Malus (pron.: /ˈmeɪləs/ or /ˈmæləs/), apple, is a genus of about 30–55 species of small deciduous trees or shrubs in the family Rosaceae, including the domesticated orchard apple (M. domestica). The other species are generally known as crabapples, crab apples, crabs, or wild apples.
The genus is native to the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere.
Crabapples are popular as compact ornamental trees, providing blossom in Spring and colourful fruit in Autumn.
They are also used as pollinizers in apple orchards. Varieties of crabapple are selected to bloom contemporaneously with the apple variety in an orchard planting, and the crabs are planted every sixth or seventh tree, or limbs of a crab tree are grafted onto some of the apple trees. In emergencies, a bucket or drum bouquet of crabapple flowering branches are placed near the beehives as orchard pollenizers. See also Fruit tree pollination. Because of the plentiful blossoms and small fruit, crabapples a...