Roberts Crab crab apple tree
Malus 'Roberts Crab'
- Picking season: Mid
- Self-fertility: Self-fertile
- Pollination group: 2
An unusual red-fleshed crab-apple which has large purple fruits. The juice is a claret red colour.
Roberts Crab crab apple trees for sale
Medium 1-year bare-root tree
Mature height: 8ft-12ft after 10 years
Roberts Crab is an unusual crab-apple, grown both for its attractive ornamental qualities, and for culinary uses.
The abundant spring blossom is dark pink, and the leaves have a bronze tint.
Ripening in late summer, the crab-apples have an unusual dark purple color. They are also very large - the size of small apples.
The main attraction in the kitchen is that the purple fruits have a rich red flesh, making Roberts Crab an excellent variety for crab-apple jams and jellies.
The red flesh also contains anthocynanin compounds, which may have anti-oxidant qualities. A 2009 study by researchers at USDA found Roberts Crab to have particularly high levels of Cyanidin-3-0-galactoside.
The juice is a dark red claret color, which is darker than that of other red-fleshed crab-apples. The juice flavor is sharp and crab-like, and can be used in hard cider blends.
How to grow
Unlike most crab apples this variety is not a good pollinator of other apple varieties..
Roberts Crab is very precocious, and is likely to blossom and fruit within a 1-2 years after planting. It grows with an attractive upright spreading form and is reasonably vigorous.
Advice on fruit tree pollination.
Roberts Crab characteristics
- Gardening skillBeginner
- Pollination group2
- Pollinating othersPoor
- Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
- WildlifeRHS Plants for Pollinators
- Picking seasonMid
- UsesCulinaryJuiceHard cider
- Keeping (of fruit)2-3 weeks
- Juice styleSharper
- Country of originUnited Kingdom
- Period of origin1950 - 1999
- Flesh colourPink / Red
- Fruit colorPurple
- Fruit sizeVery large
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An unusual apple / crab-apple cross, with distinctive red-flesh.