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MALUS baccata 'Walter's'

Image of Malus baccata 'Walter's'

James H. Schutte



Botanical Name

MALUS baccata 'Walter's'

Plant Common Name

Sweet Crabapple

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Delicate and pretty with snowy white flowers in mid- to late spring, Siberian crabapple also bears showy red to yellow small fruits by late summer persisting into midwinter. This medium-sized deciduous tree is native to the mixed forests of the Himalayas northward across China and Mongolia into eastern Siberia. The bark is smooth and gray and its youngest branches are slender and curving. This tree often grows with multiple trunks.

In mid-spring the branches fill with copious amounts of light pink flower buds. The buds open to white, extremely fragrant flowers that are visited by bees for pollination. The unfurling leaves become bright medium green ovals with small teethed edges and a tapered tip. The small rounded fruits ripen in early autumn to either red or yellow, and will be eaten by hungry songbirds and small animals well into winter. In autumn leaves become a golden blend of yellow-green, and light yellow.

Grow Siberian crabapple in full to partial sun in a moist soil that has good drainage. Fertile soils will yield the most robust and fast growing specimens. A prolonged chilling is needed in winter to initiate flowering the following spring. Although a tough, versatile tree, it is not well adapted to drought or alkaline soil and is susceptible to many common crabapple diseases like scab and canker. Use this ornamental as a large flowering specimen tree in a park or spacious yard; lowermost branches may need trimming if pedestrian or vehicular traffic passes under its canopy. Use the fruits to make jams and jellies.

The natural variety gracilis has pendulous branchlets and is much smaller, growing only to about 16 feet (5 meters). Both 'Columnaris' and 'Jackii' are smaller than the species, more suitable to the average home landscape, but only 'Jackii' is resistant to the common diseases of crabapples. Often the roots of Malus baccata are used for grafting modern cold hardy apple cultivars, especially in Asia.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • Plant Type


  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    28'-55' / 8.5m - 16.8m

  • Width

    18'-30' / 5.5m - 9.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Russia/Siberia, Eastern Asia, India, Nepal, China, Korea

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Feature Plant, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing