Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
Since I'm busy adding the data I have on apple varieties (the listings here are rather sparse), it would be nice and useful to have some extended option selection menus similar to what is there for roses, japanese maples, etc.
I'd like to add to the Malus PlantFiles entry alterations discussion.
While the aforementioned extended option menus apply very well to the Malus selections known to be orchard or eating/cooking apples (which maybe should all be listed as Malus x domestica), they really have no bearing or value to the ornamental apples better known as crabapples. This change can certainly have added to confusion for individuals searching the PlantFiles entries for information.
I don't know that there is a good way to resolve this, since I'm not tech-savvy enough to know how all this is set up.
No need for turf wars, either, but there is quite a bit of previous entry information now not available to the PlantFiles users interested in the ornamental characteristics of Malus:
Category Danger Bloom Color Foliage Soil pH Requirements Seed Collecting
The additional entry options of pollination, rootstock vigor, bearing habit, disease resistance, and fruit usage are all fine (especially for eating/cooking uses of apples). The rootstock vigor applies only to grafted trees, or to the several rootstocks themselves. Maybe an N/A line under each of these additional entry options is in order.
Finally -- there have been many new additions generally under Malus x domestica which are incorrect repetitions of known crabapple clones that already exist as PlantFiles entries, listed more simply as Malus or Malus x describing their multiple parentage origin.
[quote](which maybe should all be listed as Malus x domestica)[/quote]
Current botanical consensus is that most orchard apples are derived from a single species Malus pumila (syn. M. sieversii), native to central Asia, not a hybrid (and the name M. domestica is also illegitimate):
Mabberley, D.J., Jarvis, C.E., & Juniper, B.E. (2001). The name of the apple. Telopea 9 (2): 421–430. http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/72786/Tel9Mab421.pdf (pdf file).
I don't disagree with Resin's summary on correct nomenclature for the common apple; I've never researched what is appropriate for that group of plants. Maybe an error report is in order? The apples could all be reclassified in PlantFiles as Malus pumila unless/until there is evidence for hybrid parentage under any particular entry.
I believe a goal of PlantFiles is simplifying accurate information access, and also providing as much appropriate information under each entry. With the changes made in Malus, neither of those goals are being met. Clonal selections already listed as ornamental flowering crabapples are repeated under Malus x domestica.
I neglected to note above: if pollination is retained as an entry option for Malus in the PlantFiles, then additional choices should be listed. Currently, there is Diploid, Triploid, and Tetraploid. There are Malus selections that are Octoploid ('Satin Cloud' is a great one), and I think there may be some with even higher polyploidy.
This isn't of much interest to most gardeners other than hybridizers, but it would make the entry more complete. For ornamental flowering crabapples entries, it really isn't necessary.
Yep, agree. There are some modern orchard apple cultivars that are genuine hybrids between M. pumila and various other Malus species, e.g. some cultivars bred in Canada for increased cold-hardiness for growing in areas where traditional M. pumila cultivars won't survive. I suspect these will need to be listed as just Malus 'Cultivar Name' (i.e., without a hybrid name), unless there is a formally described hybrid name for them.