Common Name: Niedzwetsky Apple
Scientific Name: Malus niedzwetskyana (although many experts believe it may be a type of Malus siversii)
Why is this species important?
The Niedzwetsky apple is a very rare type of wild apple with bright red flesh. With this distinctive red-fleshed fruit, the Niedzwetzky apple is an excellent flagship for the conservation and sustainable management of this beleagured forest type.
The wild apples of Central Asia and China are believed to be the primary ancestor of the domesticated apple and are therefore an essential genetic resource.
Where is it found?
The Niedzwetsky apple is found in the fruit and nut forests of Central Asia and China. it is known from Afghanistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.
How do people use it?
Stumps of trees in Kyrgyzstan have been and the tree is probably cut for firewood.
The red pigment is thought to have medicinal properties and in some areas is eaten, especially by children, to prevent cancer.
Why is it threatened?
A staggering 90% of the apple's fruit and nut forest habitat has been lost in the last 50 years. Current threats include over-harvesting of fruits, include loss and degradation of habitat due to agricultural expansion and development, genetic erosion (grafting of commercial varieties and hybridization) and overgrazing.
What conservation action is needed?
The Global Trees Campaign has been working to gather information about the Niedzwetsky apple and to initiate work to conserve it. A nursery has been extablished and field surveys have taken place to map its distribution in Kyrgyzstan.
Read more about GTC's work on the Niedzwetsky apple in Kyrgyzstan
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