The Teddington Gardener

Malus transitoria – crab apple delights

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Malus transitoria, the cut-leaved crab apple (photographed at RHS Wisley earlier this week)

Crab apples are often excellent small trees for the garden, with late spring blossom to rival many of the Japanese Cherries, persistent fruit (attractive but only barely edible in the strictest sense). The blossom can be exceedingly fragrant and runs the gamut of colours from white through shades of rose pink to deep burgundy red. Oftentimes, there is good autumn leaf colour. They are pollinating partners for apples of the eating variety too.

Malus transitoria is one of the best for autumn leaf colour, so altogether, lots of boxes are getting ticked here. It is a spreading tree, with narrowly lobed leaves – hence the ‘cut leaf crab apple’, with small, rounded yellow fruits – that hold on, as we can see, well into mid-winter.

The whole effect is a pointillist abundance – and lit up by sunshine, glows. Me like.

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