Malus baccata

8 Sep

Malus baccata (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

Malus baccata (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Mid to late spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 15m

Eventual Spread: 15m

Hardiness: 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Family: Rosaceae

Malus baccata Fruit (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

Malus baccata Fruit (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

Malus baccata is a deciduous tree with a spreading habit. Its mid green leaves are ovate to elliptic with serrulate margins, up to 8cm long and 3.5cm broad. Its leaves turn yellow/ orange in autumn before they fall. Its grey/ brown bark is deeply fissured. Its white flowers are up to 4cm across and appear at the same time as its leaves. Its red/ yellow fruit is a pomme, up to 1cm across and matures in autumn.

Malus baccata, commonly known as Siberian Crab Apple or Siberian Crab, is native to eastern Asia, from north China to the Himalayas. In its native habitat it grows on open slopes and mixed forests. It is widely used as a root stock plant as it is highly resistant to pests and cold.

Malus baccata Bark (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

Malus baccata Bark (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Malus is from the ancient Latin name for the apple tree. Baccata is derived from the Latin bacca meaning ‘small berry’ or ’round fruit’.

The landscape architect may find Malus baccata useful as a small tree with attractive spring flowers, autumn leaf colour and edible fruit.

Malus baccata Bark (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

Malus baccata Bark (15/08/15, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Malus baccata flowers are attractive to pollinating insects. Its fruit are attractive to birds and some mammals (including humans).

Malus baccata prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Malus baccata requires little maintenance. Dead or damaged material may be removed in winter.

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