Crabapple is a common name for Malus domestica, which has a small diameter fruit (<5 cm), a range of beautiful flower colors (white, pink, red), and has been called a “national beauty.” In addition, crabapple is often valued for its diverse growth habits (columnar, fastigiate, upright, spreading, drooping, weeping), beautiful flowers (single, semi-double, and double forms with diverse colors, such as purple, red, pink, and white), and rich fruit colors (primarily green, pink, red, yellow, orange, and purple) (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, 2003; Wyman, 1955). Together with peony, plum, and orchid, they are called “the four must-sees of spring flowers” in China (Wang, 2010; Wang et al., 2015). Through long-term breeding, selection, and improvement, a large number of new cultivars of ornamental crabapples have been introduced. However, stable, beautifully colored, double cultivars are extremely scarce. There are hundreds of cultivars of crabapple recorded in Flowering Crabapples (Fiala, 1994), but fewer than 5% of them are semi-double or double flowers, such as the outstanding ‘Van Eseltine’ (pink doubles), ‘Kelsey’ (red doubles), and ‘Sparkler’ (red–purple semi-doubles). During the past 20 years, seven new cultivars of crabapple have been published in the American market, including ‘Spring Bride’ (Spongberg, 1996), ‘Jarmin’ (Jarmin, 2003), ‘Fenghong Nichang’ (Fan et al., 2019), ‘Fen Balei’ (Zhou et al., 2019), ‘Zi Dieer’ (Zhou et al., 2020), ‘Yangzhi Yu’ (Jiang et al., 2020), and ‘Xiang He’ (Hu et al., 2021).
Fan, J.J., Zhang, W.X., Zhang, D.L., Zhou, T., Jiang, H., Wang, G.B. & Cao, F.L. 2019 ‘Fenghong Nichang’ flowering crabapple HortScience 54 7 1260 1262 doi: https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI13897-19
Hu, D.M., Xu, J.W., Han, Y.J., Dun, X.J., Wang, L.H. & Zhu, S.X. 2021 ‘Xiang He’ Flowering crabapple HortScience 56 3 389 391 doi: https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI15654-20
Jiang, H., Zhou, T., Fan, J.J., Zhang, D.L., Zhang, L., Sun, Y.Y. & Zhang, W.X. 2020 ‘Yangzhi Yu’ crabapple HortScience 55 4 589 590 doi: https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14677-19
International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants 2003 Guidelines for the conduct of tests for distinctness uniformity and stability [ornamental apple (Malus Mill.)] TG/192/1
Wang, C.L., Fang, L.J., Leng, Y.X. & Wang, F.Y. 2015 Crabapple and seedling cultivation Forest By-Product and Speciality in China 01 59 61
Zhou, T., Jiang, H., Zhang, D.L., Fan, J.J., Zhang, L., Wang, G.B., Zhang, W.X. & Cao, F.L. 2019 ‘Fen Balei’ crabapple HortScience 54 8 1433 1434 doi: https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14063-19
Zhou, T., Jiang, H., Zhang, W.X., Zhang, D.L., Fan, J.J., Zhang, Q.Q., Wang, G.B. & Cao, F.L. 2020 ‘Zi Dieer’ crabapple HortScience 55 2 272 274 doi: https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14590-19