World Plants Logo

search the world

Woody > Malus > Malus floribunda > Malus floribunda

Malus floribunda

Japanese Flowering Crabapple

Origin:  Japan, imported to the west in approximately 1862.
Tree (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
4 - 7
Canadian Hardiness Zone
6a - 6b
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
5 - 8 m
5 - 8 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
A small, round-headed, deciduous tree with long arching branches.
​Excellent ornamental landscape tree chosen for its showy and fragrant flowers. Can be used as a specimen tree or in small groups, as well as in median parking strips and in residential areas as street trees. Very popular in gardens and on lawns. It has winter interest due to its irregular branch growth.
​It prefers full sun and loamy, moist, well-drained acidic soil. Although it can grow in various soils it doesn’t do well in sandy soil because of its moderate drought intolerance. It has moderate pollution and salt tolerance.
A broad, rounded, upright and densely-branched canopy.
ID Characteristic
It has showy, profuse, fragrant white flowers that grow every spring. It has reddish-yellow fruit that is edible and are loved by wildlife. It’s an old favourite in the crabapple world and has high resistance to common crabapple issues.
Susceptible to apple scab, leaf spot, powdery mildew, and fire blight. May be prone to aphids, fruit tree red spider mite and tent caterpillars.
Bark/Stem Description
Shiny grey-brown bark that ages to grey with white lenticels.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Ovoid-shaped buds varying from pink to red.
Leaf Description
Simple, elliptic-ovate leaves with a margin and venation that is serrated and pinnated. The leaf blade is 4 - 8 cm long and is slender. Leaves are arranged alternately. The upper surface is dark green and the underside is hairy when young but becomes hairless as it matures.
Flower Description
Profuse, showy flowers are fragrant, single and small – 2.5 - 4 cm in diameter. Begin as pink and mature to white. Flowers arrange in clusters of 7 flowers (umbels) and are perfect. They have 15 - 20 yellow stamens. They require cross pollination, mostly by insects. It buds in the fall and blooms in early spring.
Fruit Description
Fruits are 1 cm in diameter and are a globose pome. Fruits appear in August and persist into mid-October.
Colour Description
Dark green leaves which turn yellow in autumn. Flowers are light pink to white and are the high point of the plant. Fruits are yellow with a red blush.
Texture Description
Medium texture.
​It can be propagated by seed in autumn, budding in late summer and grafting in midwinter. It can also be propagated by soft and hardwood cuttings. Softwood cuttings are usually taken in mid-June to July. Whip grafting is a common procedure.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
Crabapples can be used for jelly.
​Dirr, M. (2009). Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. Illinois: Stipes Publishing L.L.C. and Wyman, D. (1990). Trees for American Gardens (3rd Ed.). Toronto: Collier Macmillan Canada.