Apples are sweet, edible fruits that are produced by an apple tree. Apple trees are cultivated worldwide as a fruit tree and is the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Take a look below for 28 more fun and interesting facts about apples.
1. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought in North America by European colonists.
2. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek and European Christian traditions.
3. Apple trees are large if grown from seed. Generally, apple cultivars are propagated by grafting onto rootstocks, which control the size of the resulting tree.
4. 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 cooking, eating raw and cider production.
5. Apple trees and fruit are prone to a number of fungal, bacterial and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means.
6. In 2010, an apple’s genome was sequenced as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production.
7. Worldwide production of apples in 2014 was 84.6 million tonnes, with China accounting for 48% of the total.
8. Eating an apple is a more reliable method of staying awake then consuming a cup of coffee. The natural sugar in an apple is more potent than the caffeine in coffee.
9. Apples contain 4.5 grams of fiber; two thirds of the fiber and much of the antioxidants are found in the peel.
10. The crab apples are the only apple native to the United States.
11. There are 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States.
12. A bushel of apples is about 42 pounds of apples.
13. An average apple tree produced about 20 bushels.
14. The center of diversity of the genus Malus is in eastern present-day Turkey. The apple tree was perhaps the earliest tree to be cultivated, and its fruit have been improved through selection over thousands of years.
15. Alexander the Great is credited with finding dwarfed apples in Kazakhstan in 328 BCE.
16. Of the many Old World plants that the Spanish introduced to Chiloe Archipelago in the 16th century, apple trees became particularly well adapted.
17. Apples were introduced to North America by colonists in the 17th century, and the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625.
18. Until the 20th century, farmers stores apples in frostproof cellars during the winter for their own use or for sale. Improved transportation of fresh apples by train and road replaced the necessity for storage.
19. In Norse mythology, the goddess Iounn is portrayed in the Prose Edda as providing apples to the gods that give them eternal youthfulness. English scholar, H. R. Ellis Davidson, links apples to religious practices in Germanic paganism, from which Norse paganism developed.
20. Apples appear in many religious traditions, often as a mystical or forbidden fruit in Greek mythology.
21. One of the problems identifying apples in religion, mythology and folktales is that the word “apple” was used as a generic term for all foreign fruit, other than berries, including nuts, as late as the 17th century.
22. Though the forbidden fruit of Eden in the Book of Genesis is not identified, popular Christian tradition was held that it was an apple that Eve coaxed Adam to share with her.
23. In Ancient Greece, throwing an apple at somebody meant as a declaration of your love for them.
24. Two thirds of the fiber and lots of antioxidants are found in the peel of an apple. Antioxidants help to reduce damage to cells, which can trigger some diseases.
25. Apples are actually part of the rose, or Rosaceae family of plants. This includes many fruit plants such as pears, almonds, apricots, cherries, plums, raspberries, peaches and more.
26. Half the deciduous fruit tree production in the world is apples, and they’re mostly produced in five countries: the United States, China, Turkey, Italy and Poland.
27. 25% of an apple’s volume is air, which is why they float when you drop them in water.
28. One of George Washington’s favorite hobbies was pruning his apple trees. It’s said that this helped him with stress management.