Botanical Name: Malus sp.
Common Name: Crabapple
Locations: CNW, CSE
Notable Feature: Sadly neither the full name nor origin of this crabapple is documented, but it makes up for its unknown past the moment spring arrives. Before the leaves appear, a wealth of cheery, crimson red blossoms borne in tight umbels cover its branches.
Habit: This small, deciduous tree, around 15 feet tall and about as wide, has a dense, twiggy crown and scaly, gray bark. The winter silhouette is irregular and gnarled, yet somehow artistic.
Flower: Crimson red blossoms are saucer-shaped and consist of 5 petals. Flowers are perfect or bisexual (both sexes are present in the same flower).
Fruit: By fall, when properly pollinated, the blossoms develop into tiny, round apples, becoming a tree now ornamented with shiny, red fruit.
Foliage: The green leaves are arranged alternately along the stems, 1 ½ to 3” long, usually toothed on the margins, and oval to elliptical in shape. The green leaves color up in fall with an overlay of red.
Interesting Fact: Technically, the fruits are edible, but most are not palatable when eaten raw. Crabapple trees are members of the Rose Family – a surprise to many including Robert Frost – “The rose is a rose, and was always a rose. But the theory now goes, that the apple's a rose ……..”