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MALUS ioensis 'Klehm's Improved Bechtel'

Image of Malus ioensis 'Klehm's Improved Bechtel'

Jesse Saylor

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

MALUS ioensis 'Klehm's Improved Bechtel'

Plant Common Name

Iowa Crabapple, Klehm's Improved Bechtel Crabapple, Prairie Crabapple

General Description

A wide-branching deciduous tree that blooms in spring, ‘Klehm's Improved Bechtel’ is a selection of prairie crabapple, native to the central United States. The leaves, shaped like a reversed tear drop, are green with fuzzy, whitened undersides and small jagged teeth. In spring, before the leaves emerge, pale pink buds appear on the twigs, opening to fragrant, double (extra petals), white flowers that attract bees. The fruits that follow are small, greasy-skinned, and mature to yellow-green. Their flesh is sour but edible.

For best growth and flowering, plant this prairie crabapple in full sun in a moist, fertile loam. It tolerates and will grow on drier and more alkaline soils. Compared to the parent species, 'Klehm's Improved Bechtel' has vastly better resistance to many foliar diseases. This tree suckers (sends up sprouts from the roots) and will form a small thicket unless the sprouts are removed diligently. Use it as a windbreak or specimen at some distance from beds and borders. It is appropriate for drainage ditches, the verges of streets and roads, and fencelines that have moist soils. The sour fruits are best used in jellies and preserves.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    15'-25' / 4.6m - 7.6m

  • Width

    20'-25' / 6.1m - 7.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Texas

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Hedges, Shade Trees, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes