American Crabapple (Sweet Crabapple)

Malus corornaria

Crabapple: Full Tree - Click for larger image
  • Hybrid species very frequent thus identification of specific species difficult

  • American Crabapple has short trunk, several stout branches

  • American Crabapple remains short; reaches height around 4.5-9m (15-30’)




Crabapple: Leaves - Click for larger image
Crabapple: Fruit - Click for larger image

Twigs & Fruiting Structures

  • End buds true and sharp-pointed, glandless leaf stalks, three bundle scars, spur branches present, thorns found only on older wood, not on twigs; some species thornier than others

  • American Crabapple flowers: pink or white clustered with five rounded petals; highly fragrant, nearly 4 cm (1.5”) wide

  • American Crabapple fruit: several-seeded, bitter; appears between September and November; 2.5-3 cm (1-1.25”) in diameter



  • Gray, scaly, non-striped, vertically cracked

Distribution & Uses

  • Three species of Crabapple found in the eastern United States: American (Sweet) Crabapple (Malus coronaria), Narrowleaf Crabapple (Malus angustifolia), and Praire Crabapple (Malus ioensis)

  • American Crabapple habitat: moist soils, relatively open areas

  • Crabapples often planted for ornamentation; fruit used in preserves and cider

  • Cultivated apples often grafted onto Crabapple trees


Crabapple: Bark - Click for larger image