WILD CRABAPPLE
File Size: 57 KB
 
Malus ioensis   (Alph. Wood ) Britton  var. ioensis 
[=Pyrus ioensis  (Alph. Wood ) Bailey]
Geary County, Kansas
Height: To 26 feet
Family: Rosaceae - Rose Family
Flowering Period:   April, May
Also Called: Prairie crabapple.
Trunks: Short, 10-12 inches in diameter; thorny shoots often arise around the main tree; crown dense, rounded; branches spreading, close to ground, initially woolly, becoming glabrous; bark reddish-brown or grayish-brown, splitting into thin, short flakes about 1/3 inch thick.
Twigs: Coarse, rigid, reddish-brown, pale-specked, occasionally ending in spines; leaf scars shallowly crescent-shaped; bundle scars 3.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, deciduous, egg-shaped or oblong, 2.6 to 4 inches long, 1.2 to 2.4 inches wide; upper surface dark green, shiny, nearly glabrous; lower surface paler, yellowish-green, finely pubescent; margins coarsely toothed, sometimes lobed; base broadly tapered or rounded; tip blunt to abrubtly-pointed; stalks stout, .4 to 1.6 inch long, more or less hairy, especially initially.
Flowers: May, when leaves almost fully grown; solitary or in few-flowered clusters; very fragrant; 1-2 inches broad when open; stalk slender, woolly, .4 to 1.4 inch long; calyx urn-shaped, densely woolly; sepals 5, lanceolate, greenish; petals 5, egg-shaped, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, bright pink or white; margin wavy; tip rounded; stamens many; styles 5, long; stigmas club-shaped, green.
Fruit: September-October; resemble small apples, spherical, .8 to 1.6 inch in diameter, yellowish-green to reddish, sometimes with tiny white dots; stalk stout, .8 to 1 inch long, more or less pubescent; seeds egg-shaped, dark brown, 1/4 to 1/3 inch long, smooth.
Habitat: Open woods, stream banks, rocky hillsides, pastures, thickets; rich or rocky soils.
Distribution: East half of Kansas
Origin: Native
Uses: Native Americans used the fruits for food. The thickets of thorny shoots provide cover for birds.
Comments: Crabapple is often a low, gnarled shrub that will sometimes form thickets. The wood is hard, heavy, reddish-brown. The fruit is bitter, but edible when cooked.

Wild crabapple flowers
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Wild crabapple flowers
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Wild crabapple leaf
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