Sparkler Crabapple – Malus 'Sparkler'

Sparkler Crabapple – Malus 'Sparkler'
Family Rosaceae – Rose Family; Fruit Trees

This elegant crab is resplendant in rose-red flowers. Grows to 15 feet and spreads to 20.

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Sparkler Crabapple
Sparkler Crabapple is 58 years old [2]
'Sparkler' crabapple's rose-pink flowers are a spring highlight. Newer varities are more disease resistant, but this spreading tree still yields deep red fruits and winter food for birds. Sparkler is an old variety that is susceptible to apple-scab [3].

Apple scab is one of the most serious diseases from an aesthetic standpoint, but usually not a serious threat to the health of the tree. It is a fungal disease, which develops in cool, wet springs. On susceptible crabapples, apple scab causes spotting of the leaves, premature defoliation, and unsightly spots on the fruit. There are numerous cultivars that are resistant or very tolerant (still susceptible but with little defoliation) so choose one based on its resistance.  [3]

Like almost all crabs, Sparkler thrives in full sun and grows best in well drained, slightly acidic soils (pH 5.5-6.5). Most crabapple selections tolerate the cold winters and hot summers prevalent in the American Midwest. The specimen pictured here is a venerable resident of the flowering plant section on the Morton Arboretum's west side and was involved 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.

Sparkler Crabapple blossoms

Sparkler Crabapple bark & foliage

Craggy bark and maroon-over-green foliage adds summer drama

  1. Morton Arboretum, Crabapple: A Tree For All Seasons
  2. Sparkler Crabapple, Morton Arboretum acc. 143-55*1, photos ©Bruce Marlin
  3. Morton Arboretum, Crabapples for the Home Landscape

Tree Encyclopedia / North American Insects & Spiders is dedicated to providing scientific and educational resources for our users through use of large images and macro photographs of flora and fauna.

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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