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PlantFiles: Wild Crabapple, Common Crab Apple
Malus sylvestris

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Malus (MAY-lus) (Info)
Species: sylvestris (sil-VESS-triss) (Info)

Synonym:Pyrus malus

» View all varieties of Apples

One vendor has this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Unknown - Tell us

Rootstock Vigor:
Unknown - Tell us

Bearing Habit:
Unknown - Tell us

Disease Resistance:
Unknown - Tell us

Fruit Usage:

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
By grafting
By budding

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to view:

By Baa
Thumbnail #1 of Malus sylvestris by Baa

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #2 of Malus sylvestris by kennedyh

By unity1968
Thumbnail #3 of Malus sylvestris by unity1968


1 positive
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive louparris On May 19, 2008, louparris from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I guess this is the one my mother had. I don't think it ever fruited, or if it did, we didn't eat any. But the blooms were beautiful. The tree was a showpiece, and people used to drive by to look at it. I don't think it is long-lived though.

Neutral Fritaly On Jul 9, 2003, Fritaly from Cleveland, OH wrote:

My dog ADORES eating them- he grabs one each time he goes outside. Unfortinately, if he eats more than one a day he pukes. The fruit turns brown quite quickly upon puncture or cutting.
And they are an annoyance because they make the ground uneven when rotting. The tree is quite large, so we get a LOT of them.
I will say the blooms are very pleasantly fragrant!

Neutral Baa On Sep 26, 2002, Baa wrote:

A deciduous tree native to Europe except the most northerly regions.

Has smooth, ovate, mid-deep green leaves borne on often twisted and sometimes thorny branches. Bears white blushed pale pink, lightly scented flowers which are followed by small, green blushed red fruit.

Flowers April-Late May

Loves constantly moist but well-drained, slightly fertile soil in full sun or light shade. It's natural habitat is deciduous woods or hedgerows. They need a fairly cool climate to grow well.

A great nectar plant for bees.

The fruit is sour and doesn't have a pleasant taste. They do make excellent jam and (I'm told) wine. I don't suggest eating them raw because they can cause indigestion if eaten in quantity, which is curious considering the following paragraph.

Medicinally it was once used as a diuretic, astringent and a treatment for various mild digestion problems. It is still used in some digestive preparations today especially in those designed for children.

The Crab Apple is also one of the common ancestors of the Malus x domestica - Apple tree (of various cultivars).


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Miccosukee Cpo, Florida
Jacksonville, Illinois
Zachary, Louisiana
Florence, Mississippi
Cleveland, Ohio
Sevierville, Tennessee
Beaumont, Texas
Houston, Texas
Falling Waters, West Virginia

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