What's the difference between an apple and a crabapple?

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Basically only their size. Crabapples, by definition, are 2 inches or less in diameter. Apples are more than 2 inches around. Both come from trees that are in the same genus, Malus, of which there are many species and hybrids. Apple trees are grown for their apples, of course, which are eaten as is, are used in baking, or are made into cider, sauce, juice and jelly. Common varieties include McIntosh, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Melrose, Fuji and Gala. Crabapple trees, meanwhile, are mainly planted because theyre pretty. Red, white or pink blossoms burst open in spring. And the crabapples themselves often hang on through the winter. They look nice -- theyre red or yellow -- and sometimes are eaten by birds. Gardeners can choose from hundreds of varieties. Among them are Molten Lava, Prairifire, White Angel and Strawberry Parfait. Most of the crabapple trees that are sold and grown today produce smaller crabapples: from about a quarter of an inch in diameter to about three-quarters of ... more
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