Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: cold stratify for 120 days
Germination: sow seed 1/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed
Introducing Malus coronaria Sweet Crab Apple, also known as Sweet-scented Crab Apple. This North American species of Malus, commonly found in the Great Lakes Region and Ohio Valley, offers a variety of uses. The fruit of this tree can be eaten raw or cooked, with a size of up to 5cm in diameter. While initially harsh and acid, the fruit becomes less acidic when fully ripe, making it suitable for consumption. It can also be used in the making of jellies and dried for later use. With its rich pectin content, it can be added to pectin-low fruits when making jams or jellies. Additionally, pectin is believed to provide protection against radiation.
Malus coronaria typically grows as a bushy shrub with rigid, contorted branches, but can also develop into a small tree with a broad open crown, reaching heights of up to 10 meters. It thrives in rich moist soil and blooms about two weeks after domestic apples. The fragrant fruit clings to the branches on clustered stems, creating a visually appealing display even after the leaves have fallen.
This deciduous tree is hardy and can withstand zone 4 temperatures. It produces hermaphrodite flowers that attract various wildlife. Malus coronaria prefers well-drained soil, whether sandy, loamy, or clay, and can tolerate both acidic and alkaline soil conditions. It can be grown in semi-shade or no shade, but requires moist or wet soil.
To learn more about Malus coronaria, its benefits, and how to incorporate it into your landscape, visit our website or check out the USDA's Plant Database.