Whenever I see this plant, mostly when it’s in flower I just sigh or even a MMMmmmm or AAHHhhhhh and amazingly it’s not a rose. But! it is somehow connected to them, all will be revealed later. In case you’re wondering, I’m talking about Malus ioensis plena. Also known as the Betchel crab Apple, this beautiful tree only grows to about 6m tall by about 3-4 wide. This means it can be planted in lots of smaller gardens making it possibly one of the most common crab apples or even of all smaller tree’s. Common you say! Well yes its very common but in gardening terms common actually means something that has been tried and tested and survived and performed and continued to perform over and over. I know if you say common it sounds dull but hey, have a look here.
Seriously, how beautiful is that!
It’s seriously just a sea of blossoms. Now how is it connected to roses? Well simply put it belongs to the Rosaceae family. How? Read on. The majority of species in Rosaceae have leaves with serrated margins and a pair of stipules where the leaf joins the stem. Branch spines and prickles are common on trees and shrubs in the rose family. There are plenty of more similarities that put crab apples into Rosaceae. Simply put if you look at a human family group the offspring of the parents will have distinguishing marks and looks that make them look like their parents to some degree, and if you have cousins, their features will match yours in some way(mostly).
So we know roses have lots of thorns, this crab apple has sharp spine like tips to its branches. Get the connection? Anyway, enough of that stuff, more photo’s I think.
Even the buds are gorgeous!
I think the photos say more than all my ramblings….