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MALUS ioensis 'Nova'

Image of Malus ioensis 'Nova'

Jesse Saylor



Botanical Name

MALUS ioensis 'Nova'

Plant Common Name

Iowa Crabapple, Prairie Crabapple

Special Notice

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

General Description

An upright-branching but broad deciduous tree with pink springtime flowers, prairie crabapple is native to the central United States. The leaves are green with fuzzy, whitened undersides and shaped like a reversed tear-drop with small jagged teeth. In spring, before leaves emerge, pale pink buds are found on the twigs, opening to fragrant, white, five-petaled flowers that will be pollinated by honeybees. The fruits that ensue are small and mature to a greasy-skinned, yellow-green. The flesh is sour but edible.

For best form and flower/fruit production, plant prairie crabapple in full sun in a moist, fertile loam. However, this tree is tolerant of drier and more alkaline soils. The tree will sucker and form a small thicket grove unless root-originating sprouts are removed. Use it as a windbreak row or isolated specimen outside of the highly-ornamental and manicured garden. It is appropriate for drainage ditches, roadside verges and fencelines that have moist soils. Unfortunately many foliar diseases plague this plant, so it is best to only select the more disease resistant cultivar 'Klehm's Improved Bechtel'. The sour fruits are best used in jellied preserves.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    20'-30' / 6.1m - 9.1m

  • Width

    20'-30' / 6.1m - 9.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Texas, Europe, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Feature Plant, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Hedges, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing