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Malus halliana Koehne

Modern name

Malus halliana Koehne

A small tree 12 to 18 ft high; young branches purple, soon quite glabrous. Leaves ovate or oval, 112 to 3 in. long, half as wide, rounded or tapering at the base, rather long-pointed, slightly toothed, the midrib glandular and slightly hairy above, otherwise the leaf is quite glabrous on both surfaces and of a dark polished green above, often purple-tinted, especially on the midrib; stalk 12 in. or less long. Flowers deep rose, 1 to 112 in. across, from four to seven in a cluster, each flower on a glabrous, reddish purple stalk 1 to 112 in. long; petals five to eight; calyx reddish purple and glabrous outside, woolly within; calyx-lobes triangular-ovate, blunt at the apex. Fruits obovoid, purple, the size of a small pea, marked at the top with the scar of the fallen calyx.

A native of Chinese and Japanese gardens, not known in the wild in its typical state. It was first introduced to America from Japan about 1863 by Dr G. R. Hall, after whom it is named. It has some affinity with M. floribunda and has been known in gardens as M. floribunda plena, the flowers being often semi-double. M. halliana is abundantly distinct in habit, in the nearly glabrous character of its parts, and it never appears to have the deeply lobed leaves occasionally seen in M. floribunda. Also, in M. halliana the leaves are convolute in the bud, not folded as in M. floribunda, and dark green.

Wilson collected a specimen in W. Szechwan which was at first identified as M. halliana but later proved to be M. hupehensis; this error explains the statement made in previous editions that M. hallinana occurs wild in W. Szechwan. Although M. halliana does not grow wild in Japan in its typical state, a crab closely related to it has been found there. This is:

var. spontanea (Mak.) Koidz. M. floribunda var. spontanea Mak. – This differs from the typical state in its almost white flowers on shorter stalks (34 to 1 in. long) and in its elliptic to obovate leaves. It occurs wild on Mt Kirishima, Kyushu.

cv. ‘Parkmanii’. – Flowers more double, with about fifteen petals. Introduced from Japan by Hall at the same time as typical M. halliana and named after his friend, the historian Francis Parkman, in whose garden it was first grown.

M. × atrosanguinea (Späth) Schneid. Pyrus floribunda atrosanguinea Späth; Malus floribunda var. atrosanguinea Bean – Flowers as in M. floribunda but of a richer rose and not fading. Leaves deep glossy green, those on the extension growths slightly lobed. Although usually placed under M. floribunda, this crab is botanically near to M. halliana which it resembles in having the leaves convolute (rolled) not folded in the bud stage and in the short calyx-lobes. It is probably a hybrid of M. halliana with M. sieboldii.

M. × hartwigii Koehne – A hybrid between M. halliana and M. baccata, resembling the former in foliage. Flowers red in the bud, opening white flushed with pink, about 134 in. wide. Fruits dark red, about 12 in. wide. It is not common in British gardens but is said to be a better grower than M. halliana.



Other species in the genus