Crab-apple trees

Crab-apple trees belong to the genus Malus, and are therefore closely related to the mainstream apple (Malus domestica). They are grown primarily for their attractive blossom, and for the ornamental appeal of their pretty fruitlets in the autumn.

The fruitlets of many varieties are valuable in the kitchen for making crab-apple jelly. Several varieties retain their fruitlets into early winter (known as 'persistent'), providing a useful food resource for wildlife.

Many crab-apples also make excellent pollinators for fruiting apple trees, thanks to their profuse blossom and close genetic compatibility.

See this article for more advice on how to choose a crab-apple tree.


  • Best seller

    Also known as Malus Adirondack. A dwarf upright crab-apple with masses of light-pink / white flowers.

    • Growth habit: Columnar / Fastigiate
    • Fruit colour: Red
    • Flower colour: Pink - light
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • A small slow-growing upright crab-apple, with bronze-green leaves, beautiful dark pink flowers with white centres, and maroon fruits in the autumn.

    • Growth habit: Upright
    • Fruit colour: Red - dark
    • Flower colour: Pink - dark
    • Leaf colour: Bronze
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    Malus Butterball is named for its bright yellow fruits, which are also good for crab apple jelly.

    • Fruit colour: Yellow
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • A pretty and graceful spreading tree with a mass of pink / white flowers, and small red fruits.

    • Growth habit: Spreading
    • Fruit colour: Red - dark
    • Flower colour: Pink - light
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Also known as Princeton Cardinal, a bronze-leaved crab-apple with pink-red spring blossom and red fruitlets in the autumn.

    • Growth habit: Spreading
    • Fruit colour: Red - dark
    • Flower colour: Pink - dark
    • Leaf colour: Dark purple
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    Comtesse de Paris can be considered as an improved Golden Hornet. It features the same white blossom and persistent yellow fruitlets, but grows with a better form.

    • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
    • Fruit colour: Yellow
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus Coralburst is a naturally compact crab-apple with a superb blossom display and small persistent yellow-orange fruitlets.

    • Growth habit: Spreading
    • Fruit colour: Bronze
    • Flower colour: Pink - dark
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Directeur Moerlands (also known as Profusion Improved) is a classic crab apple variety, with dense clusters of deep pink blossom followed by small crimson berry-like fruitlets.

    • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
    • Fruit colour: Red - dark
    • Flower colour: Crimson
    • Leaf colour: Bronze
  • Donald Wyman is a classic white-flowered crab-apple, with very small red fruits, which persist into mid-winter.

    • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
    • Fruit colour: Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
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    Malus Evereste is a popular traditional crab-apple with masses of white blossom, then red-yellow fruits.

    • Growth habit: Upright
    • Fruit colour: Orange / Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • A traditional crab-apple featuring a mass of white blossom in spring, followed by yellow crab apples.

    • Fruit colour: Yellow
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus Golden Hornet has pink / white blossom then small yellow crab apples which hang on late in the year.

    • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
    • Fruit colour: Yellow
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus Gorgeous has pink/white blossom and spherical cherry-like red fruits which are good for jelly.

    • Fruit colour: Red
    • Flower colour: Pink - light
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus Harry Baker is a popular crab-apple with deep pink flowers and dark red fruits which are very good for crab-apple jelly.

    • Fruit colour: Red
    • Flower colour: Crimson
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • An excellent all-round crab apple, with attractive bronze leaves, dusky pink blossom, and small persistent red fruits.

    • Growth habit: Spreading
    • Fruit colour: Red
    • Flower colour: Pink
    • Leaf colour: Bronze
  • Best seller

    White blossom followed by large orange-red fruits which are ideal for making crab-apple jelly.

    • Growth habit: Upright
    • Fruit colour: Orange / Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • John Downie is a traditional crab-apple, with white blossom and orange-red fruits, ideal for making crab apple jelly.

    • Fruit colour: Orange / Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Best seller

    Malus Laura is a very upright dwarf crab-apple, with bronze leaves, crimson blossom and maroon fruitlets.

    • Growth habit: Columnar / Fastigiate
    • Flower colour: Crimson
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus Louisa is a pretty weeping crab apple with light pink blossom and small yellow fruitlets.

