Doubleflower Chinese Crabapple - Malus spectabilis 'Plena'
Family Rosaceae - Rose Family; Fruit Trees

This ancient tree has one of the most spectacular flower displays of all the crabapples
Doubleflower Chinese Flowering Crabapple
This tree comes to us, as so many things do, from China, where it is  a revered ornamental widely cultivated in the north and east. The 'Rivers' variety (see below) has double pink flowers as well. Fruits are large at almost 1 inch diameter [2].

Also called Asiatic apple, the plant is naturalised in North America and used as an ornamental. Some varieties grow to 30 feet with and equal spread. Like all crabs, they like full sun and rich, well-drained soil, but will thrive on crappy sandy or clay soil. And like all crabs, they are in varying degrees subject to the depradations of apple scab, powdery mildew, fire blight and rust.

Doubleflower Chinese Flowering Crabapple
Doubleflower Chinese Flowering Crabapple - Malus spectabilis 'Plena', are 24 years old [2]
Hawthorn wood is dense and rot-resistant, and was used for fenceposts and other applications where a moist environment would be encountered. Hawthorn trees are noted as having magical properties in many Neolithic and medieval cultures. Superstitious people today still cling to a belief in faeries and other supernatural beings said to live in close association with the genus (see Wikipedia 'Crateagus' ).
  1. Morton Arboretum, Crabapple: A Tree For All Seasons
  2. Chinese Flowering Crabapple, Morton Arboretum acc. 419-85*1, photos © Bruce Marlin
  3. Morton Arboretum, Crabapples for the Home Landscape
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Family Rosaceae - Rose Family; Fruit Trees
Many of these plants are of vital economic importance, the fruit of which contain vitamins, acids, and sugars and can be used both raw and for making preserves, jam, jelly, candy, wine, brandy, cider and other beverages.
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