The Apple appears to have been the subject of
cultural attention from very early times. This
is proved from the similarity of the equivalents
for our word Apple in all the Celtic and Sclavonian
languages, showing by their common origin that
the fruit was of sufficient importance to have
a distinctive name long before the separation
of the peoples of Northern Europe.
The Wild Apple is rounded in general form and
the branches spread widely when young, and droop
somewhat when older. As a tree it varies in height
from twenty to fifty feet, though many examples
of good age still retain the dimensions of a bush.
The bole is usually more or less crooked like
the older branches. The brown bark is not very
rough, though its numerous fissures and cracks
give it a rugged appearance.
Its wood, like that of the Pear, is hard and fine-grained,
but instead of having a reddish tinge, there is
a tendency to brownish.
The leaves vary in shape, but are more or less
oblong, smooth above, sometimes downy on the lower
surface when young, and with toothed edges.
The flowers are about the same size as those of
the Wild Pear, but their white petals are beautifully
tinted and streaked with pink. They are clustered
together with the foot-stalks of similar length,
starting from a common base.
The fruit is almost spherical, and instead of
the foot-stalk gradually merging into the apple,
the attachment is always a depression of the latter.
In the typical form of the Wild Apple the yellow
and red fruits hang by their slender stalks, and
they are about an inch across, and so rich in
malic acid as to be unfit for food in their natural
The Wild Apple is found all over the United Kingdom
as far north as the Clyde, and wherever it is
known to occur it is worth a special visit in
May, when all its branches and shoots are rendered
beautiful by the abundance of delicately tinted
and fragrant flowers. It is attractive also in
the autumn, when the miniature apples hang from