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Malus coronaria (L.) Mill.

Modern name

Malus coronaria (L.) Mill.


Pyrus coronaria L.

A tree 20 to 30 ft high, with a short trunk and a wide-spreading, open head of branches; young shoots downy the first summer. Leaves ovate to three-lobed, 2 to 412 in. long, sometimes nearly as much wide, but usually 1 to 212 in. wide, pointed, the base rounded or slightly heart-shaped, sometimes tapering, very soon quite glabrous on both surfaces, margins sharply, deeply, and irregularly toothed; stalk downy, 1 to 112 in. long. Flowers white, tinged with rose, fragrant like violets, 112 to 2 in. across, produced in clusters of four to six, each flower on a slender stalk, 1 to 2 in. long. Calyx-tube glabrous. Fruits 1 to 112 in. across, orange-shaped, yellowish green, very harsh and acid. Bot. Mag., t. 2009.

Native of eastern N. America; introduced in 1724, but not so common as one might expect from the beauty and fragrance of its flowers, which come in May and June – later than any other of the genus, except its two immediate allies. There are two American crabs closely allied to this species: they are M. angustifolia, with narrower leaves tapering at the base, and M. ioensis, in which the foliage is much more downy (and persistently so) beneath. The larger, broader leaves of M. coronaria frequently suggest those of Sorbus latifolia in shape.

cv. ‘Charlottae’. – Flowers semi-double, light pink, about 112 in. across, borne in May. The original plant was found growing wild in 1902 near Waukegan, by Mrs Charlotte de Wolf. Mr H. G. Hillier tells us that in his opinion this is the best of the semi-double American crabs for British gardens, with a much better constitution that M. ionensis ‘Plena’. The leaves often colour brilliantly in the autumn.

var. dasycalyx (Rehd.) Fern. – Calyx-tube hairy. This variety has a more western distribution than typical M. coronaria.



Other species in the genus