paradise apple

(Malus pumila)

Conservation Status
paradise apple
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNA - No Status Rank

SNA - No Status Rank


not listed


Paradise apple, also called common apple or just apple, is a small deciduous tree that reaches up to 50 in height at maturity.

The trunk is twisted. When grown in the open, the trunk divides near the ground into several major branches, and the crown is often as wide or wider than tall. When grown among other trees the trunk is taller and the crown is less spreading.

Older branches on mature trees develop numerous prominent spur branches.

The bark on young trees is smooth. On mature trees the bark is rough and thin, with a reddish inner bark and a gray, scaly outer bark.

The twigs are moderately stout, brown to gray, and hairy when young. There are no thorns. The pith is solid and star-shaped in cross section. The leaf scars are narrow, slightly curved, and level with the twig or only moderately raised. They have 3 bundle scars. The buds are egg-shaped and are densely covered with whitish, woolly hairs.

The leaves are deciduous, alternate, elliptical to egg-shaped, and 1½ to 4 long. They are entire, not lobed. They are rounded at the base and bluntly pointed at the tip. They are on leaf stalks that are densely covered with whitish hairs. The upper surface of the leaf blade is dark green and hairless. The lower surface is densely covered with whitish hairs. The margins are finely toothed.

The flowers are large, up to 1¼ wide. They appear after the leaves unfold in the spring. They are borne in umbrella-like clusters (umbels) on short, spur branches. There are 5 green sepals, 5 white petals tinged with pink, and 15 to 50 stamens with yellow anthers. The stamens are shorter than the petals.

The fruit is a fleshy, globe-shaped to somewhat egg-shaped pome, 2 to 4 in diameter. Fruit of naturalized trees is smaller than fruit of those grown in cultivation because the latter are propagated by grafting. Naturalized trees produce fruit more than 1½ in diameter. The fruit is green at first, turning yellow to red when it ripens in the mid- to late summer. The seed-bearing core or the pome is divided into 3 to 5 chambers. Each chamber normally contains 2 seeds.




Up to 50




No records are kept for non-native species.


Flower Color


White tinged with pink


Similar Species


The flowers are pink in bud but usually white when expanded, sometimes pink.

Prairie crabapple (Malus ioensis) flowers are pink but sometimes fade to white.


Roadsides, railroads, shores, fields, wooded areas.




Late April to early May


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 22, 29, 30.

The counties in light green reflect citizen science sightings posted on iNaturalist. Some if not most of those include trees in people’s yards, which are not “outside of cultivation.”




Native to eastern Europe. Introduced in colonial times. Widely cultivated. Occasionally escaped.





Most occurrences of this tree outside of cultivation are probably the result of discarded apple cores by humans.

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  


Rosales (roses, elms, figs, and allies)  


Rosaceae (rose)  
  Subfamily Amygdaloideae  
  Tribe Maleae  
  Subtribe Malinae  


Malus (apples)  
  Section Malus  

Some sources use the name Malus domestica for the apple tree. For other sources, the preferred name for both the cultivated and naturalized tree is Malus pumila.


Subordinate Taxa






Malus communis

Malus domestica

Malus sylvestris

Pyrus malus

Pyrus pumila


Common Names



common apple

paradise apple












A fruit with a central seed bearing core enclosed in thick flesh, e.g., an apple or pear.



A flat-topped or convex, umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers or buds arising from more or less a single point.

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    paradise apple   paradise apple  
    paradise apple      


    paradise apple   paradise apple  


    paradise apple   paradise apple  


    paradise apple      



  Malus domestica
Susanne Wiik
  Malus domestica  

Apple, Epler

  Wild Apples
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Wild Apples  



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Other Videos
  Malus domestica Apple Trees

Uploaded on Oct 24, 2010

Old mature apple trees, fruiting well


Uploaded on Apr 23, 2009

Apfelblüten am 23-April-2009

In Emmenbrücke




Visitor Sightings

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  Carol Whittaker

Location: New Hamburg Ontario Canada

It has been growing beside my fence since I moved into my house eight years ago, never knew what it was until today.





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