DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blossom of the crab apple Malus x scheideckeri "Red Jade". Crab apples are ideal small trees for gardens, providing horticultural and wildlife value.The blossom represents an early nectar source for wild bees including bumblebees, and the fruitsare eventually taken by birds in late autumn. Red Jade has a weeping habit, visible here as a vertical curtain of blossom-covered branches. The weeping habit is thought to arise from an asymmetric distribution of auxin hormones in the branches, causing more rapid elongation on one side of the branch than the other.Crab apple wood was formerly used in the manufacturer of rulers and set-squares. The fruit - too astringent to eat fresh - can be made into a jelly.
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