|Apple tree|other uses|Apple tree (disambiguation)
|name = Apple
|image = Red Apple.jpg
|image_caption = A typical apple
|regnum = Plantae
|unranked_divisio = Angiosperms
|unranked_classis = Eudicots
|unranked_ordo = Rosids
|ordo = Rosales
|familia = Rosaceae
|subfamilia = Maloideae or Spiraeoideae
|tribus = Maleae
|genus = Malus
|species = M. domestica
|binomial = Malus domestica
|binomial_authority = Borkh.
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 that blossom in the spring and produce fruit in the fall. 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.
At least 55 million tonnes of apples were grown worldwide in 2005, with a value of about $10 billion. China produced about 35% of this total. The United States is the second-leading producer, with more than 7.5% of world production. Iran is third, followed by Turkey, Russia, Italy and India. 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.