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Malus hupehensis

Malus hupehensis flower
Malus hupehensis has received the RHS Award of Garden MeritMalus hupehensis is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators

The Hupeh Crab is a traditional spreading crab-apple, with masses of small white flowers, followed by small red-tinged fruitlets.

It grows in a pleasing spreading fashion, looking attractive even in winter, making it a good choice as a specimen tree in a large lawn.

Malus hupehensis crab-apple trees for sale

  • 11-year bare-root tree £37.00
    Large size (3m-5m after 10 years)
  • 22-year pot-grown tree £62.00
    In a 12L pot
    Large size (3m-5m after 10 years)
Pre-order now for delivery from September onwards for pot grown trees or December for bare-root trees and mixed orders.

How to grow

Malus hupehensis is versatile and hardy, and tolerant of most situations, very disease-resistant, and should reach a height of 4m-5m eventually.

It is best to keep pruning to a minimum if you want to retain the attractive spreading habit.

Whilst most crab-apples make good pollinators for mainstream apple trees, Malus hupehensis is an exception - its pollen is not viable.


Malus hupehensis is native to China. It was brought to the attention of western gardeners by collectors from the Arnold Arboretum in Massachusetts, USA, in the early 20th century. It is sometimes known as the Tea crab-apple, because the leaves could be used like tea-leaves.

Malus hupehensis characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • AwardsRHS AGM (current) 1993
  • Attractive featuresAttractive flowersAttractive tree / plantScented flowers
  • Growth habitSpreading / Flat-topped
  • Height after 10 years3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
  • Growth rateAverage
  • WildlifeRHS Plants for Pollinators
  • Flower colourWhite
  • Flower formSingle flower (5-8 petals)
  • Flowering monthApril
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Fruit colourGreen / Red
  • Fruit sizeSmall
  • Fruit persistenceRipens over a period
  • Country of originChina
  • Annual cycleDeciduous

Similar varieties

  • See also Cardinal
    Malus hupehensis
    A red-flowered crab-apple, closely related to Malus hupehensis.

What will it look like?

Illustrative example of a pot-grown tree of this variety as supplied. Approximate girth: 6/8cm. Trees should reach their mature height after about 10 or more years. We may also have 1-year bare-root trees of this variety - they are not shown here.

Hupeh crab-apple tree

How to choose a crab-apple tree

We list more than 40 different crab-apple trees. Choosing can be difficult! See our article explaining the different characteristics of crab-apple trees which will help you narrow down the selection.