planted and vegetation has since grown up around it. It is not clear, what proportion of individuals are in this category. Humans may disperse it long distances but reproduction in the immediate vicinity is probably more common. More information is needed especially about its ecological impact, trends, and management difficulty.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Unknown
I-Rank Review Date: 15Mar2004
Evaluator: Tomaino, A.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Native to Eurasia (Voss 1985).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Established outside cultivation in the U.S. (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Frequently spread to roadsides, shores, railroad grades, fields, waste places, and even wooded areas (Voss 1985).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: No information to suggest it severly and possibly irreversibly alters ecosystem processes.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:High/Low significance
Comments: It is a small tree that when wild often has hard spinescent short branchlets(Fernald 1950). Presumeably it could have some impact on community structure.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Unknown

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Unknown

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance
Comments: Scattered throughout Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois, including grassland bird habitat and prairie remnants (USFS 2002). In Michigan, spread to shores and even wooded areas (Voss 1985). At least some of these areas may be of conservation significance. It seems to be primarily found in disturbed areas.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Widespread across the U.S. (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: In Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Malus pumila is not a serious invader but it may need to be removed from grassland bird habitat and prairie remants (USFS 2002). In the Intermountain Region, Malus pumila is often persisting and sometimes reproducing by seed in the immediate vicinity; apple trees were planted in what now seem to be out-of-the-way places, where they appear to be naturalized (Cronquist et al. 1997). Apparently, at least in the Intermountain Region, Malus pumila may only be spreading in the immediate vicinity.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High/Moderate significance
Comments: At most 87% of units, inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001). At least 20% of units, inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Low significance
Comments: Scattered throughout Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois, including grassland bird habitat and prairie remnants (USFS 2002). In Michigan, frequently spread to roadsides, shores, railroad grades, fields, waste places, and even wooded areas (Voss 1985). In Pennsylvania, frequently persisting at abandoned farms or orchards, hedgerows, and roadsides (Rhodes and Block 2000). In the northeastern U.S., on roadsides, borders of woods, clearings, etc; spread from cultivation (Fernald 1950).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:High/Low significance
Comments: In Tompkins County, New York, the cultivated apple was planted by Indians in the 1700's and by the late 1800's was "self-seeding and frequent" (Beach 1905 and Dudley 1886 in Stover and Marks 1998). Stover and Marks (1998) predict that disturbed and successional habitats are likely to remain a major part of the landscape and exotics such as apple will remain important along with them.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Inferred from USDA (1990) and Kartesz (1999), 30-90% of its potential range in the U.S. is currently occupied.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Humans discarding cores are doubtless a major agent of dispersal (Voss 1985). Cattle eat apples and assist in its spread on a local scale; Malus pumila occurs more frequently in formerly pastured old fields than in formerly cultvated old fields (Stover and Marks 1998).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Low significance
Comments: This species occurs in disturbed areas and is spread by humans (Voss 1985). Therefore, it is presumed to be at least slightly increasing.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Low significance
Comments: In Michigan, Malus pumila has frequently spread to roadsides, shores, railroad grades, fields, waste places, and even wooded areas (Voss 1985). Stover and Marks (1998) found that apple was common among successional vegetation in former pastures. Apparently Malus pumila does spread on its own but has limited abiity to invade mature native vegetation. It naturalizes in disturbed areas, especially those that are near plantings.

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: Occurs in Canada (Kartesz 1999). In British Columbia, Malus pumila occurs in edges of forests, thickets and waste places in the lowland, steppe vegetation and montane zones (Douglas et al. 1999). These are habitats that it has already invaded in the U.S.

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Reproduces by seed (Stover and Marks 1998). Reproduces once a year (Fernald 1950). Length of seed viability is not known. Apparently not very aggressive.

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Unknown

17. General Management Difficulty:High/Low significance
Comments: This species does persist without repeated reintroduction (Voss 1985).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: Presumeably control requires less than 10 years.

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Unknown

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:High/Low significance
Comments: It is widely cultivated. Therefore at least in some areas accessibility may be a problem.
Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 17Oct1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): LEM

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Bailey, L.H., and E.Z. Bailey. 1976. Hortus Third: a concise dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada. Macmillan Publishing Co., New York. 1290 pp.

  • Cronquist, A., A.H. Holmgren, N.H. Holmgren, J.L. Reveal, P.K. Holmgren. 1997. Intermountain Flora, Volume 3, Part A Subclass Rosidae (except Fabales). The New York Botanical Gardens. Bronx, New York. 446 pp.

  • Dorn, R. D. 2001. Vascular Plants of Wyoming, third edition. Mountain West Publishing, Cheyenne, WY.

  • Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Pojar, editors. 1999. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia. Volume 3. Dicotyledons (Diapensiaceae through Onagraceae). British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, and British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria.

  • Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Pojar, eds. 1999. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia, Vol. 4, Dicotyledons (Orobanchaceae through Rubiaceae). B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, and B.C. Minist. For., Victoria. 427pp.

  • Fernald, M. L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. Corrected printing (1970). D. Van Nostrand Company, New York. 1632 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Rehder, A. 1927. Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs Hardy in North America: Exclusive of the Subtropical and Warmer Temperate Regions. MacMillan Company, New York, New York. 930 p.

  • Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block. 2000. The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual. University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1061 pp.

  • Stover, M. E., and P. L. Marks. 1998. Successional Vegetation on Abandoned Cultivated and Pastured Land in Tompkins County, New York. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. 125(2): 150-164.

  • Swink, F., and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region. Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • U.S. Forest Service. 2002. Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Land and Resource Management Plan. Final Environmental Impact Statement. U.S. Forest Service, Wilmington, IL. Online. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/mntp/plan/ (accessed January 2004).

  • USDA Agricultural Research Service. 1990. USDA Plants Hardiness Zone Map. Misc. Publ. Number 1475.

  • Voss, E.G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicotyledons. Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1212 pp.

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