    • Growth habit: Weeping
    • Fruit colour: Orange
    • Flower colour: Pink - light
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • The Siberian crab-apple, noted for its exceptional cold-hardiness, disease-resistance, attractive blossom and clusters of cherry-like fruitlets in autumn,

    • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
    • Fruit colour: Orange / Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Unusually for a crab-apple, Malus Fimbriata features true double-flower blossom.

    • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
    • Flower colour: Pink - light
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus floribunda is also known as the Japanese Crab. Pink / white blossom then red / yellow fruits.

    • Fruit colour: Yellow / Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • A traditional garden crab-apple from China, with white blossom and small red-tinged fruitlets, a good choice as a specimen tree.

    • Growth habit: Spreading
    • Fruit colour: Green / Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus transitoria is known as the Cut-leaf crab-apple, has a mass of small white flowers, and clusters of tiny yellow fruitlets.

    • Growth habit: Spreading
    • Fruit colour: Yellow
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • A modern English crab-apple, with large fruits, ideal for early-season crab-apple jelly.

    • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
    • Fruit colour: Orange / Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus Dolgo, also known as Pink Glow, offers early-season white flowers and very attractive dark pink fruits. It is exceptionally cold-hardy.

    • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus Pink Perfection is a small crab-apple with unusual double pink scented flowers.

    • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
    • Fruit colour: Yellow / Orange
    • Flower colour: Pink
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Best seller

    Malus Prairie Fire is a medium-size upright crab-apple tree, notable for its dark pink flowers.

    • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
    • Fruit colour: Red
    • Flower colour: Pink - dark
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • A well-proportioned crab-apple with profuse white blossom, and golden-orange fruitlets in autumn.

    • Growth habit: Spreading
    • Fruit colour: Orange
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus Purpurea Evelyn is a purple-leaved form of the Prairie crab.

    • Growth habit: Upright
    • Fruit colour: Green / Yellow
    • Flower colour: Pink - dark
    • Leaf colour: Dark purple
  • Malus Red Obelisk is a compact upright crab-apple with white flowers, purple / green leaves, and red fruits.

    • Growth habit: Upright
    • Fruit colour: Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Best seller

    A deservedly popular crab-apple, Malus Red Sentinel has classic white apple blossom and a profusion of tiny scarlet persistent fruits.

    • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
    • Fruit colour: Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • An unusual red-fleshed crab-apple which has large purple fruits. The juice is a claret red colour.

    • Fruit colour: Purple
    • Flower colour: Pink - dark
    • Leaf colour: Bronze
  • Malus Rosehip features white blossom and large rosehip-shaped red fruits.

    • Fruit colour: Orange / Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Royal Beauty is a compact weeping crab apple with crimson blossom and small crimson berry-like fruitlets.

    • Growth habit: Weeping
    • Fruit colour: Red - dark
    • Flower colour: Crimson
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus Royalty has bright purple-red blossom, dark green-bronze leaves, and dark red fruitlets.

    • Fruit colour: Red - dark
    • Flower colour: Red - dark
    • Leaf colour: Bronze
  • Malus Rudoph features very large single deep pink flowers, and small dark purple fruits.

    • Fruit colour: Purple
    • Flower colour: Pink
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus toringo Scarlett is an ornamental crab apple with bronze leaves, dusky pink blossom, and dark red fruitlets.

    • Fruit colour: Purple
    • Flower colour: Pink
    • Leaf colour: Bronze
  • Malus Sun Rival is a popular weeping crab-apple, with pale pink blossom and small red berry-like fruitlets.

    • Growth habit: Weeping
    • Fruit colour: Red
    • Flower colour: Pink - light
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus Tina is a small spreading crab-apple, useful as a patio tree.

    • Growth habit: Spreading
    • Fruit colour: Red
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • Malus Wedding Bouquet features ivory-white blossom and tiny red berry-like fruitlets.

    • Growth habit: Upright
    • Fruit colour: Red - dark
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
  • A modern English crab-apple with white star-like flowers followed by attractive russeted fruitlets.

    • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
    • Fruit colour: Russet
    • Fruit colour: Yellow / Orange
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green