Crabapples: The Native Apple

Crabapples: The only types of apple native to North America and Europe.
Crabapples: The only types of apple native to North America and Europe.

The only apples native to North America and Europe are crabapples. Modern apples, Malus domestica, are genetically linked to Malus sieversii of Central Asia. However, the European crabapple, Malus sylvestris is also prevalent in many modern apple varieties. You can find North American crabapples genes in some US apples.

One of the interesting points that I discovered during my research is that the definition of a crabapple is driven by its size. An apple that is less than 2 inches in diameter is considered a crabapple while above 2 inches is just a normal apple. No other attribute differentiates crabapples from apples.

The native crabapples native to North America and Europe include the following. What are the apples native to your country or region?

North America

  • Malus fusca
  • Malus coronaria
  • Malus angustifolia
  • Malus ioensis

Europe

  • Malus sylvestris


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