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MALUS 'Prairiefire'

Image of Malus 'Prairiefire'

James H. Schutte

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

MALUS 'Prairiefire'

Plant Common Name

Crabapple, Flowering Crabapple, Prairiefire Crabapple

General Description

A lovely small tree with dark foliage, 'Prairiefire' fills its branches with red buds and deep reddish pink flowers in spring, then dark-red fruits in fall. This hybrid, disease-resistant deciduous tree has an upright and spreading shape with dark green oval leaves. In mid-spring red flower buds arise all along the bare branches and open to magenta-pink flowers before the leaves emerge. The flowers are fragrant and attract bees, then give way to a crop of pea-sized, dark red apples. In autumn the leaves turn mottled green, yellow, orange and orange-red. Birds eat the fruits steadily and can strip the tree by the end of winter.

Plant 'Prairiefire' in full sun in any moderately fertile, deep, well-drained soil that is moist throughout the growing season. Although it tolerates some drought, this tree will look stressed, even shabby, unless watered during prolonged dry periods. It is not well-suited to long, humid, wet summers or the heat and aridity of low deserts. It needs a long period of cold in winter to flower fully in spring. Use this small tree as a specimen in the lawn, by the street, as an espalier, or to soften a corner.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 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

  • Height

    16'-20' / 4.9m - 6.1m

  • Width

    16'-20' / 4.9m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • 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

    Yes

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Shade Trees, Street Trees, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes