Flowering crabapples (Malus species) are popular ornamental trees in the Melbourne urban landscape. Some crabapple varieties bloom relatively early, others bloom mid-season and some bloom towards the end of crabapple season. Crabapple flowers may be single (5 petals), semi-double (6 to 10 petals) or double (more than 10 petals).
Single-flowered crabapple varieties tend to bloom earlier than semi-double or double-flowered varieties. Actual dates of blossoming can vary each year depending on weather conditions. The length of the blossoming period can range from 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the variety and weather conditions. Crabapple flower buds are attractive even before they open, developing color as they swell - called the balloon or bud stage. The balloon may be a different color than later flowers. For example, the balloon may be red-purple but flowers open later to pink or white.
Crabapple trees are closely related to apple trees (also Malus) grown for fruit. The main difference is that crabapple fruit is 5 cm diameter or less; fruit greater than 5 cm diameter is classified as an apple.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Skywatch Friday meme.