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Apple seeds are a signature of the apple eating experience. Arranged in a star pattern, containing poison, and glossy black, these seeds will probably never produce edible apples.


Apple seeds are small, dark brown or black, and under a centimeter long. They are pointed at one end and rounded at the other. They are found within five chambers, or carpels, in the center of an apple, with one to three seeds per carpal.


Apple seeds are known for containing small amounts of cyanide, a poison without an antidote that makes the blood unable to carry oxygen, resulting in asphyxiation. However, the amount of cyanide in each seed is so small that there is little danger of accidentally consuming a lethal dose.

Outer Coating

Apple seeds are coated with a tough, protective layer, keeping them from being digested unless ground or chewed. This not only protects us from the cyanide, it also protects the seed. If it is not destroyed by the digestive system of animals, it can then sprout wherever they deposit it in their fertile stool.


The seeds of an apple will almost certainly not grow into a tree like its parent—apple trees grown from seed produce fruit that is, 999 times out of 1000, unsuitable for eating (though hard cider can be made from them). Rather, asexual propagation, such as grafting, is the preferred method of growing edible apples.


If you do want to plant an apple tree from seed just to see what happens, place the seed in a baggie full of moist peat in your fridge for six weeks, and then plant outside in the spring.