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.
|'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|
|'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|
|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.