Also known as Plum Leaf Apple or Chinese Apple. First discovered in northeast Asia.
Native to China this wild apple obtains its common name from its plum-like foliage. It is cold hardy to zone 3. Since in its natural state it ranges over a large geographical area, seed sources (ie : its provenance) may determine more or less cold hardiness. Any seed generated stock, however, holds this wildcard. Our experience with nearly all seedling stock has been firmly positive. Nice fibrous root system.
The rootstock is touted as having intermediate hardiness between Antonovka and Ranetka. An Alaskan grower has reported to me that it is not hardy enough to withstand their winters. This may be assosiated with the long daylength at a time when temps are still plummeting. At our latitude the stock has performed well.
Has been noted as beign resistant to fireblight. Shows immunity to apple scab, and apparently less attractive to vole predation on wood.
When planted as a tree: Has a proliferation of white flowers, which begin as a red bud but opens white with a bit of pink blush. The fruits are small in general being in the marble sized realm. Taste is varied in seedlings, but in most cases is astringent and disctinctive in flavor, however low in bitterness. Some specimens have occasionally been bland and mealy. Prized for wildlife attractant and ornamental qualities. A good candidate for a flowering crab in colder areas. Tree will reach 26 feet, beginning as a vase form and becoming rounded in crown at older age. Fall bearing.
There are examples of named cultivars of malus prunifolia. Fastigiata is one (there is also a Fastiaga labeled as a malus Robusta offspring), both fruits are about an inch and larger in size. Hyslop is mentioned as a prunifolia, but no good evidence supports this that we could find.