Plant of the Month February 2013

Flowering Crabapple

Great strides have been made in the breeding ofMalus crabapples over recent years. They used to be avoided in landscapes due to the mess created by the dropping crabapples. Today’s crabapples have many improvements over the older varieties and frankly, they are some of my favorite trees to use in my landscape designs. The newer varieties provide three seasons worth of interest in the garden, this includes the beautiful blooms and fragrance in the spring, varying shades of green all summer and gorgeous fall leaf colors and new smaller, marble size fruit that can range in color. The fruit can remain on the tree after it loses all its leaves in the fall and that creates a striking focal point in the autumn landscape. The key thing to look for are the words ‘persistent fruit,’ which indicates that the tree has been bred to not drop its fruit.

Some of my favorites that are easy to find locally are:

Prairie Fire: Dark pink bloom, maroon persistent fruit and orange-red fall color

Snowdrift: White bloom, green persistent fruit until fall when it turns orange, yellow fall color

Indian Magic: Rosy bloom, orange-red persistent fruit and amber fall color.

Flowering Crabapple AlbuquerqueQuick Facts

  • Spring Bloom-white, pink or dark pink blooms
  • Fragrant blooms
  • Weeping, multi-trunk, and upright varieties available
  • Fall color in leaves and fruit
  • Three seasons of interest