A VIEW FROM THE POTTING SHED

TOPIC OF THE MONTH

 

Topic of the Month

 

The crab apple or malus has up to 55 different species, it is a small deciduous apple tree and a genus native to the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. They are popular as compact ornamental trees providing blossom in spring and colourful fruit in Autumn. Beneficial characteristics are gained when crab apples are used as rootstocks for domestic apples and they act as pollinators in apple orchards. The fruit is very sour and if eaten raw can cause stomach ache but in some southeast Asian cultures they are valued as a sour condiment eaten with salt and chilli pepper or with shrimp paste. Other uses include a source of pectin for jams and jellies, an addition to some ciders and for crab apple jelly. The wood of the tree has a pleasant scent when burned giving good flavour to smoked foods. They are attractive trees, their blossom brightening up the garden and birds appreciate their fruit in autumn.