prairie crabapple

As a rule, all apple trees with fruit 2 inches or less in diameter are considered crabapples.

Crabapples are highly regarded for making jelly and pickling. Some varieties are delicious for eating fresh. Beautiful flowers and brightly colored fruit make crabapples one of the most popular groups of ornamental trees in North America.

Crabapples belong to many species of Malus. The majority of edible ones, as distinct from the primarily flowering kinds, belong to M. baccata, Siberian crabapple, and M. ioensis, prairie or western crabapple. All have the same cultural and climate requirements as regular apples except that there are many more very hardy and low-chill varieties. 

‘Floerence’, ‘Hyslop’, ‘Transcendent’, ‘Whitney’ and ‘Profusion’ are just a few of the many edible crabapples. 

Western Fruit Berries & Nuts © 1981