|Positive ||htop ||On Jul 29, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
Prairie Crabapple (Malus ioensis) is a deciduous tree that is found natively occurring in Oklahoma, Texas (Edwards Plateau region in central Texas) and Arkansas, east to Alabama and north to Minnesota growing in moist soils along streams, canyons, thickets, pastures, and woodland borders. It prefers prefers acid and neutral soils, but is adaptable to other types and grows at a slow rate. Due to its showy and fragrant flowers, prairie crab apple has been cultivated since 1885.
Tolerating full sun or dappled shade (has less fruit), it can attain a height of 30 feet (usually is 20 feet) tall, 25 feet wide and with about an 18 inch in diameter trunk. It produces suckers from underground rhizomes and often forms thickets. The crown is rounded and spreading. The red-brown to dark gray bark has small narrow scales. The red-brown to gray twigs are densely tomentose (hairy) when young; but, become less so with age. There are numerous short lateral shoots that have terminal thorns.
The alternate or clustered, oblong or oblong-ovate, simple, elliptic leaves are 1.5 to 5 inches long and 0.8 to 4 inches wide. They are toothed along the edges, often shallowly lobed, glabrous (without any hairs) above and glabrous to densely white tomentose underneath. The presence of these fine hairs is what distinguishes Malus ioensis from Malus coronaria.
Appearing from April to June, the 2 inches across blooms appear on long stalks and are usually 3 or more in a cluster. They are deep pink in bud and pink to white when open. Sometimes they are pink when first open and then fade to white. The yellow-green, waxy or greasy to the touch fruits are up to 1 3/4 inches across and reach maturity in September or October. The fruits are hard and sour, but have been used to make jellies, cider and vinegar. The fruits are eaten by several species of birds and mammals.
The seeds are best sown as soon as they are ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Usually, they germinates in late winter. Seeds that have been stored might not germinate for 12 months or more. It may be propagate by cuttings of mature wood taken in November.
Note: All members of the Malus genus contain hydrogen cyanide (a toxin) in their seeds and perhaps also in their leaves. It should only be consumed in very small quantities. taken In excess, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.