Hey, there! Log in / Register

In bloom at Jamaica Pond

Flowering tree

This afternoon, along the Pinebank side of Jamaica Pond.

Free tagging: 



As pretty as it is this looks like an invasive species. Some kind of tropical plant.
I wonder how long they've been around Jamaica Pond?

Surely this is a crabapple? Or maybe another apple variety, but I'm guessing crabapple.


This is Chinese crab, Malus prunifolia. If the leaves weren't fuzzy underneath, it would be Siberian crab, Malus baccata. Both are mongrel progeny of planted trees.

I'm totally cool with beautifying Boston.
I just don't want to hurt the ecosystems.
Someone brought them here.

Boston wouldn't be very colorful this time of year without these foreigners. Daffodils, tulips, forsythia, cherries, crab apples, flowering dogwoods, dandelions, and most magnolias were all introduced. Except for dandelions, none are particularly invasive nor apt to displace natives.

I am a fan of native plants as well. But not every introduced plant is invasive. I sometimes come across people trying to make this argument and while I understand the thought behind it, the reality is more nuanced. I have done field work for many years and have yet to see a situation where a stand of crabapples is spreading into the natural landscape and outcompeting other plants.

I do think natives are important though and should be given first consideration when replanting areas or developing new areas.

Yes, it could be a Malus prunifolia. But its blossom shape and pinkish color are arguably more typical of either of the native crab apples - M. coronaria or M. augustifloria. (Yeah I know that neither's range historically extends closer than a couple hundred miles from eastern MA, but nonetheless they are often found here and they fit in and support the local ecosystems in a way that newer/further-bourne arrivals don't).

And quite frankly, it could easily be an example a Prunus - a cherry.

Without seeing the whole plant - its habit, bark and branches, and examples of the mature leaves (as opposed to the early / not yet fully formed leaves in the picture), I think a definitive identification is nigh impossible.

Am surprised by your statement that Malus coronaria and Malus angustifloria(sic) are "often found here" 'cos neither has been recorded wild in New England:
And no, it is not a cherry

The fragrance from the crabapple trees in the Arboretum sent me into a state of euphoria on Sunday. They more than made up for the underwhelming fragrance emanating from the (visually glorious) lilacs.

These pretty-looking invasive species are even worse, because far too many people get fooled just by looking at them.

above comment didn't deserve the snark I sent it