Species Data

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Rosales

Family: Rosaceae

Scientific Name: Malus orientalis

IUCN Red List status:Data Deficient

IUCN Species Range Map



This species is native to a range of countries including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Turkey, and the north Caucasus region of the Russian Federation. It occurs at elevations that reach up to 2,000 metres above sea level. Alongside Caucasus Apple, another of its common names includes Eastern Crabapple and has been consumed by people for millennia. It has contributed slightly to the gene pool of domesticated apples.


It can grow up to 10 metres in height and flowers from April to May and then fruits between August and October. It tends to grow in small groups or as individual trees and produces large yellow fruit.

Caucasus apple blossom
A view of Caucasian Apple habitat, Armenia
Habitat and range

It occurs at elevations that reach up to 2,000 metres above sea level. It thrives with high levels of light and can tolerate both dry and mildly saline soils. It is mostly found in broadleaf and coniferous-broadleaf mountain forests, or on forest edges, in glades, and along riverbanks.

Unfortunately, its habitat in the mixed forests of the Caucasus is threatened with poor management, illegal tree felling, uncontrolled timber export, and degraded habitat from overgrazing. The tree also faces the threat of hybridisation with the cultivated apple Malus domestica which could threaten the genetic integrity of M. orientalis.



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