With these characteristics: None
Rosaceae - Rose
See also apple description and illustrations
Leaves: Similar to apple, but some species/cultivars have lobed leaves and undersides of leaves may or may not be hairy.
Twigs/buds: Twigs red-brown; somewhat woolly; characteristic sweet taste. Terminal bud woolly (particularly at tip), blunt; lateral buds similar but smaller; round.
Flowers/fruit: Flowers perfect; similar to apple; sometimes doubled (with extra sets of petals); cultivars available with white, pink, red, or purplish flowers. Fruit a red, yellow, orange, or green pome; mostly smaller than apple, 1/4" to 2" diameter, depending on cultivar.
Bark: Variable; often smooth early on; gray-brown, shiny, thin, and scaly on older trunks.
Wood: Heartwood reddish-gray; sapwood light-red; darker when steamed; wild trees probably better than cultivated varieties; hard, difficult to work and split; easy to stain and polish; used to make furniture, toys, tool handles, canes, and pianos.
General: Crabapples are a confusing group of trees from a horticultural or botanical standpoint. They consist of several species and hundreds of cultivars from all over the world. The most concise definition I have seen, by Michael Dirr, is that if the fruit is 2" in diameter or less it is a crabapple; if more than 2" it is an apple. Shade intolerant. Fruit and/or plant part can be nuisances; use fruitless varieties if possible. Sucker (sprout) growth can be a problem.
Landscape Use: Crabapples are extremely valuable from an ornamental standpoint, making excellent small to medium-sized landscape trees. They vary widely, however, in their disease resistance, ornamental characteristics, and size. For a very complete discussion of crabapples, see Dirr's 1990 Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. Also Kuhns' Trees of Utah book has a table on crabapples for Utah. Zones 3-9.
Cultivars: Numerous varieties.
- Rosaceae - Rose
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