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.