Description from Flora of China
Pyrus prunifolia Willdenow, Phytogr. 8. 1794; Malus domestica Borkhausen subsp. prunifolia (Willdenow) Likhonos.
Trees small, to 3–8 m tall. Branchlets grayish purple or grayish brown when old, terete, robust, densely puberulous when young, glabrous when old; buds purplish brown, ovoid, sparsely pubescent. Stipules caducous, lanceolate, small, 4–5 mm, membranous, margin glandular serrate when young, apex acuminate; petiole 1–5 cm, initially densely puberulous, glabrescent; leaf blade ovate or elliptic, 5–9 × 4–5 cm, pubescent along veins when young, pubescent only along midvein or subglabrous when old, base broadly cuneate, margin serrulate, apex acuminate or acute. Corymb umbel-like, 4–8 cm in diam., 4–10-flowered; bracts caducous, linear-lanceolate, membranous, sparsely pubescent, margin entire, apex acuminate. Pedicel 2–3.5 cm; puberulous. Flowers 4–5 cm in diam. Hypanthium campanulate, abaxially puberulous. Sepals lanceolate or triangular-lanceolate, 7–9 mm, slightly longer than hypanthium, both surfaces puberulous, margin entire, apex acuminate. Petals white, pink in bud, obovate or elliptic, 2.5–3 cm, base shortly clawed, apex rounded. Stamens 20, unequal, ca. 1/3 as long as petals. Ovary 4- or 5-loculed, with 2 ovules per locule; styles 4(or 5), longer than stamens, tomentose basally. Pome yellow, red, ovoid, 2–2.5 cm in diam., with cavity at base; fruiting pedicel 2–3.5 cm, puberulous; sepals persistent. Fl. Apr–May, fr. Aug–Sep. 2n = 34*, 51*.
This species is an excellent stock for grafting apple trees. Many varieties have also been bred as good fruit trees.
Slopes, plains; sea level to 1300 m. Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, ?Xinjiang.