Pyrus [Malus] fusca (Pacific Crabapple)
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Plant Description: This deciduous shrub can grow as a multi-stemmed shrub or small tree with a rounded shape. The bark furrows with age. The bright green leaves are elongated to oval, with toothed margins, and occasionally irregularly lobed. Leaves turn to a reddish color in the fall. Small sharp shoots, similar to thorns, are actually spurs from which the flowers and fruit emerge. Appearing in spring, the fragrant flowers have 5 white to pink colored petals and are in flat topped clusters.
Fruit is small, oblong and yellow to dark red. Fruit is edible and tart. The bark and seeds of this plant contain cyanide, so take precaution and only eat the fruit. *NEVER CONSUME PLANTS WITHOUT PROPER ID*
- Height: 30 ft
- Width: 20 ft
- Watering needs: Moderate
- Sun needs: Sun or part shade
Soil needs: Moist or wet
- Bloom Time: February-April
- Portland Plant List (Backyard Habitat Certification): Yes
Landscape Use and Ecological Function: This Willamette Valley native is only found in the Pacific Northwest, from Southern Alaska to Northern California from the coast inland to the Cascades at low to mid elevations, up to 2600 ft. It is usually found in moist areas such as coniferous forests, bogs, swamps, and wetlands. Because of this, we recommend using this plant in rain gardens. It has a tolerance of heavy clay soils and wet winter weather as well as the drier conditions in the summertime (once established).
This is an excellent plant for creating habitat. Birds enjoy the fruit and the protection the seemingly thorny branches give them. Other wildlife also benefit from this plant.
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