Herb: Manchurian Apple

Latin name: Malus baccata mandschurica

Synonyms: Malus mandschurica, Pyrus baccata mandshurica

Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Edible parts of Manchurian Apple:

Fruit - raw or cooked. The fully ripe fruit is very soft and has a delicious flavour somewhat like stewed apples. The fruit is about 2.5cm in diameter.

Description of the plant:


7 m
(23 feet)

to May

Habitat of the herb:

Mixed forests on slopes, mountain summits and valleys at elevations of 100 - 2100 metres in northern China.

Other uses of Manchurian Apple:

In NE China, this species is often used as stock for grafting Malus pumila and M. asiatica.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It usually germinates in late winter. Stored seed requires stratification for 3 months at 1C and should be sown in a cold frame as soon as it is received. It might not germinate for 12 months or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. If given a rich compost they usually grow away quickly and can be large enough to plant out in late summer, though consider giving them some protection from the cold in their first winter. Otherwise, keep them in pots in a cold frame and plant them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of mature wood, November in a frame.

Cultivation of Manchurian Apple:

Mixed forests on slopes, mountain summits and valleys at elevations of 100 - 2100 metres in northern China.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Malus baccata mandschurica:

All members of this genus contain the toxin hydrogen cyanide in their seeds and possibly also in their leaves, but not in their fruits. Hydrogen cyanide is the substance that gives almonds their characteristic taste but it should only be consumed in very small quantities. Apple seeds do not normally contain very high quantities of hydrogen cyanide but, even so, should not be consumed in very large quantities. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.