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Malus domestica
Niedzwetzkyana is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators

Niedzwetskyana is a crab-apple native to central Asia, noted for the extensive red anthocyanin pigmentation found in all parts of the tree.

The apples have a very dark red skin and the flesh varies from light pink to red. The spring blossom is also a very deep red colour. The dark red pigmentation is also found in the wood of young shoots. The leaves have a dull red / bronze colour when they emerge in the spring, but turn dark green over the summer.

Atlhough the crab-apples can be eaten or juiced, the flavour is poor - this species is mainly grown for its unique ornamental value.



Niedzwetzkyana crab-apple trees for sale

  • 1-year bare-root tree £31.00
    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 niedzwetskyana is very cold hardy and has some natural drought resistance.


Niedzwetskyana was identified and named by Russian enthusiast Vladislav Niedzwiecki (or Niedzwetzky) in the late 19th century, when he was living in what is now Kazakhstan. Although usually considered to belong to the common apple species Malus domestica, it is sometimes considered to be a separate species - Malus niedzwetskyana - on account of its very unusual characteristics.

Niedzwetskyana has been widely used in breeding programmes because of the intensity of its dark red blossom - most of the modern bronze-leaved crab-apple varieties have Niedzwetskyana somewhere in their ancestry. A number of mainstream apple varieties have also been raised from it, and they typically have red or pink flesh.

Niedzwetzkyana characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Attractive featuresAttractive flowersAttractive fruitAttractive foliage
  • WildlifeRHS Plants for Pollinators
  • Flower colourRed - dark
  • Flower formSingle flower (5-8 petals)
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Leaf colour - autumnGreen
  • Fruit colourRed - dark
  • Fruit sizeLarge
  • Fruit persistencePersistent
  • Country of originKazakhstan
  • Annual cycleDeciduous

Similar varieties

  • See also Roberts Crab
    Malus domestica
    Roberts Crab
    An unusual red-fleshed crab-apple which has large purple fruits. The juice is a claret red colour.
  • See also Royalty
    Malus domestica
    Malus Royalty has bright purple-red blossom, dark green-bronze leaves, and dark red fruitlets.

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.