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European crab apple (LV: Mežābele)

European crab apple

The scientific name of European crab apple is Malus sylvestris. It is the only wild apple species native to Europe. The wild apple easily cross-pollinates with domestic apple, and hybrids between these two species are commonly found. In Latvia crab apple-trees grow in all territory, mostly in forest openings and at edges of cultivated lands, but are rather rare. Very often people confuse them with seedlings of domestic apple usually growing at roadsides and near old apple orchards. The true European crab has smooth leaves and shoots without pubescence, shoots may end with a thorn. The small, bitter and aromatic fruits are used for wine, blending with sweeter apples.

Submitted on: 20/06/2019