prairie crabapple

(Malus ioensis)

Conservation Status
prairie crabapple
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N4N5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Prairie crabapple is the only crabapple native to Minnesota.

The flowers are pink but sometimes fade to white.




10 to 30


Flower Color


White to pink


Similar Species




Woodland openings, brushy thickets, old fields, roadsides.






Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  


Rosales (roses, elms, figs, and allies)  


Rosaceae (rose)  
  Subfamily Amygdaloideae  
  Tribe Maleae  
  Subtribe Malinae  


Malus (apples)  
  Section Chloromeles  

Subordinate Taxa






Malus angustifolia var. spinosa

Malus coronaria ssp. ioensis

Malus coronaria var. ioensis

Malus ioensis var. bushii

Malus ioensis var. creniserrata

Malus ioensis var. ioensis

Malus ioensis var. palmeri

Malus ioensis var. spinosa

Malus ioensis var. texana

Pyrus angustifolia var. spinosa

Pyrus coronaria var. ioensis

Pyrus ioensis

Pyrus ioensis var. texana


Common Names


Iowa crabapple

prairie crab apple

prairie crabapple

prairie crab-apple

western crab apple











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    prairie crabapple   prairie crabapple  






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Other Videos
  09 RandyColeman BechtelCrabapple
Grand Junction ParksandRec

Published on Oct 15, 2012

Lincoln Park Arboretum in Lincoln Park, Grand Junction, Colorado.

  A Squirrel Feasting on Berries

Published on Mar 24, 2014

In a monkey-like balancing act, a young, vibrantly colored fox squirrel uses human-like dexterity to feast upon berries during a cold February day in Northern Illinois, in 2014.

Featured in the video are multiple fox squirrels (Sciurus niger), also known as the eastern fox squirrel or Bryant's fox squirrel. It is the largest species of tree squirrel native to North America. To help with climbing, they have sharp claws, developed extensors of digits and flexors of forearms, and abdominal musculature. Fox squirrels have excellent vision and well-developed senses of hearing and smell. Fox squirrels also have several sets of vibrissae, thick hairs or whiskers that are used as touch receptors to sense the environment. These are found above and below their eyes, on their chin and nose, and on each forearm.

The tree is a Malus ioensis, or Prairie Crabapple tree, a species of crabapple tree native to the United States. The most common variety, Malus ioensis var. ioensis, is found primarily in the prairie regions of the upper Mississippi Valley (another variety, Malus ioensis var. texana, or the Texas crabapple, is found only in a small region of central Texas.) The prairie crabapple tree can grow up to 35 feet (10 m) in height. It bears white or pink flowers in the summer and small apple-like berries in the fall.

Fox squirrels are strictly diurnal, non-territorial, and spend more of their time on the ground than most other tree squirrels. They are still, however, agile climbers. They construct two types of homes called "dreys", depending on the season. Summer dreys are often little more than platforms of sticks high in the branches of trees, while winter dens are usually hollowed out of tree trunks by a succession of occupants over as many as 30 years. Cohabitation of these dens is not uncommon, particularly among breeding pairs.

They are not particularly gregarious or playful, in fact they have been described as solitary and asocial creatures, coming together only in breeding season. They have a large vocabulary, consisting most notably of an assortment of clucking and chucking sounds, not unlike some "game" birds, and they warn the listening world of approaching threats with distress screams. In the spring and fall, groups of fox squirrels clucking and chucking together can make a small ruckus. They also make high-pitched whines during mating. When threatening another fox squirrel, they will stand upright with their tail over their back and flick it. They are impressive jumpers, easily spanning fifteen feet in horizontal leaps and free-falling twenty feet or more to a soft landing on a limb or trunk.

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