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MALUS x robusta

Image of Malus x robusta

Jesse Saylor

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

MALUS x robusta

Plant Common Name

Hybrid Siberian Crabapple

Special Notice

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

General Description

The vigorous, large-growing hybrid Siberian crabapple covers itself in mid-spring with pink-tinged white blossom that become cherry-like red or yellow fruits later. This deciduous tree has a tall spreading habit to almost pyramid-like, making it a nice blend of ornamental flowering fruit tree and attractive shade tree. It is a hybrid created with the cross of two east Asian crabapples, Malus baccata and Malus prunifolia.

The slender oval leaves are dark green with teeth on the edges and emerge just after flowering starts in mid- to late spring (depending on climate or elevation). The white flowers and tinged with pink and are fragrant, attract bees, and give way to small fruits that turn either red or yellow or a blend of both. Birds relish the early autumn ripening fruits, which persist for months and are produced annually, sometimes in heavier flushes in alternate years. In autumn, the leaves turn shades of yellow.

Grow hybrid Siberian crabapple in full sun in a fertile, well-drained, loamy soil with average moisture. This is an undemanding tree that tolerates a wide range of soils but is best in slightly acidic conditions. It needs a long period of cold in winter to flower fully in spring. It tolerates heat but grows best in cool to warm summers and in soil that never becomes overly dry. Use this impressive crabapple as an accent or shade tree in a spacious lawn. The small fruits are sweetly acidic and are great in preserves. This hybrid species' cold-hardy rootstock is often used in grafting on modern eating apple cultivars.

Two selections with slightly larger-sized, but still small fruits are 'Fairy' and 'Joan'. Having fully red fruit is 'Red Siberian' and heavily producing yellow fruits is 'Yellow Siberian'. These all have a susceptibility to crown rot disease.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    35'-40' / 10.7m - 12.2m

  • Width

    26'-32' / 7.9m - 9.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • 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

    No

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

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

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes