Can You Eat Crabapples? What Is The Safest Way to Do it?

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What is A Crabapple?

Crabapples simply mean apples that are underdeveloped or just look small in size. You can also call them miniature apples. They are not any particular plant species.

They are native to Kazakhstan.

As a result of the fruits underdevelopment and size, many crabapples have a slightly sour taste, which is why most stores don’t keep them in stock.

Crabapple Tree Identification:

Crabapples look just like any apples but only small in size. They can be red, orange, or yellow.

You can easily identify crabapple trees. Here are some common features:

  • They are medium-sized trees with a maximum height of 30 feet.
  • The leaves are oval with pointed tips and serrated edges.
  • The leaves can be either green, orange or purple in appearance, and either hairy on the backsides (younger leaves) or hairless (Older leaves).
  • Leaves alternate on the limb, rather than growing directly across from each other
  • Crabapple flowers are white, light pink, dark pink, or purplish in color.
  • The fruit grows much like a cherry.
  • The fruits can be as small as 1/4-inch and two inches in diameter.

How Tall do Crabapple Trees Grow?

The crabapples trees can be of various heights and shapes. Most of the trees are upright. But you will also find columnar, vase-shaped, or weeping varieties of crabapple trees.

A large crabapples tree can grow up to 40 ft. tall. For medium-sized ones 15-20 ft. is optimum height. Whereas the small crabapple trees don’t grow more than 10-15 ft.

Dwarf Crabapple Tree:

When the height of the crabapple tree stays under 10 ft we call it dwarf crabapple tree. They can be a fantastic addition to your garden. As they stay small, they can fit in almost any decent garden space.

You can keep Dwarf crabapple trees in patio, pots, or in the backyard. There are also various plant options for growers.

Crabapple Fruits:

Crabapples are tiny fruits that grow on trees and resemble bigger apples. They generally fruit from fall into winter. The color of the fruits can be pale lime, yellow, golden, orange, pink, etc.

A crabapple can be as small as 0.25 inches or can be bigger as high as 2 inches. If you don’t want to eat the fruit leave them on the branches. They can attract various wildlife to your garden.

Can You Eat Crabapples?

eating crabapples

Yes, you can eat most varieties of crabapples. There are many edible varieties of crabapples.

The taste of a crabapple varies from species to species. Some might taste very similar to a Fuji or Pink Lady, whereas many are bitter and dry.

Are Crabapples Toxic?

The crabapples are not toxic. You can even eat some species without any processing.

But just remember this…

The pips in all the apples (including crabapples) contain cyanogenic glycosides, that create cyanide.

So any apple is somewhat toxic. But chances are you won’t eat the core of any apple. Even if you eat the core of a crabapple, the tiny amount of cyanide might cause an upset stomach than anything fatal.

To avoid any discomfort just avoid the seeds and the core of the crabapples.

Are Crabapples Safe For Pets?

Now, for pets, crabapples can create a bit of a problem. Pets don’t separate core and eat fruits in its entirety. These can cause serious stomach problems.

What is A Crabapple Tree Good For?

The health benefit of the crabapple is the same as any regular apple. The only difference is the size, as crabapples are relatively smaller than any regular apple you have to eat more crabapples to get the same amount of nutrition as a regular apple.

A crabapple is generally enriched with nutrients such as vitamin C, copper, potassium, dietary fibers, etc. They also have a good amount of antioxidants which helps fight aging and other chronic diseases.

How to Use Your Crabapples?

The taste of crabapples is tarter than a regular apple. So not many people enjoy eating the fruit straight from the tree. Rather popular methods of using crabapples are using it in cooking. Some of the common crabapple recipes are crabapple jelly, pickle, sauce, and even butter.

Crabapples Are Good Ornamental Trees:

Because of their amazing blooms in the springs, crabapple trees are very popular ornamental plants. You can choose both traditional as well as newer hybrid varieties for growing. The newer hybrid varieties are healthier and more hardy.

Some popular ornamental crabapple tree varieties are Coralburst, Firebird, Red jewel, Cardinal, etc.

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prasenjit saha author Gardening ABC

Hi there! My name is Prasenjit and I’m an avid gardener and someone who has grown a passion for growing plants. From my hands-on experience, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. Here I share everything I have learned.