Royal Raindrops Crabapple - Malus 'JFS-KW5'
Family Rosaceae - Rose Family; Fruit Trees

USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8. Tolerates moist soil, some clay and sand.
Royal Raindrops™ Crabapple Blooms
Royal Raindrops crabapple is a broad-crowned deciduous tree growing to 25 feet tall and 20 wide. Red buds open to profuse, deep pink flowers in early to mid-May. This specimen was photographed on May 8th, near Chicago. Red Barron fruits are deep, shiny red, giving this cultivar its name. They are somewhat winter persistant, about the size of a cherry.

Red Barron crab tolerates wet soil, rabbits, deer and pollution, but is not disease resistant. Grows best in full sun, and is most attractive when fed peat moss and compost. [4]

Crabapples (Malus) are the most stunning of spring flowering trees for Midwest landscapes and are a great choice for the home garden. Many of them are small in stature and can maintain visual interest throughout the changing seasons (spring flowers, fall fruit, textured bark and craggy branches in winter).

There are about 55 different species in the genus Malus, and there are innumerable cultivars available in the landscape trade. The Arboretum's Crabapple Collection was started in 1924. Part of this collection on the West Side participated in the National Crabapple Evaluation Program which evaluated new and disease-resistant varieties. As a result of the multi-year evaluation and additions, it has transformed into the West Side Malus collection which now contains 60 different kinds and over 140 specimens with highly desirable qualities. 

Some of the specimens in this collection are almost large enough to be considered shade trees, while others are quite small. There is a great variety of shape as well, from wide to upright and narrow, weeping, and multi-stemmed. There is variety in flower color, ranging from white to pink, red, purple, and crimson. Some flower buds will be one color, and then open up to a completely different color! Fruits range in size from smaller than a pea, to nearly the size of most apples; they can be red, purple, orange, yellow, or green. Some of the smaller fruits persist on the tree throughout winter, providing a splash of color in the cold months. [1]

Royal Raindrops Crabapple blossoms
Crabapples bloom in spring, usually in May, bearing flowers that vary a great deal in color, size, fragrance, and visual appeal. It is common for flower buds to be red, opening to pink or white flowers. The fruit ripens between July and November, and varies in size from ¼”to 2” long or wide. Crabapples thrive in full sun and grow best in well drained, slightly acidic soils (pH 5.5-6.5); however, they will grow well in many soil types.

For many years, crabapple cultivars have been selected on the basis of their flowers, but with some cultivars, undesirable features, such as disease problems and early fruit drop, outweigh their short-lived spring beauty. No single cultivar can fulfill every landscaping need.  [3]

Royal Raindrops Crabapple Tree
Royal Raindrops Crabapple [2]
References
  1. Morton Arboretum, Crabapple: A Tree For All Seasons
  2. Royal Raindrops™ Crabapple, Morton Arboretum acc. 142-2006*1, Photos © Bruce Marlin
  3. Morton Arboretum, Crabapples for the Home Landscape
  4. Backyardgardener.com, Malus hybrida, Red Baron Flowering Crabapple
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Family Rosaceae - Rose Family; Fruit Trees
Containing Hawthorns, Apples, Pears, Cherries, Plums, Peach, Almond, Mountain-Ash and Whitebeam. Rosaceae is a large family of plants with about 3,000 species in ~100 genera. Crabapple and other fruit trees provide some of our most outstanding flowering ornamentals, as well as food for birds and other wildlife.
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