Crabapples for Midwestern Landscapes

Crabapples are the most widely planted ornamental tree in the Midwest. They are grown chiefly for their colorful spring flowers. Flower colors range from white to pink to reddish purple. However, many crabapples possess other ornamental features. Some varieties have handsome leaves that range from dark green to burgundy. Others have colorful fruit in fall and early winter. Interesting growth habits and branching patterns are another ornamental feature.

When selecting a crabapple variety for the home landscape, consider its ornamental features (flowers, fruit display, etc.), size and growth habit, and resistance to apple scab and cedar-apple rust.

The following is a list of some of the best crabapples for Midwestern landscapes.

TAXA Flower
'Adams' R DR 20/20 Round Dense; one of best reds
'Adirondack' W R 20/10 Upright Good for parkways
Anne E. W R 10/10 Weeping Birds attracted to fruit
'Autumn Glory' W OR 15/15 Spreading Birds attracted to fruit
Camelot P DR 10/8 Round Fuchsia-pink flowers
'Candymint' P R 10/15 Spreading Pink-flowering sargentii
'Cardinal' P/R DR 15/20 Spreading Dark purple-red foliage
Centurion R R 20/15 UpSpreading Parkway use if pruned
Cinderella W YO 8/5 UpOval Use in containers
'Coral Cascade' W O 15/15 Weeping Pink-Coral-Orange fruit
'David' W R 15/15 Round Post-frost fruit color
'Donald Wyman' W R 20/20 Round Post-frost fruit color
floribunda P/W Y 20/25 Horizontal Birds attracted to fruit
Golden Raindrops W Y 20/15 UpSpreading Fine-textured
Harvest Gold W Y 20/15 UpSpreading Post-frost fruit color
'Indian Magic' P OR 15/15 Round Excellent fruit display
Lancelot W YO 10/8 UpOval Gold fall foliage
'Louisa' P Y 15/15 Weeping True pink flowers
'Mary Potter' W R 6/18 Spreading Heavy flower display
Molten Lava W OR 15/15 Horizontal Birds attracted to fruit
'Pink Satin' P DR 15/15 Rounded Clear pink flowers
'Prairifire' R DR 20/20 UpSpreading Orange-red fall leaf color
'Prairie Maid' P OR 15/15 Round True pink flowers
'Professor Sprenger' W OR 25/25 Round Persistent fruit
'Profusion' R DR 20/20 UpSpreading Orange fall leaf color
'Purple Prince' R DR 15/15 Round Improved 'Prairifire'
'Ralph Shay' W R 15/20 Spreading Very large fruit
'Red Barron' R R 18/10 Columnar Red-orange fall leaf color
Red Jewel W R 18/12 UpOval Post-frost fruit color
'Red Peacock' W OR 12/14 SemiWeeper Heavy annual bloom
sargentii W R 6/12 Horizontal Birds attracted to fruit
'Sentinel' W R 15/10 Upright Parkway use if pruned
'Serenade' W O 12/12 Semi-weeping Excellent fruit display
'Silver Moon' W DR 25/15 UpOval Blooms late in the season
'Sinai Fire' W OR 15/15 Weeping Persistent fruit
'Snowdrift' W O 20/20 Round Birds attracted to fruit
Sugar Tyme W R 20/20 Round Persistent fruit
x zumi 'Bob White' W Y 20/20 Round Birds attracted to fruit
x zumi 'Calocarpa' W R 15/20 Horizontal Birds attracted to fruit
x zumi 'Winter Gem' W R 15/12 UpSpreading Small persistent fruit

1 Flower color: R=red; P=pink; W=white; P/W=pink and white; P/R = pinkish-red
2 Fruit color: R=red; DR=dark red; O=orange; Y=yellow; OR=orange-red; YO=yellow-orange
3 FORM: UpSpreading = upright-spreading; UpOval = upright-oval
Bold = Strong possibility of early defoliation in wet years because of fungal pathogens.

This article originally appeared in the May 5, 2000 issue, pp. 43-44.


Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on May 5, 2000. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.