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Crabapples in fruit at the Arnold Arboretum

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
September 1, 2015


Crabapples in fruit at the Arnold Arboretum

Crabapples_DirectorsBlog3The crabapples on Peters Hill are magnificent at the peak of flowering in the spring. Just as striking right now are the myriad fruits in a rainbow of colors (purples, reds, pinks, yellows) and an assortment of sizes; each with the subtle sheen of waxy surfaces and craters from old wormholes. 

Malus toringoides (202-2001*A, first image), the cutleaf crabapple, is a wild apple tree from China, that is itself probably a hybrid between Malus transitoria (also referred to as the cutleaf crabapple) and an unknown species. The small fruits currently range from yellow to blush to almost pink.

Malus ‘Kerr’ (591-61*A, second and third images) is a hybrid between an eating apple and a crabapple, often referred to as an applecrab (for obvious reasons). This hybrid was developed to withstand the extreme cold of the Canadian prairie and be eaten. As you will see, its fruits are larger than a crabapple and smaller than a typical eating apple. 

Have a look up close at the beautiful surfaces of these apple fruits on Peters Hill. There is texture and detail worth noting.


-Ned Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum


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