An Apple a Day

This threatened species of Asian apple finds new life in Missouri.


Niezwetzsky’s apple

A.k.a. Malus niedzwetzkyana

Where to find it at The Missouri Botanical Garden: English Woodland Garden

Information and photography provided by Catherine Martin, The Missouri Botanical Garden.


This unique, red-fleshed apple is native to Central Asia and is a wild relative of our modern grocery store apples. It is rare throughout its range and threatened by expansion of agriculture and human encroachment. Overgrazing by cattle is preventing natural regeneration. Garden staff collected seed from this species in Kyrgyzstan in August of 2018 as part of a project to conserve nine species of crop wild relatives in Central Asia, including species of apple, pear, plum, almond, apricot, hawthorn and cherry. The team collected seed for storage in the seed bank at Gareev Botanical Garden in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, with backup seed at Missouri Botanical Gardens. Banked seeds will create a buffer against extinction for the target species, as they are an important global genetic resource.