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Malus angustifolia

Phonetic Spelling
MAY-lus an-gus-tih-FOH-lee-ah
Description

The native Southern crabapple is a shrub or small tree, 20 to 30 feet in height. Its native habitat is pine woodlands or mixed woods, in open to medium densities. Its branches spread outward to form a rounded open crown. Some states consider this native to be threatened or "of concern" due to losses of native habitats or inadequate reseeding. 

Southern crabapple in full sun or part shade will encourage more blooms and fruiting. Any pruning needed is mostly for ground suckers or for shaping the tree by removing unwanted or problem branches, such as those crossing or rubbing against each other. Well-drained, but moist and slightly acid soils are appropriate. It can grow in flat or sloped areas but does need some space. It works well near the borders of woodlands, as a backdrop to a fence, or in "wild" or native areas.  

Some prefer the crabapple for its beautiful blooms and small apples for jellies and jams but prefer that it be away from a mowing or walking area due to those same small fruits that fall onto the ground.

If space is available,  a grove of crabapples provides for a multitude of wildlife ranging from birds and pollinators to multiple small mammals and deer. This may help to keep less desirable garden visitors away from more desirable crops in late summer through fall. Depending on the age of the sapling, crops can begin within 3 to 4 years and reach abundance by 6 or 7 years.

Some crabapples are resistant  to rusts, fireblights, and scabs, while others are not,. The less resistant, the more important will be maintaining soil health. Check the label.  

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#wildlife plant#spring flowers#playground#food source#cpp#pollinator plant#food source summer#food source fall#food source herbage#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly larvae#pollinators#birds#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#wildlife plant#spring flowers#playground#food source#cpp#pollinator plant#food source summer#food source fall#food source herbage#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly larvae#pollinators#birds#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Malus
    Species:
    angustifolia
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    It's hard, heavy wood makes excellent tool handle, levers, and small woodenware articles.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    FL to s.e. TX, n. to NJ, KY, s. IL & AR
    Distribution:
    : AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , OH , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Bloom pollen is especially useful for bees as a food source in early spring as this tree blooms early. The small apples in late summer and fall are eaten by multiple birds and small woodland and neighborhood mammals (ex., opossums, squirrels, rabbits) of all kinds, including deer.
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Flowers are edible in moderation but contain cyanide precursors. Its fruit is occasionally used for jelly, preserves and cider.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Open
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit ¾-1” in diameter, like small apples. They are yellow-green and sour with a long stalk. Fruits display from August to September.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Several flowers are on stems branching from one stalk. The pink bloom has 5 equally spaced, separate petals, wide oval in shape. Flowers bloom from April to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are elliptical or oblong with a blunt tip and wavy sawtoothed margins and hairy when young. They are dull green above and paler underneath. At maturity, leaves can be green, yellow, or a medium to pruplish shade of red.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Bark Description:
    The bark is gray or brown and furrowed into narrow scaly ridges.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds