Apples, Pears and Allies

Siberian Crab Apple Cultivated Apple Purple Crab Apple Medlar

What are they?

While all these species have five-petalled flowers and fleshy fruits that are a good indicator that they are in the rose family (Rosaceae), this is otherwise a sort of 'bin end lot' of smaller groups of the rose family. These are all non-native, shrubs or small trees that are grown for ornament in gardens for either their attractive flowers or their copious berries - or in some cases both.

Where are they found?

These plants all originate as garden ornamentals and may occasionally be found where persisting from original plantings or possibly sometimes from bird-sown berries. They may appear on roadsides, rough ground, in hedgerows or in open, heathy or grassy places such as commons and suburban lanes. Most of these species are rare in the wider countryside but may often be encountered in parks or municipal plantings.

Identification

This is a relatively small group, but some attention to detail is required to differentiate the various Pyracanthas from each other and so, too the flowering-quinces. Details are given in the individual species texts. Note that other cultivated varieties that have not formally been recorded for East Anglia probably also occur in the wider countryside, but most floras are poor on covering such plants and their identity may be currently be impossible to determine.



Cultivated Apple      Malus pumila

Introduced from mainland Europe. Commonly used in municipal plantings though rarely escaping into the wider countryside. Flowers May to June. A dense, thorny, evergreen shrub. Leaves 2-4cm in length, rather variable in shape but typically with regularly-toothed (crenate) margins and coming to an acute point at the tip. Leaf stalk downy. Flowers in large trusses, followed by orange-red fruits that are rounded with a slightly flattened top.

Cultivated Apple Cultivated Apple Cultivated Apple Cultivated Apple
Flowers
Flowers
Leaf
Leaf underside
Cultivated Apple Cultivated Apple Cultivated Apple Cultivated Apple
Fruits
Fruits
Winter twig
Bark


European Crab Apple      Malus sylvestris

Introduced from mainland Europe. Commonly used in municipal plantings though rarely escaping into the wider countryside. Flowers May to June. A dense, thorny, evergreen shrub. Leaves 2-4cm in length, rather variable in shape but typically with regularly-toothed (crenate) margins and coming to an acute point at the tip. Leaf stalk downy. Flowers in large trusses, followed by orange-red fruits that are rounded with a slightly flattened top.

European Crab Apple European Crab Apple European Crab Apple European Crab Apple
Habit
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers
European Crab Apple European Crab Apple European Crab Apple
Leaf underside
Fruits
Winter twig


Siberian Crab Apple      Malus baccata

Introduced from mainland Europe. Commonly used in municipal plantings though rarely escaping into the wider countryside. Flowers May to June. A dense, thorny, evergreen shrub. Leaves 2-4cm in length, rather variable in shape but typically with regularly-toothed (crenate) margins and coming to an acute point at the tip. Leaf stalk downy. Flowers in large trusses, followed by orange-red fruits that are rounded with a slightly flattened top.

Siberian Crab Apple Siberian Crab Apple Siberian Crab Apple
Flowers
Flowers
Leaf
Siberian Crab Apple Siberian Crab Apple Siberian Crab Apple Siberian Crab Apple
Fruits
Fruits
Winter twig
Bark


Purple Crab Apple      Malus x purpurea

Introduced from mainland Europe. Commonly used in municipal plantings though rarely escaping into the wider countryside. Flowers May to June. A dense, thorny, evergreen shrub. Leaves 2-4cm in length, rather variable in shape but typically with regularly-toothed (crenate) margins and coming to an acute point at the tip. Leaf stalk downy. Flowers in large trusses, followed by orange-red fruits that are rounded with a slightly flattened top.

Purple Crab Apple Purple Crab Apple Purple Crab Apple Purple Crab Apple
Habit
Flowers
Flowers
Young leaf
Purple Crab Apple Purple Crab Apple Purple Crab Apple Purple Crab Apple
Mature leaf
Fruits
Winter twig
Bark


Culinary Pear      Pyrus communis

Introduced from mainland Europe. Commonly used in municipal plantings though rarely escaping into the wider countryside. Flowers May to June. A dense, thorny, evergreen shrub. Leaves 2-4cm in length, rather variable in shape but typically with regularly-toothed (crenate) margins and coming to an acute point at the tip. Leaf stalk downy. Flowers in large trusses, followed by orange-red fruits that are rounded with a slightly flattened top.

Culinary Pear Culinary Pear Culinary Pear
Habit
Flowers
Leaf
Culinary Pear Culinary Pear Culinary Pear Culinary Pear
Fruits
Fruits
Winter twig
Bark


Wild Pear      Pyrus pyraster

Introduced from mainland Europe. Commonly used in municipal plantings though rarely escaping into the wider countryside. Flowers May to June. A dense, thorny, evergreen shrub. Leaves 2-4cm in length, rather variable in shape but typically with regularly-toothed (crenate) margins and coming to an acute point at the tip. Leaf stalk downy. Flowers in large trusses, followed by orange-red fruits that are rounded with a slightly flattened top.

Wild Pear Wild Pear Wild Pear
Habit
Flowers
Flowers


Medlar      Mespilus germanica

Introduced from mainland Europe. Commonly used in municipal plantings though rarely escaping into the wider countryside. Flowers May to June. A dense, thorny, evergreen shrub. Leaves 2-4cm in length, rather variable in shape but typically with regularly-toothed (crenate) margins and coming to an acute point at the tip. Leaf stalk downy. Flowers in large trusses, followed by orange-red fruits that are rounded with a slightly flattened top.

Medlar Medlar Medlar
Habit
Flowers
Leaves
Medlar Medlar Medlar Medlar
Fruits
Fruits
Winter twig
Bark


Common Quince      Cydonia oblonga

Introduced from mainland Europe. in municipal plantings though rarely escaping into the wider countryside. Flowers May to June. A dense, thorny, evergreen shrub. Leaves 2-4cm in length, rather variable in shape but typically with regularly-toothed (crenate) margins and coming to an acute point at the tip. Leaf stalk downy. Flowers in large trusses, followed by orange-red fruits that are rounded with a slightly flattened top.

Common Quince Common Quince Common Quince Common Quince
Habit
Flower
Flower bud
Leaf
Common Quince Common Quince Common Quince Common Quince
Fruit
Winter twig
Bark
Bark