A deciduous tree up to 25 ft high with frequently spiny branches; young shoots at first woolly, soon glabrous. Leaves ovate or ovate-lanceolate, pointed, usually rounded at the base, those on the barren shoots larger, broader, more strongly toothed than on the flowering shoots, 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 11⁄4 to 3 in. wide, woolly beneath when young, soon becoming almost glabrous; stalk 1⁄2 to 1 in. long. Flowers 11⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. wide, produced in May in clusters of three to six each on a glabrous, slender stalk 1 to 11⁄4 in. long. Fruits roundish, 1 in. wide, green.
Native of the United States (Missouri, Illinois, etc.); introduced to cultivation in 1912. It belongs to the same group of crabs as M. coronaria, M. angustifolia, and M. ioensis; M. ioensis is easily recognised by the often lobed, very downy leaves. From the other two Prof. Bailey notes that M. lancifolia is distinguished by its acuminate, less leathery leaves, by the longer calyx-lobes and by the styles being woolly below the middle. Like its allies it is an ornamental flowering tree with larger flowers than is usual amongst crabs in general. The specific name is more applicable to the leaves of the flowering shoots than to those of the barren ones.