Red Swan Crabapple – Malus ‘Red Swan’

Red Swan Crabapple

color photo red swan crab blossomsRed Swan™ crabapple was discovered in 1968 and patented in 1989, being a controlled cross of seed parent Malus ‘Molten Lava’ with pollen parent ‘Red Jade’ x ‘Lemoine’. The cultivar was tested at the famous Klehm Nursery at Barrington, (northern) Illinois, and found to have the following characteristics:

Graceful, small weeping form
Heavily textured, disease resistant, medium green lanceolate leaves with golden fall color
Bears abundant, bright red fruit 5/16 – 3/8″ diameter
Its weeping leaves add to and overall pendulous character
Pendulous flower buds and blossoms add to its weeping habit
Coral-pink buds open suddenly to stark-white blossoms
Grows to ~10 feet at 15 years*
Compared to its parent, ‘Red Jade,’ red swan is averred more resistant to the five most common crabapple diseases; apple scab, cedar-apple rust, fire blight, frog-eye leaf spot and powdery mildew.  The patent goes on to claim “a new and unique flowering crabapple tree.” [1]
Red Swan Crabapple* The specimen pictured here is 19 years old, and is growing about 25 miles south of where the field trials took place. It’s less than 5 feet tall.


  1. United States Patent # Plant 6974, August 8, 1989
  2. Red Swan Crabapple, Morton Arboretum acc. 74-90*2, photos: Bruce J. Marlin
  3. Morton Arboretum, Crabapples for the Home Landscape

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