Spring 2020

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Flamboyant Flowering Crabs

Looking for a small, hardy tree to add stunning spring beauty and winter interest to your landscape? Then consider flowering crabs. Early in the season they brighten the landscape with single and double blooms of white, pink or rosy-red. Those with small persistent fruits—that stay on the tree rather than falling to the ground, are a winter bonus. While you admire their cheerful bright red fruit against a clear blue sky, hungry birds appreciate the winter feed. If you want flowers but no fruit, try ‘Spring Snow’ with gorgeous fragrant white blooms. Flowering crabs don’t need much space, with most growing no more than 25-30’.

flowering crab persistant fruit in winter

Persistent fruit in winter

For those who appreciate the extra power they pack, plant flowering crabs that have persistent fruit, ones retained by the tree until fall or winter. Many flowering crabs drop their fruit as soon as it ripens - often making the kind of mess that puts people off. Persistent fruit offers two other advantages: birds appreciate dining on them during winter months when food supplies are short, and they're very pretty - especially their bright red or purple color in winter.

Flowering Crab Brandywine2
'Brandywine' has
double pink flowers

flwr crab spring snow 5
'Spring Snow' in bloom

Here are some cultivars of flowering crabs you'll find this year at Blake Nursery with persistent fruit: 'Donald Wyman', 'Royal Raindrops', and 'Gladiator'.

NameBloom ColorHeightSpreadPersistent FruitFragrantRed/Burgundy Foliage
Brandywine Pink 15-20' 15-20'   X  
Dolgo White 35-40' 25-30'      
Donald Wyman White 20' 25' X    
Gladiator Magenta 20' 10' X   X
Klehm's Bechtel Pink 20' 20' Minimal or no fruit X  
Radiant Pink 15-20' 20'     X
Royal Raindrops Magenta 15-20' 12-15'  X   X
Spring Snow White 20-25' 15' No Fruit X  

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