Apple

The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family (Rosaceae). It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apples grow on small, deciduous trees. The tree originated in Western Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have been present in the mythology and religions of many cultures, including Norse, Greek and Christian traditions. In 2010, the fruit's genome was decoded, leading to new understandings of disease control and selective breeding in apple production.

There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and uses, including in cooking, fresh eating and cider production. Domestic apples are generally propagated by grafting, although wild apples grow readily from seed. Trees are prone to a number of fungal, bacterial and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means.

About 69 million tonnes of apples were grown worldwide in 2010, and China produced almost half of this total. The United States is the second-leading producer, with more than 6% of world production. Turkey is third, followed by Italy, India and Poland. Apples are often eaten raw, but can also be found in many foods (especially desserts) and drinks. Many beneficial health effects have been found from eating apples; however, the seeds are slightly poisonous and two forms of allergies are seen to various proteins found in the fruit.

Read more about AppleBotanical Information, History, Apple Cultivars, Production, Human Consumption, Nutrition

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Famous quotes containing the word apple:

    The apple tree has been celebrated by the Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, and Scandinavians. Some have thought that the first human pair were tempted by its fruit. Goddesses are fabled to have contended for it, dragons were set to watch it, and heroes were employed to pluck it.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
    About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
    The night above the dingle starry,
    Dylan Thomas (1914–1953)

    Your apple face, the simple crèche
    Of your arms, the August smells
    Of your skin. Then I sorted your clothes
    And the loves you had left, Elizabeth,
    Elizabeth, until you were gone.
    Anne Sexton (1928–1974)