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Crab Apple

Edible Edible Autumn Autumn

It can be hard to know if you have found a true Crab apple or a hybrid as different species of apple will happily cross pollinate, one way is if the apple is too sour and sharp to eat, the sharper the taste, the nearer it is to a true Crab apple.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Crab Apple, Wild Apple
Scientific Name Malus sylvestris
Season Start Aug
Season End Nov
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Leaves

Dark green, oval leaves with toothed edges.

Flowers

A white to pink/red, five petaled flower that blooms from Spring to early Summer. The fruit is ready sometime in late Summer or Autumn.

Fruit

Small, tough apples with a very sharp taste and full of pectin.

Stem

The twigs/stems can have sharp thorns.

Trunk

The trunk can become twisted and gnarled especially when exposed.

Habitat

Hedgerows and mixed woodland quite often individually.

Possible Confusion

Other apples.

Smell

The flowers have a kind of bitter almond smell.

Taste

The apples are very sharp and unless trying the ‘don’t pull a face’ while eating them test, are best used cooked.

Frequency

Fairly common.

Collecting

The best way to collect Crab apples is to cover the floor in canvas and shake the tree or simply collect the windfalls.

The leaves can also be used to make a pleasant tea.

Medicinal Uses

The fruit is an astringent and laxative.

Other Facts

Crab apples contain a lot of pectin and are great for helping jellies to set or making crab apple cheese.
The wood burns well with a pleasant smell and the bark was used in the past to create a reddish/yellow dye.

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