Malus angustifolia

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Common names: wild crabapple[1]

Malus angustifolia
Malus angustifolia SEF.jpg
Photo by the Southeastern Flora Database
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Malus
Species: M. angustifolia
Binomial name
Malus angustifolia
Natural range of Malus angustifolia from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: Pyrus angustifolia (Aiton)[1]

Varieties: Malus angustifolia var. angustifolia; Malus angustifolia var. puberula Rehder; Pyrus angustifolia var. angustifolia; Pyrus angustifolia var. spinosa (Rehder) L.H. Bailey[1]


M. angustifolia is a perennial shrub/tree of the Rosaceae family that is native to North America.[2]


M. angustifolia is found throughout the southeastern United States; specifically in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Deleware, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.[2]



Ideal habitats for the M. angustifolia are well-drained but moist valleys or other slopes, streambeds, woodland borders, old fields in the southeast, and even fence rows. It requires full sun for successful fruit and flowers.[2]

Dry hammocks and occasionally bottomlands are habitats for M. angustifolia.[1] Specimens have been collected from loamy sand in xeric flatwoods, mesic woodland, pine flatwoods, pine woods, fence row, floodplain, upland mixed woodland, deciduous woods, cultivated field, mesic hammock, sandy loam, wood bottoms, and thickets.[3]

M. angustifolia has shown resistance to regrowth in reestablished pinelands that were disturbed by agriculture in South Carolina, making it an indicator species for remnant woodland.[4]

Malus angustifolia is an indicator species for the Clayhill Longleaf Woodlands community type as described in Carr et al. (2010).[5]


M. angustifolia flowers April through May and fruits from August through September.[1]

Fire ecology

Populations of Malus angustifolia have been known to persist through repeated annual burns.[6][7]


M. angustifolia is mainly pollinated by bees and occasionally butterflies.[8]

Herbivory and toxicology

Whitetail deer, as well as bobwhites, grouse, pheasants, rabbits, squirrels, possums, raccoons, skunks, foxes, and other small birds will eat the fruit of the tree.[2]

Diseases and parasites

M angustifolia is prone to fireblight, cedar apple rust, apple scab, canker, scale, borers, and aphids.[2]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Florida has classified M. angustifolia as threatened; it is endangered in Illinois and of special concern in Kentucky.[2]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 USDA Plant Database
  3. URL: Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, R.K. Godfrey, Patricia Elliot, John C. Ogden, R L Lazor, L R Fox, K Craddock Burks, Gary R Knight, R A Norris, M R Darst, R Komarek, H Roth, M Jenkins, Elmar C Prichard. States and counties: Florida (Wakulla, Leon, Gadsden, Jefferson, Liberty, Washington), Georgia (Thomas, Grady), North Carolina (Cumberland)
  4. Brudvig, L.A., E Grman, C.W. Habeck, and J.A. Ledvina. (2013). Strong legacy of agricultural land use on soils and understory plant communities in longleaf pine woodlands. Forest Ecology and Management 310: 944-955.
  5. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  6. Robertson, K.M. Unpublished data collected from Pebble Hill Fire Plots, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.
  7. Platt, W.J., R. Carter, G. Nelson, W. Baker, S. Hermann, J. Kane, L. Anderson, M. Smith, K. Robertson. 2021. Unpublished species list of Wade Tract old-growth longleaf pine savanna, Thomasville, Georgia.
  8. Shared by Lisa Roberts; original post by Florida Wildflower Foundation; March 17, 2017, post shared to Florida Flora and Ecosystematics Facebook Group march 17, 2017.